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GLEN ACKERMAN/Glenious Alien Landscape: This jazz bass man has the fantasy that he's making jazz from space but this is no dose of nu Sun Ra. Left leaning modern fusion maybe, but we've heard lounge music from space and this ain't it. Enjoyable nonetheless, this Houston heavy hitter knows how to keep it coming and knows his fusion history inside out. Fun stuff that fills the bill with dazzling ease.

MOMOIRO CLOVER Z/Battle & Romance: And here's what's happening under your nose without you knowing about it. J-Pop Idol music by a bunch of young girls that look like anime stars are making dance pop merging with American hard rock. Totally nuts stuff and here's two discs worth of it. Already cleaning up awards in it's native land, I can see this working it's way into the next rave down your block. Utterly nuts stuff that's engrossing in it's normal weirdness, watch this become of staple of bar mitzvah djs everywhere. Wild.

MOMOIRO CLOVER Z/5th Dimension: No tribute to Byrds here as the J-Pop Idol's crew's second album finds them going deeper into American hard rock and imagery with all of them still looking like anime stars but with studded face masks covering most of their faces on the front and back cover. What are they putting in the kids breakfasts in Japan these days? Nutty, high octane/high energy stuff throughout.

BILLY HECTOR/Old School Thang: An Asbury Park multi award winner for his ax work, Hector comes from the time when being called a great bar band was the best thing that could be said about you. Still brimming with the kind of blues rock show band vibe that keeps the party going all night long, this set feels like Hector's bid to spread the word about him west of the Hudson. With about as much Stax as a white boy from Jersey should be able to muster under all that rock special sauce, Hector makes a good case for older gents with a lot of flying time. Smoking stuff for rocking, party people.

LUIS PERDOMO/Twenty Two: Elegant Sunday afternoon sitting down jazz with a sly edge is served up nicely here. A piano man that came to New York from Caracas, he seems to still know how to deliver the old world stuff even while hitting a hybrid of mainstream and progressive playing. With playing in his blood, he just keeps refining his edge and making sure his playing stays sharp. Check it out.

TROY ROBERTS/Secret Rhymes: If you take the trouble to Google this Aussie sax man's vitae you'll see he's more than the definition of a working musician. The sum total of all that work? How about a sixth album with some real swingers on board that takes things to the next level of the game? Solid stuff by a real young lion on the prowl that knows how to give as well as take. A high octane sonic smorgasbord throughout, Roberts is going to make all you gave him a reach back and a step up quite proud.

JOE ALTERMAN/Georgia Sunset: If you give a good listen to this set, it wasn't just music that helped the piano man over come problems with OCD, it was the first dozen records by the original Ramsey Lewis Trio, so much so that Lewis is one of Alterman's mentors. With playing here that makes it feel like the original crew never got older or eventually broke up, Alterman is certainly fanning the flames of keeping the sound alive in the most delightful way. Quite a mature and accomplished recording, this is much more than trip down memory lane, even if a bunch of the songs are. With Houston Person in the producer's chair there's just no room here for mistakes, and there are none. Well done throughout.

LALAMA BROTHERS/Crepuscule Variations: The brothers open the family album and take us on a tour of their back pages showing just how much their ears came of age in the 60s away from hard rock as the standards played on their parent's phonograph in up state New York. Keeping it simple but driving it deep as they leave their marks on the greats like Comden/Green, Mancini, Webster and others, the brothers serve up that standards with a load of the variations the title promises. Certainly a nice turn on roads you've well traveled.

GENE ESS/Eternal Monomyth: A jazz guitar man with loads of recognition under his belt stays true to his vision as an artist by continuing to push the boundaries adding a strong Japanese element to the jazz here leaving spaces for the listener to fill in on this companion piece to his last set. At times, it sound deceptively like fusion but the frequent gentle left turns keeps your ears on their toes. A dandy stop over if you're looking for something outside the ordinary.

TYLER KANESHIRO & the Highlands/Amber of the Moment: A bunch of young lions circle the wagons to serve up some in the pocket jazz that mixes mainstream and fusion into a swell tasting gumbo. Using all the tools present for one to apply to today's palette, this crew knows how to hit the mark with some stuff that points confidently to tomorrow. Solid stuff for left leaning ears that don't need Miles space explorations but do like to travel beyond the pale. Well done.

Volume 38/Number 162
April 11, 2015
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2015 Midwest Record

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