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ANDREA WOOD/Kaleidoscope: Moving past daddio and into groovy chick singer jazz, the high voiced gal shows she knows a thing or two about writing and producing that goes beyond just standing there and singing. Feeling like a TBT to when jazz clubs were adding light shows to stay hip, this set runs on much more than mere attitude. A jazz singer for the nu millennium, Wood hits it out of the park and already has us looking forward to more. Check it out.

LINDA CALISE/La Vie-My Life: A well traveled jazz singer that has worked with loads of first call names finds herself going back to her roots in the great American song bag and giving the chestnuts a nice workout with a full band relieving you of all tasks but to sit back and enjoy. Sounding like she knows her way around a cabaret mic, Calise is a solid, sophisticated gal that isn't afraid to show emotion and knows there's more to it than just hollering. Nice stuff.

PHIL HAYNES/Sanctuary: Following in the footsteps of Famadou, Jack de Johnette and other progressive types, this drummers first solo album is a solo album. Yep, an hour of various percussion/modern music that was given rise at the behest of WDR in Germany. Although he's talented and creative, this is a journey for the truly committed drum enthusiast.

SMOKY GREENWELL/Live at the Old U.S. Mint: When it comes to white boys tearing it up blues style in Nawlins, Greenwell is one of the big fishes swimming in that pond. Tearing into things with his harp like it was marinated in west side Chicago sauce, him and his jamming pals know how to make a party come to life. As smoky as his nickname, Greenwell is a crowd pleaser that has put in his time with live audiences over the last 45 years. He might not play the same harp as the angels but he certainly raises a heavenly racket. Check it out.

JOSH MAXEY/Celebration of Soul: What can you say about a guitarist that likes to push the boundaries, rounds up a bunch of well credentialed jazzbos to help him out while he takes the whole thing to places John Fahey was only dreaming about? How about wow? While Fahey certainly wasn't for everybody, Maxey might well not be for everybody either but if you want to go to those ethereal places Fahey was often headed, Maxey shows up as a pretty good guide. Check it out.

CAUSTIC CASANOVA/Breaks: Three piece power trio with a singing chick drummer bringing up the rear, these cats merge power pop with heavy metal and know how to bring the noize. College age malcontents, you are not alone in this world.

DAVID DEVEAU/Siegfried Idyll: This is the kind of award winning classical piano man that's for the serious classical listener. It's like Tina Turner says, this is for people who like it rough. You have to sit down and pay attention because Deveau delights in tackling challenging works and bringing them home from left field without making the trip easy. A talented cat that plays right into the hands of those that really want it real---no matter what the genre.

SINNE EEG/Eeg-Fonnesbaek: The pre-eminent jazz vocalist in Scandinavia hooks up with the pre-eminent bass player in Denmark and the two deliver an art chick tour de force. She stays away from the tortured artist effect, even when doing down feeling songs, but how much room is there for a voice/bass set to roam without landing in art chick territory? A smart introduction to these shores as the hipper than thou will have their chance to discover her first, next time around the rest of us would like to hear her with some meat on those bones.

JEFF BENEDICT BIG BIG BAND/Holmes: The unmistakable sound of a pro hard at work, this ultra groovy big band bowls you over right from the first note. Swinging with a solid vibe and delighting with the on point playing, whether doing covers or originals the playing is the center ring attraction and it never hits a wrong note. Tasty throughout, this is killer stuff that big band jazzbos will salivate for. A winner that doesn't let you down, the coolest thing about it all is that there's isn't a corny move in the lot. Great stuff.

CLAUDETTES/No Hotel: The high octane duo expands here to a sometimes three piece and keeps the fire burning. Nawlins byway of dive bars around the country but starting in Chicago, they still play like people possessed and raise a real ruckus that goes great with PBR. Another well conceived round of crazy stuff for crazy times played loud and proud.

Volume 38/Number 288
August 15, 2015
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2015 Midwest Record

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