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BILL WARFIELD & HELL'S KITCHEN FUNK ORCHESTRA/Mercy Mercy Mercy: Kicking it off with some big band funk on the title track, Warfield and company have Zawinul and company smiling from the great beyond. The grin extends to the rest of the set as well as the titles are pulled from more classic jazz, soul, pop and originals that fit right in. Something about the spirit of this feels like a Bill Chase resurrection as well. Tasty stuff throughout, Warfield has the brass to make it all happen in deluxly fine style. Hot stuff.

CAPE SNOW: If you think it's time for a modern Joni Mitchell, Bree Scanlon agrees with you and his here to fill the bill. Serenading her Iphone while raising two small kids, Scanlon birthed her debut set of chick shoe gaze loaded with deep thoughts. Singer/songwriter vectors into the future.

MEM NAHADR/Femme Fractale-An Opera of Reflection: Whew, an art chick that sounds like she studied at the knee of Gabrielle Roth while taking her view of sisterhood being powerful to the max, this is a set of girl friend music that's about as outré as it can get without the whole thing rolling off the rails.

NICK FINZER/The Chase: You have to love it when a cat can graduate from Julliard without letting it go to his head. Bone man Finzer takes his sweet time between releases and we are wise not to rush him. Charting some new courses that give us the opportunity to follow him without tripping, this fleet fingered, buoyant jazzbo makes his bone talk while supporting his composing and leading chops making the whole a real gasser. Inventive but keeping it's fun, spirited side in tact, this set might be chasing, but it wins the race. Check it out.

GOOD FIELD/Future Me: Shoegaze with a touch of sunshine pop gets delivered here. Solid sounds for high school hipsters looking to affect a nu James Dean vibe to impress the girls with how deep they are, the jangling guitars makes this group's point throughout.

ROBERT SABIN/Humanity Part II: What can you say about a bass man that likes film noir/crime jazz but likes it filtered through a horror movie lens? How about daddy loves his work? Opening the sound to fill out the moves as a big band, whether coming in with his own interpretation of film music that has moved him or coming with stuff that's wholly original, the good doctor's fevered brain makes tunes that might not be for everyone but really hit the mark for the people they are for. This stuff is so cool that it could almost be pop music for hipsters. Check it out.

A BU TRIO/88 Tones of Black and White: The bar gets raised again as another non-traditional outlet opens it's own record company to support music and shine a well deserved spotlight on it's products. Here we find a double cd debut from a Chinese piano tyro that has fully conquered the instrument at 15 years old. His parents might have made sure he had a grounding in the classics but it sounds like jazz is his passion. At one point or another, he sounds like all of your fave jazz pianists but he always sounds like himself. Prepare to have your mind blown completely. This old soul is the real deal. Well done.

RANDY ARMSTRONG & VOLKER NAHRMANN/Beyond Borders: Long before it was a Homer Simpson expletive, these two cats were driving members of Do'a World Music Ensemble. They're still at it, updating their sound with a contemporary world view fusion that finds them mix mastering the best of the world that's at all out finger tips these days. The core moves haven't changed much over the last 40 years but the scope has. Enlisting talents from around the world for this world voyage, it feels like they are single handedly creating a world/pop genre as you really don't have to be a jazzbo or ethnic to get into this accessible, chop laden date that takes you places you've only heard in dreams. Killer stuff throughout that raises the bar for all in this field.

Volume 38/Number 249
July 7, 2015
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2015 Midwest Record

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