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THE WONDER REVOLUTION/Presents WOW: In the 60s, exotica was just world beat with no other corners to turn. Now, with mash up becoming the norm, that 60s mash up that pretty much was jazz and world exclusively have so much more to draw on these days. With a limitless sonic palette of sounds , vibes and kitchen sinks, this is a marvelous kaleidoscope for your ears. Crazy stuff that puts a hyphen between almost anything you can put a hyphen between, this is killer stuff for the open eared that want to hear something new no matter how many times they play the same record. Killer, brave new world stuff that has something for everyone but not in a gray/brown smorgasbord way. Check it out.

COLLAPSE OF THE EMPIRE/Sacrifice & Isolation: The spiritual grand children of Kraftwerk come in with their darkest electro exploration to date that takes a weird look at death through the wrong end of the telescope. Starting electric and ending acoustic, bummed college kids have their soundtrack for several coming semesters all wrapped up in one neat package here.

LENNY MARCUS TRIO/Second Set: Already on the record on several records that he's a creative cat that learned from the best, Marcus and company mix jazz with classics and classical jazz digging in the crates jazz trio style. Proving himself once again as that do it all piano man that plays grand on a grand, Marcus mixes it up quite nicely. A natural born winner of a set that delights the ears in fine style, this is top shelf piano jazz that disguises itself as angular, modern stuff but is really a fast ball right down the middle. Check it out.

JENNY GILLESPIE/Chamma: Oh, none of you are old enough to remember this, but in the wake of Joni Mitchell there were a passel of psych/freek/folk princesses like Valdy, Victoria and others lost to the ages that were fun. They were the cotton candy to Mitchell's rock candy. And they were all on labels with vision with no muscle and that's why nobody except the hard core remember them. Gillespie has turned in a fine example of one of those B team records here. It might now be called electro folk or trip hop but it's still freek folk at the core and Gillespie is the grand daughter of that movement. And she's the proof that not all modern thinking Chicago gals have to sound like they supped at the foot of Liz Phair. If she left being married and having a kid out of the liner notes, right now there would be a million sensitive, millennial boys with a Joni Mitchell to call their own on those long Saturday nights.

MARK BUSELLI/Untold Stories: The unique thing this trumpeter brings to the bandstand is that he sounds like he could have been a student of Miles but he isn't trying to ape Miles. What a cool fine line to be able to tread. One of those cats with a day job as an educator that doesn't let the classroom interfere with his ability to swing, this is a sweet, straight ahead listening date that knows you want to groove even if you are sitting down. Well played throughout, this well decorated cat within the halls of academe is well deserving of some more love from the real world. Time to show this cat what valentine's day feels like. Check it out.

JESSICA WILLIAMS/With Love: One of the magical things about Williams in performance is that she has the ability to take songs that countless piano bar players have beaten into the ground in various pummelings and make them sound fresh, new and distinct. With a set card here of almost all chestnuts that have been beaten to death in a million piano bars, Williams is playing just for you and like a grand master. Williams is one of those players that proves that she doesn't need anything but her own creativity to make a well rounded, full bodied session that blows you away. Killer stuff from a vet at the top of her powers.

PHILLIP GIBBS/Box Canyon Blues: In the past, I've told you that Gibbs is becoming the folkie's folkie, but why listen to me when Gurf Morlix can tell you the same thing. With a new record of 22 songs recorded in one session, Gibbs is hitting the trail once again with just him and his guitar and a passel of great new songs. A top shelf special for meaty, songwriting fans, Gibbs is the new link in the chain of killer singer/songwriter/troubadours from Austin, TX. Killer stuff throughout.

DAVE KELLER/Soul Changes: So, here's a cat from New England recording in Memphis with the cats the wrote the original book sounding like anything but a white boy and coming forth with an album that's up for BMA best soul/blues record against august cats like Bobby Rush and Otis Clay and easily standing toe to toe. With several cuts in Memphis with a Hi/Stax pros and several back in Brooklyn with his pals, the wind up is a killer set that at worst invites comparisons to Boz Scaggs. Killer stuff from the canon of nu soul Keller does a great job of looking backward and forward at once and really tearing the roof off the sucker. Hot stuff throughout.

MARK WEINSTEIN/Latin Jazz Underground: Flute man Weinstein has made a bunch of distinguished Latin jazz albums over the decades but his recent collaboration with a Cuban pianist takes the whole thing to a whole new level of the game. A dazzling, sunny, smiling set of killer Latin jazz from one cat with passion and one cat with DNA, Weinstein is now of those cats that can be 40 years into his career and find new energy to kick start a whole new vibe and energy. Winning stuff that's not to be missed.

Volume 38/Number 165
April 14, 2014
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2014 Midwest Record

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