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KYLE EASTWOOD/Time Pieces: Inspired by the world of daddio jazz, young Eastwood turns in a set of mostly originals that doesn't feel like anything but original. A tasty work by a young lion that matured nicely in the public eye, maybe his next set ought to be a bass/piano duo of him and his pop. Meanwhile, he's found that commercial sweet spot in jazz that his pop owns in film where you can make a popular entertainment that doesn't feel manufactured and stands up over time. Solid stuff that really goes the distance.

MATT CRISCUOLO/Headin' Out: After over thirty years of playing it straight, the sax man is finally giving in to his influences like Henry Threadgill and David S. Ware letting the skronk flow out of his ax and seeing where it leads him. Playing with one foot in both his worlds, this is a nice gateway drug for the jazzbo listener thinking about moving to the other side of the chiaroscuro and seeing what's behind the curtain. A solid set that never rolls off the rails even when the devil is whispering in it's ear telling it to do so. Check it out.

BERNARD ALLISON GROUP/In the Mix: Luther's kid comes back with his first new set in forever and kicks things off with that blues-rock/Stax riff that just grabs you right out of the box. A satisfying set that doesn't rely on tricks and frippery and comes straight from his heart to yours. A comfy set that is the perfect set for wiling away the evening at either the frat house or the roadhouse, this classic but modern set simply hits all the right notes throughout. A tasty fastball right down the middle all the way around.

KUZIN/Cavity: Take a pissed off young lady in Nashville by way of LA who writes songs with titles like "Dumb Bitch" , add a critic's Chicago based years, put Liz Phair in the zone where she could become a grand mother at any time and we see the connection making the time right for Liz Phair nostalgia. Jessica Maros might never have been to Guyville but we certainly see exit visas in order. Now pass that torch.

MERZBOW-PANDI-GUSTAFSSON/Cuts of Guilt, Cuts Deeper: These noise makers add Thurston Moore to the mix and let him do his thing without telling him what to do. The end result is a two disc set. Why is that? Because it's an homage to "Metal Machine Music" and they wanted to touch all the bases they could. Is that Cerberus I hear barking in the distance?

THE SPANISH DONKEY/Raoul: Really? One label doing two homages to "Metal Machine Music" in the same month? An improv jazz trio turns up the pots and pans amid the noise and gives you the sound of a subway ride to hell by way of an acid drenched Chinatown stop. This goes way beyond arts council music into another dimension of sound and mind.

SHULAMIT/For You the Sun Will Shine: In which we find world beat taking a different tangent in which you know these are songs inspired by suffering even if you don't know what the singer is singing about. A collection of songs from the Holocaust, Shulamit almost presents them as anthems, which just might be the way the mostly unknown writers wrote them in the passion of the moment. Certainly not for those looking for light hearted entertainment, this plays almost like an audio documentary of a time of great darkness.

JENNA MAMMINA & ROLF STURM/Spark: Veterans of an orchestral Grateful Dead tribute show, they bonded in the back of the bus over insomnia and found a shared love of the same songs. Flash forward and here they are as a guitar/vocal duo with so much mutual strength you almost can't tell where one's contributions end and the other begins. A recording of familiar oldies from several generations, this is a tasty, low key recording for the connoisseur, rather than the hoi polloi, who can really appreciate a familiar song turned inside out before being turned back out, in a most pleasing way. Tasty stuff for the discerning, contemporary set of ears.

DUDUKA DaFONSECA TRIO/Jive Samba: If you're feeling more jazz in DaFonseca's samba than usual, it might be because most of the set card is Miles roll off with the compositions coming from Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock as well other trend setters like Clare Fischer, John Scofield, Keith Jarrett and more. A real ear opener for both jazz and samba fans, the drummer's trunk of tricks and skills keeps you attuned to see what's coming next. Quite the smashing release for the mature, sitting down jazz fan that really wants some listening that gets him inside the music. Hot stuff.

PEDRO GIRAUDO BIG BAND/Cuentos: From Argentina the bass player came but this big band set isn't loaded with Latin big band jazz, Giraudo has mastered the idiom of music of the Americas. Tasty stuff with the feel of classic forward thinking big band, there's nothing atavistic about the presentation or the sounds. A real find for big band fans that just don't need another rendition of "Cherokee". Check it out.

Volume 38/Number 127
March 7, 2015
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2015 Midwest Record

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