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MOSE ALLISON/Collection 1956-62: The difference between this fatty collection and other sets that give you the artist by the pound is that this is an overview that finds him the in the company of jazz greats that were bringing him along back in the day. One of the original white boys with the blues, Allison could hit them to all fields back then, a trait that served him well over the course of his career. A nice, well rounded portrait of the artist as a young man, the groove was always in the house. Four discs of well chosen jazz bliss in on parade here.

JOHN GINTY/Bad News Travels Live: Session cat turned band leader takes his hard hitting organ date and turns it out live on a set that shows fire doesn't need smoke when it's really blazing. Making his bones as a B-3 great on the rise, Ginty simply turns that mother out like an old soul soul man with jam band over hang. Fun stuff for people that need that greasy sound to power their evening along. Well done.

DUCHESS: A trio of well loved jazz thrushes band together to serve up a tasty treat based on their love of the Boswell Sisters even if the set card is anything but a tribute to those old gals. Simply a swinging gasser by three gals that don't want to hear anything from the haters who are welcome to leave the room. With songs grandpa will give you discourse about if you play this anywhere near him, enjoy this on your headphones as all the cats on board here wail a joyful noise. Hot stuff remembering hot times.

BRAD HATFIELD/For a Change: Super blues producer finds an award nominated blues growler to give proper voice to his own compositions. Not exactly Tony Hatch and Petula Clark, but if you weigh the output, the result is along similar lines. Killer stuff from a new team to beat with the musical resources to take it to the limit. Hard hitting roadhouse stuff where the party never ends.

BETTYE LAVETTE/Worthy: Celebrating ten years with producer Joe Henry as the team to beat, LaVette turns up with a new deal on a Brit label where Northern Soul divas are cherished. Finding the soul buried on Music Row this time around, LaVette, who calls herself the oldest broad around with a new record deal, makes it shine mightily proving you just have to go where the love is. A real valentine for the fans that have been there for her over the last decade, this woman unleashes the real power of soul and lets you know in no uncertain terms what it's all about. Killer stuff once again.

DRONEN/284 Days: Face it boomers, your kids have gotten so old that 90s nostalgia is in the air. A hard rocking trio that bows to grunge is here to corrupt your grand children. The proper power and fury is all on board, sure to leave fans wanting more than this interstitial ep.

ERIC DOLPHY/12 Classic Albums 1959-62: For anyone that got their first taste of Dolphy via Zappa or from the endless reissues of "Out There", this career spanning collection is sure to be a rewarding ear opener. While not all of these sets had Dolphy as the headliner, he did play a significant roll in those significant sets and it all shows he kept some great, back in the day company. I don't know if it's us or the journey through time, but the free jazz he left behind 50 years ago doesn't seem too scary today, it's down right cool, daddio listening. You almost get the feeling he was Mingus's mainstream protégée. In any case, this is a boatload of great stuff.

CLIFFORD BROWN/13 Classic Albums 1954-60: Go figure. One of the few jazz cats from the 50s that didn't get messed up with heroin dies in a car crash at 25. Recording proficiently and productively, the 13 albums on display here are only a part of the legacy he left behind. Featured most frequently here with Max Roach, their tandem was one of the best things to happen to hard bop and you get a lion's share of that goodness here. There was so much more this cat could have delivered but at least we have this legacy of some really great jazz from a young man with a horn. Brownie lives!

PAUL YONEMURA/Reunion Trios: The Bay area drum legend works it out here with a rotating cast of bass and piano players giving this set three different flavors as it puts differing trios in the spotlight. A teacher of the year multiple award winner, he doesn't play like a cat whose day job subsidizes his art. This drummer knows how to give everyone some and anyone whose ever been down with jazz piano trios has a cake with whipped crème and a cherry on top here. Well done.

RY COODER/Down at the Field: Recorded for a radio broadcast right around the time he got his first taste of commercial breakthrough under his own name, Cooder discarded some of the oldies well loved on his first four albums and delivered hokum that was falling right into what was the alternative sound of the times. With some bonus tracks from another radio broadcast that covered the same guitar hokum territory, this is a real portrait of why he was such a well loved cult act before soundtracks came calling. And it was only 40 years ago.

PHILHARMONIA BAROQUE ORCHESTRA/Haydn: You would expect this killer period orchestra to do more hooting and hollering on it's own behalf. Last year's Haydn release is up for an orchestral Grammy this year, and this simply titled set is sure to follow in it's big brother's footsteps. Featuring three Haydn symphonies, just calling this set "Haydn" is all you need to know. Expertly performed grown up music any classical music tourist can listen to without fear, this is a superb gateway drug to great classical glories if there ever was one. Simply wonderful music by a crew working hard to be the last word on the subject for quite some time. Check it out.

Volume 38/Number 82
January 21, 2015
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2015 Midwest Record

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