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HAMILTON DE HOLANDA/World of Pixinguinha: Beautiful music alert! The master mandolinist, de Holanda rounds up an international jazz crew of the first order to play a bunch of loving and lovely tribute duets to a South American music master that give him so much inspiration and enjoyment. One of those cool efforts that modernizes older music without really disturbing it along the way, this isn't about world or jazz or any of those labels. This is about grace. The kind of record that could only be made outside the system these days, this lovely album will still be around when today's hits are littering the used music stores for a quarter each. Killer stuff for open ears that really hunger for hearing masterpieces.

DEB RYDER/Let it Rain: Remember how Bonnie Raitt tried so hard to sound like a wizened, hard boiled blues mama on her second album? Ryder has some of that going on here, but while Raitt had Broadway on her DNA, Ryder has authentic Chicago blues on hers. She also has an august crew made up of Mike Finnigan, Albert Lee and Kim Wilson on one side of glass while Tony Braunagel is on the other side of the glass. Do you think this is a modern blues belter set you can ignore? Writing them as well as singing them, this is one gal that'll have you gladly paying the babysitter for overtime as you get home from the club later than you promised. This is where the legacy of Koko Taylor lives on. Hot stuff.

PETER NOVELLI/St. Amant Sessions: A swamp rocker that's been flying high but under the general radar kicks loose with his third set that finds the time and miles he's put in coming together in fine style. Not restricting himself to being the next Tony Joe White, Novelli stirs up a mighty gumbo that takes it all in from Nawlins to Nashville and all the tasty southern stops in between. Already a well established musical gale force in Louisiana, it's time the rest of us got in on the fun. Left of center rockers ready to take a chance on something new will have a winner on their hands if they take a chance on this home run. Well done.

THOR/Unchained: Old metal fans, you have not been forgotten. Thor is back blasting from the past with his two eps packaged together in remastered glory along with a heftily packed DVD that really takes you back to the day. Loaded with all the steel and iron a metal head could want when they seek out the real deal as opposed to a commercial appropriation of same, dormant genes are sure to be reawakened with a spin of this. Hard and heavy all the way.

EINEM.ART/Lamara: Here's a young bone man from Germany that has been soaking up the jazz tradition while keeping an eye and ear on the future. Think about how some Nawlins stuff would sound at a jazz club on Mars. Von Einem's own brand of fusion works incredible well and hits the mark others shoot for frequently but often fall short in the quest. As a cat like Jason Miles is open to all kinds of open eared collaborations, the next move, getting these two cats together, seems like a natch. Until then, this date serves up all the satisfaction needed to get Von Einem the attention he deserves. Well done stuff progressive leaning ears will love.
71153 (Jazzthing Next Generation Vol. 57)

BASSEKOU KOUYATE & NGONI BA/Ba Power: Ow ow ow ow, this world beat/rock set is so good it hurts. While Africa might be getting it's guts torn apart once again, West African rock is taking traditional sounds and bringing them into tomorrow with the nu technology that's available and affordable everywhere in the world these days. Great jamming that hasn't been heard since the days of editors taking a razor blade to over extended psychedelic jams fueled by too many conflicting drugs, hopefully the wild energy on display here will inspire a new generation of Stevie Nicks styled schmatta queens to lose their minds and hit the spotlight. A killer diller of a date that'll rock you to your core, even if you have no idea what they're singing about. Just great rock like we haven't made in years.

RAY ANDERSON'S ORGANIC QUARTET/Being the Point: The Job of jazz has better things to do than sit and whine about his fate as he gets ready for his Social Security years (and he would have a right to sing the blues), he picked up his trombone, surrounded himself with some pals that would know what to do with the creative freedom being offered by this date and proceeded to wail. With a Nawlins/Chicago vibe coursing through the course of the music, Anderson gleefully colors outside the lines but never lets the wheels roll off the track. As spirited as the gentleman himself, this is a date for sitting down and listening to given as it deserves your full attention. Killer stuff.

CHARLES EVANS/On Beauty: Evans wrote this as a full length work especially for and to be played with Dave Liebman. This is the two sax aces playing with their personal space, not trying to be commercial. Loaded with the kind of skronk that fills period movies about the dark side of New York, this makes you feel like you are listening to Sonny honking under the bridge. A left field jazz entry that left field tastes will champion.

RAJENDRA TEREDESAI/Crosswinds: A lovely collision of music and art, Teredesai plays a flute from a different country on each track and you really can hear and feel the difference inherent in the slightly different but same instruments that you would otherwise take for granted. Not really new agy or ethno-opium denny, this is a new kind of world pop that you might hear in a hipper (not hipster) ethnic restaurant that would actually have you asking the wait staff what this was. This is a first class listening date for people that want to sit and enjoy real, well thought out music that's more of a companion than a background effect. Well done throughout.

COASTERS/Magical Favorites: Oh boy, let the bitching begin. Here's The Coasters first studio album in 35 years. Is that because all the original members are dead? Maybe, but these cats were handpicked by the original members and I'll bet you wouldn't know the difference anyway. Taking it to the streets rather than PBS (at least for now), the new generation of Coasters serves it up in the original style on period classics rather than strip mining the Coasters catalog. An event kind of record, they nail the vibe right on the head and deliver a fine time for all, especially listeners of a certain age that just don't get today's stuff. Well done throughout.

Volume 38/Number 157
April 6, 2015
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2015 Midwest Record

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