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KELLEY HUNT/Beautiful Bones: Can you be a soulful white girl without aping Joplin? Hunt says yes. Fusing Americana with southern show band, this bold, hard hitting set gives her ample setting to belt while the band turns it out and turns it loose. Entertaining, pure entertainment, Hunt sets a killer party on a platter with energy and vibes for all to dig. You wish Muldaur and Raitt were 40 years younger? Get a load of this. Well done throughout.

DUDLEY TAFT/Screaming in the Wind: Utterly nuts stuff! This sounds like blues rock for a meth party, but Taft thanks his wife and daughters in the liner notes---hardly methy behavior. Tom Hambridge is at the wheel in the producers chair so you know this isn't something recorded out in the desert between cooks, the wheel keeps turning and the future of high octane, white boy blues rock is rearing it's head. Wild stuff untamed hearts will dig from an unbridled shredder that doesn‘t know how to slow it down.

BEAT FUNCTION/Voodooland: Funk that doesn't sound like it comes form Sweden but has all the grease you would want to have in your funk when it comes from the funkiest spots. This set was originally recorded for the Japanese market---and who knows how these things come about the way they do. Fortunately, this concept album has escaped into our clutches delivering the funk in ways that would make James Brown, George Clinton and all the rest smile. First white boys take over the blues, now Swedish white boys claim the funk. It's a world gone mad alright, but it at least it has first class funk in it. Hot stuff throughout.

REGINALD CYNTJE/Elements of Life: Last time around, it seemed like Cyntje was staking out his turf in retro black power jazz. This time around, he's showing us his island side. Not vacation music, it's easy moving jazz with an edge well informed by growing up in the islands. Imagine swinging jazz with a ‘yes, mon' vibe running through it and you can hear what's going on here. Tasty stuff that's out of the ordinary without being work to hear, Cyntje is playing at the top of his game on all levels and serving up enjoyable stuff accessible to all. Well done.

MATT GARRISON/Patchwork: Here's a sax man for all seasons. While he should be putting himself front and center, instead he puts under recorded vocal pro Melissa Morgan front and center. Then he covers stuff from his influences, cats that range from Don McLean to Beck with a stop at Lee Morgan in between. Talk about the soundtrack for a swinging, yuppie deck party! Garrison holds nothing back on his third outing and jazz tourists as well as purists will enjoy being invited to this party. Fun stuff that takes itself seriously while keeping it light, the classic feeling elements give this set a core that really pulls you in. A winning set throughout by a rising pro you better pay attention to.

JOHN A. LEWIS TRIO/One Trip Out: One of the jewels of the Dallas jazz scene, Lewis is a piano man that loves to play. Classic piano trio stuff is on tap here and his pals love to play as much as he does. Tasty stuff that doesn't break any new ground but shows nicely how it all is when you properly maintain and cultivate what you have. A winner of a set that hits the mark throughout and does a mighty job of being entertaining.

Volume 38/Number 191
May 9, 2014
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2014 Midwest Record

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