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SURREAL McCOYS/Howl & the Growl: And once you get past the great band name you get a new hyphenate, Americana-Punk. Produced by Brooklyn vet, Eric Ambel, the past meets then present nicely as their "Johnny Clash" sound brings young tastes into the Americana tent who normally would look as Buddy Miller as their grandpa. As roots meets unrest, it all comes together with the proper energy that makes this disc and crew forces to be reckoned with. Check it out.

LAFAYETTE HARRIS JR TRIO/Bend to the Light: Losing the need to hide behind the chestnuts and put his own works on display, Harris leads his crew of hitters and pros into that piano infused classic Ramsey Lewis Trio vibe keeping it upbeat and party worthy. Simply a tasty set that has no loftier goals that making you feel good, this stuff hits the mark it aims for with ease. With a bit more edge that basic summer jazz on tap, the good times are rolling and flowing here with this jazzbo piano man at the wheel. Hot stuff.

JENS DUPPE/Anima: One of those jazzbo drummers that possesses that special knack for knowing how to lead the proceedings from the back of the stage, Duppe might mislead with the new agy album title, but this is no mellow cat nor is he a ham fisted skin pounder. Showing himself to be well accustomed with being right in the pocket throughout, everyone delivers the goods on this slightly/lightly left leaning jazz date where cooking is what it's all about. Very much a leading light for modern jazz.

GOODMAN-BORDENAVE QUINTET/Inverted Forest: Just when you think there's nothing new under the sun, along comes a guitar/sax led date like this where there's no manqué-ing around, no homage to ECM and nothing but subtle and graceful listening jazz with a chamber feeling but a progressive edge that dispenses with chamber niceness. A certain case for art for your ears, this is the kind of music that puts you in that place you often want to go, but you wouldn't have expected this to bring you there. Sit back and relax with your new sonic old friend. Check it out.

DORAN STUCKY STUDER TACUMA/Call Me Helium-The Music of Jimi Hendrix: Gil Evans tackled Hendrix, why not these Swiss all stars with their downtown ringer pal? 45 years after Hendrix turned to helium, jazzbos are still drawn to the racket he could raise and the depth he planted like time bombs along the way. Certainly not a gift shop record by any stretch of the imagination, this is a straight up blast of Hendrix showing how relevant he is to hell raisers still today.

DANIEL FORTIN/Brinks: The crafty bass player from Myriad3 and countless Canadian jazz dates steps out with his own debut under his own name and shows he has a taste for daddio stuff as he re-addresses progressive 50s vibes with modern ears. Not the kind of progressive stuff that makes you turn your ears away, this sound certainly makes you turn toward the music to dig all that's going on. Well done stuff that left of center ears are sure to appreciate.

DE'ANZA/Despertar: While she hails from this side of the border, you can hear how she's kept her roots in tact in this smashing efforts whose only flaw it that it's only an ep. Delivering her own mariachi noir sound, this is from a singer that doesn't know where her identity fits in and fuses things to her liking to craft the result that suits her. Even if you don't know what she's singing about, you'll be just as drawn to this as the Robert Rodriguez movies he was making on $6000 budgets. Heady stuff that takes the armchair traveler on a wild ride.

FIVE FINGERTIPS: Well produced indie pop or those looking for new sounds for dorm hallways as the new school year approaches.

GAETANO LETIZIA/Froggy & the Toads: The guitar ace wanted some fun and funk this time around and he finds it. With Mike Clark and Wilbur Krebs bringing up the rear, he gives his guitar free reign to sting at will and let his pals find the groove and lock it in. Tasty stuff that brings the whimsy without being jokey about it, this is what you want opening your ears as the summer heads into it's second half. The good times are really rolling here, steeped in solid but light hearted funk.

STARLIGHT GIRLS/Fantasm: Back when dinosaurs ruled the earth, Bangles put out a self released set that made you scratch your head and made you wonder when someone was going to give those gals a contract and a budget. Except for the attitude and the fortitude, these gals are nothing like those girls but you have to wonder hen someone is going to start mining this crew for the gold. Loaded with Goth lite, they've opened on the road for such a diverse bunch of acts that you have to think they can please almost anybody. Certainly coloring outside the lines, they don't color so far outside the lines that they won't hit today's left leaning pop bulls eye. Check it out.

Volume 38/Number 283
August 10, 2015
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2015 Midwest Record

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