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MILES DAVIS QUINTET/All of You-The Last Tour 1960: Ever wonder what "Kind of Blue" sounded like out of the studio with all the cats wailing? Here's a previously unreleased document of the last tour with Miles and Coltrane both on board. With some long jams that really reveal what was going through these mercurial musician's minds, you get some killer stuff you never heard that's sure to blow your mind. Stretched over 4 discs, there's plenty of other stuff from the same era as well that also sounds like nothing you heard before. Killer stuff that's been buried away for far too long, it just proves how much genius was pouring out of these cats that couldn't be contained. Even if it was never really intended to be a record, it's a mind blower throughout.

ECHOES OF SWING/Blue Pepper: Has Echoes of Swing done it again? Please! This set is just now reaching these shores but it's already setting the pace for cleaning up on awards on it's native soil. While having their roots firmly planted in the past, honoring the greats of another time while bringing them forward for now, this set sounds like they are creating their own jazz genre as they do things like take Duke to Nawlins. Playing and execution like this are so breath taking that the rest of us should be content to sit at Starbucks with our headphones and take it all in rather than have to compete with it because these cats are the soul of professionals with heart. A killer jazz outing that you just have to hear to believe, this is a winner throughout that no American label would no what to do with. Check it out.

STYLISTICS/Best of and More-30th Anniversary Edition: Loaded with the silky soul Bell and Creed were writing when Philly International wasn't keeping them busy, these sides hold up in grand style. It's impossible that some of these sounds aren't lodged in the back of your head----but if they aren't, get with the program. Killer stuff.

BILL EVANS/12 Classic Albums 1956-62: And the Enlightenment label turns in yet another mother lode, the only thing that separates this one from previous ones is the scope and depth. This set covers the early years of Bill Evans solo work with a landslide of his Riverside sets, two UA cleffers and the start of his Verve years. And Beyonce thinks she's ferocious?----stacked up against this set, ferocious is redefined. A hefty handful of great playing by one of modern jazz's pre-eminent pianists, this is killer stuff throughout without a false note in the bunch. This is a modern jazzbo's wet dream of a package.

JOHNNY GRIFFITH/Dance With the Lady: A well decorated Canadian sax man that fuses modern and straight ahead jazz mixing in a groove with some swing, Griffith plays his ax like a New Yorker with something to prove. With a first class vibe throughout and a sure handed style, Griffith is one bad cat that's going to be blazing his trail across the night time sky for some time to come. This is a tasty jazzbo outing that is a better treat for your ears than Halloween candy and certainly won't rot them along the way. Well done.

JU MEETS MOSTER: A mad sax man meets up with a power trio and the sound is reminiscent of Hans Dulfer jamming with one hand and flipping the bird with the other. Crazy stuff that careens from Albert Ayler to King Crimson in vibe and scope, this is sure bet for left leaning heads that like wild rides.

MOLE/RGB: With sonic interests that seem to take them from ECM to James Brown, the vibe might just take you back to the No Wave days of long ago. Trio work redefined, especially since four cats are on board here, the pan cultural infusion of the players pushes the limits of improv. Progressive music for progressive ears.

VIOLETTE/Falling Strong: The thing that sets this Brain Bacchus produced Frenchy apart from say Nellie McKay, Norah Jones, Melody Gardot etc is that Violette is a real Frenchy so the pomo mix of Brel/Piaf writing and yeah-yeah girl sensibility comes kind of naturally. Sly, winking and sexy, this has those right in the pocket qualities you look for in something you don't have to take too seriously to really get in to. A tasty confection for sure, Violette uses low key to light hot fires.

SCOTT ADAMS/Go Add Value Someplace Else: Remember all that talk about closing the length of the window from theatrical release to home video release? How about this? This October release book has strips that go right up until the previous August. Dilbert really shines when the economy is in the dumper, as evidenced by the strips after the tech bubble burst in 1999. Since this book kicks off when the ‘recovery' was well under way, Adams must have been sitting on some dysfunctional doozies for when he would need them. The book opens with one of Wally's greatest hits and just digs in from there. Reflecting the evermore dysfunctional work space with a keener eye than ever, the humor cuts such a broad swath that non-office workers can enjoy it as well, with ease. Adams is running in high gear spreading the laughs from ear to ear in what is possibly his best work yet.

PATRICK McDONNELL/Living the Dream: In which McDonnell hits us right between the eyes with the antics of the best animal pals since Snoopy and Woodstock first took on the Red Baron together. With 20 years of these strips under his belt, McDonnell has really sharpened his ear for animal think non-sequitors that gives a whole new dimension to the laughs this strip throws off. Presented in a treasury formatted book, war is hereby declared on newspapers ever declining space for comics that makes it hard to savor what's in the panels. As always, these two characters are a breath of fresh air and the book is a hoot throughout.

Volume 37/Number 21
November 21, 2014
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2014 Midwest Record

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