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ANDREW DIRUZZA QUINTET/Shapes & Analogies: Guitar jazz from Iowa by a young, well educated cat that knows his stuff and wants to push the boundaries, but no so hard that they stretch out of shape. Angular jazz for when you want a bit of a challenge but nothing too jarring, this is solid stuff that shows he's certainly got something going on behind the eyes. You can count on this cat to be a smart leader any time.

COLORWAY/Black Sky Sequined: Bedroom sounding guitar rock trio sounds that have lyrics that don't always square with the driving music but have a way of meeting up in the middle after a while. Dripping over the edge with the kind of sounds that could be the sound of the summer in white suburbs where hormones are raging, this is a fine example of how kids buy music made by cats that remind them of them.

CRYSTAL BRIGHT and the Silver Hands/Absolute Elsewhere: So, Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits start auditioning circus performers to develop a cabaret act from Mars with Goth overtones and Leon Sash sensibilities--a mash up it seems only they could come up with. Bright seems to have found the sweet spot without any help from those cats. Compelling outsider music from a gal with commercial aspirations no matter how hard it seems like she's like to push them away, this wonderful, bizarre artifact is not the work of some art chick with a trust fund to fall back on----this is the real deal. Wonderfully left field in a first class way, this is certainly just what the doctor ordered if you think that now is the time for something completely different. Killer throughout.

JOHN BROWN'S BODY/Kings and Queens in Dub: Greatest hits albums take on a new dimension when they come from Jamaican vibes. Two years after the original release, the original release is refashioned in dub by some of the groove's top dub remixers. If you liked the original, this new flavored collection with hit your sweet spot as well as it takes what you know and moves it somewhere entirely different.

DAN ADLER-ARNON PALTY BAND/Arty Facts: What happens when a bunch of cats that are generally taken to be quite serious decide to show they don't have to be serious all the time? If they are jazzbos, you get a left of center set like this where they indulge in the modern jazz version of ‘variations on a theme by...', and a good time is had by all. A driving set that doesn't like the idea of coming up for air if it doesn't have to, this outing makes it alright to let your freak flag fly and just let the four winds blow scattering the notes where it will leaving you the trust that it will all work out (as well as it did). Well done and delightfully out of the ordinary as well as left field.

JAVIER VERCHER/Wish You Were Here: This sax man gets extra points for liking free jazz but liking his audience just as much and not wanting to assault them with fusillades that make things roll off the rails. Improv work that sounds like it was composed and thought out, this date, abetted by some stellar players you know, hits all the right notes and does a really impressive job of it by turning in a set of all originals that hold your attention. Hot stuff that redefines the cool.

PAT TRAVERS/Retro Rocket: Did somebody give Travers the message that the 70s called and they want him back? Rocking AOR hard rock like it was almost 40 years ago, he don't play like a guitar slinger tearing it up 40 years later. Fleet fingered as ever, Travers delivers the shredding for everyone that remembers what it was like or would like to experience how majestic it all once was. Hot stuff for hard rockers of any age.

ROBERT KENNEDY TRIO/Big Shoes: A B3 ace leading a classic organ jazz trio through a set that's loaded with originals that are stocked with vibes that make you think you heard them somewhere else before by a cat that doesn't have to worry about any blurred lines. In the pocket throughout, you'd be hard pressed to find any better top down listening than this. Well done throughout.

ENRICO PIERANUNZI/Live a the Bird's Eye: A leading light on the Euro jazz scene, Pieranunzi has collaborated with loads of American jazzbos but he's probably known best to the real insiders. With as much love for classical piano as jazz, he struts his stuff here with a set of solo playing influenced by DeBussy that finds him getting his classical groove on with a set that also has some heavy reflections of Mussorgsky through the eyes of an acoustic jazzbo. The Euro wash makes it righteous Sunday afternoon listening when there just aren't any really hot recitals to check out.

WOLFGANG LACKERSCHMID QUARTET: A savvy vibe artist meets up with Lynne Arriale Trio and the piano/vibe face off is one that really works. Smart jazz that doesn't fall back on the Verve/Bluenote vibe to make it's point, this is smoking contemporary stuff that charts it's own course quite nicely. The covers open your ears to new possibilities with their well placed flights of invention as well. Check it out.

Volume 38/Number 140
March 20, 2015
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2015 Midwest Record

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