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ANTHONY JEFFERSON/But Beautiful: Can a young singer pattern himself after Nat Cole without inviting withering comparisons? Sure, if he does it right, like Jefferson does. Not trying to ape Cole, Jefferson is following in Cole's footsteps rather than trying to be like him or craft an homage. A solid singer making an auspicious debut, the lush jazz setting reminiscent of the Sinatra/Cole prime years is delightfully mature sounding and quite classy throughout. With male jazz vocal often in short supply, it's not hard to rise to the top of the pack, but Jefferson rises to the whole top of the jazz vocal pack in fine style. All you need is a real cocktail in your hand to make listening to this complete. A solid debut.

PAULO PADILHA/At the Dollar Store, I Feel Like a Millionaire: Up for some sophistication? Padilha is from Brazil but he isn't pushing samba. He's somewhere in the acerbic realms of Cohen and Brel with a chansonic detachment running through his voice and vibe. Turning a wary eye on the state of the world, if only gringos knew Portuguese, this stuff is pretty wild. It's freaking alt.Brazil! It's reassuring to know the whole world is as fed up with everyday life as we are. Check it out and at least dig the vibe.

BRIAN TARQUIN & HEAVY FRIENDS/Guitars for Wounded Warriors: A bunch of studio cats realize that the current wars ain't no Viet Nam and the kids getting wounded in the course of keeping us free deserve some respect. Good idea. Award winners all, they band together to tear it up with some shredding, no some namby pamby stuff, to deliver the high octane stuff these kids deserve. The band and the guests are up for the challenge and they deliver mightily. Tasty stuff for all shredding fans, this is a real deluxe guitar tour de force. Hot stuff.

DIANE ROBLIN/Reconnect: Funny. You hear about a Canadian lady that was part of the scene 30 years ago and dropped out to do other things, you think you're going to hear a folkie on the comeback trail.. No so, Roblin was a jazzbo and she brings high energy to her piano jazz. Kind of fusion but more mainstream over all, Roblin has it going on as a leader/writer/player and makes a dandy re-entry to the music world with stuff sure to perk up your ears. Upbeat and hard hitting, this is mighty cool stuff. Check it out.

MAGGIE HERRON/Good Thing: One of Hawaii's top jazz thrushes reaches out to producer Brian Bromberg to help her extend her reach. Bringing in a bunch of names that will get listeners new to her wondering who she is, Herron is ready to reward the curious with a rewarding listening experience. Skilled enough to know how to keep a crowd in the palm of her hand, this throaty warbler brings the special sauce to the entire proceedings when hitting originals or chestnuts. A dandy jazz vocal find.

MALONIE CARRE/Forever: Bringing a Latin sensibility to jazz vocal, Carre fuses this date with some Broadway/cabaret ideas the underscore the dramatic element in a lot of Latin music that gringos would automatically think of as cabaret. There's plenty of jazz vocal here to make the jazz vocal fan be satisfied with the proceedings, this is something a little out of the usual pale and might just be what jaded ears in the genre are looking for. Probably a good bet for urbane tastes that like to be first on their block.

KENNY SHANKER/Action City: The unstoppable former tyro's second for the label shows that he's keeping those same qualities right at the fore of his playing and writing powering this work to new heights. Playing sax like he was born to do it, Shanker shows what it means to have the right stuff as he kicks it out in fine style on this straight ahead set of killer jazz. A real player that will reward real listening ears, this is a dandy date to check out and enjoy. A winner throughout.

BRAIN CHARETT/Good Tipper: The mighty organist must think it's time to bring some new faces into the tent as he makes a bouncy, fun set for the crowd that doesn't know him but should. With some Jimmy Webb, James Bond and more in the mix next to the band originals, Charette will get them to come for the vibe and stay for the chops. Feeling like an off the clock set where everybody just wants to jam and have a good time, this ain't for down after hours times, it's for when you want to keep the party going. A fine time from start to finish.

SONIA PERKINS/Dream a Little Dream: What's the special sauce hiding in the grooves of this big apple thrush kicking it out on a bunch of chestnuts? It's knowing about empathy from her day job as a post 9/11 grief counselor! Just when you were ready to write these songs off as ones you didn't need to hear again, along comes Perkins, freshens up the songbook classics and let's the good times roll. Jazz vocal fans have a winner here.

TOM TEASLEY/The Love of the Nightingale: The multi-dimensional, do it all cat is back with a score to a theatrical presentation that takes you on a tour of the old world part of the middle east and environs that's sure to blow your little world beat mind. Tasty and tantalizing throughout, this national treasure that could use some more spotlight will give you the sonic roadmap to validate that claim with this new outing. Killer stuff just waiting for the open eared to devour. Hot stuff.

Volume 38/Number 347
October 13, 2014
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2014 Midwest Record

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