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BANDA DE LOS MUERTOS: You gotta love this--a Mexican brass band from Brooklyn. Formed by two cats known for their associations with sitting down jazzbos and long hair music, they kick out the jams with other downtown jazzbo on a busman's holiday good time of a date that sounds like what would have happened if Raymond Scott was writing cartoon music for Mexican cartoons. Fun stuff that's not a joke, this is some intricately executed stuff that keeps it's eye on the prize as it deceptively takes you back to the 40s. This is way too cool for your average Brooklyn steam punk hipster---it's for the rest of us cool cats. Ole! Caliente, mi amigo.

LEROY POWELL & the Messengers/Overlords of the Cosmic Revelation: Work with me. Suppose Commander Cody was a young buck these days and knew his way around the alt.country ropes. He'd be making cosmic honky tonk like this. With as much psych as country in the mix, the message running throughout this set, from the comic book in the booklet to the sound and attitude, is that life is a big joke--enjoy the ride. We've got our ticket ready. At the very least, this is going to be a cult classic for generations to come. Check it out.

JOHN MAYALL/Find a Way to Care: One of the original 60s Brits that carpet bagged our blues and sold it back to us atones for the past by getting into a gritty, lo fi sounding date that takes it back to before white boys had the blues. Going for a load of deep cuts from the canon mixed in with his originals, this is prime I got the blues/I paid my dues stuff that shows you're never too old to rock the roadhouse all night long if you really want to.

BIXIGA 70/III: Wow. Contemporary Afro Brazilian mash up music that doesn't know any borders or boundaries, this big band knows how to bring it in top shelf style. With currents of crime jazz, funk, dub and more running through the proceedings, you'll find yourself delightfully off balance as this off beat charmer works it's magic on you. First rate instrumental music that really works wonders for your ears, words don't get in the way so even the most xenophobic gringo can roll up his shirt sleeves and get down. Killer stuff.

JON IRABAGON/Inaction is an Action: Irabagon's chops are never held for doubt, but sometimes he likes to dare you to like him. This is one of those times. Playing a solo set on mini sax, he has turned in the acoustic version of "Metal Machine Music". To paraphrase James Brown, how you like him now?

McCLAIN SULLIVAN/Rachel: It isn't easy to be a kid in music these days trying to work the corners of the mainstream. Competing with the history of music at everyone's fingertips without being derivative or too precious, they have an uphill fight. Sullivan comes prepared to fight. Dating mining some Rickie Lee, some Morrissette, some Ella and who knows who else, Sullivan finds the key to cook it all right with just the right seasoning to make it familiar and new at the same time. Coming at you from short left field, this is a great antidote to crumbs from the cookie cutter. I can feel a new star rising from indie land.

LONDON MEADER PRAMUK ROSS/Royal Bopsters Project: When it ain't done right, vocalese and vocal music can sound horribly corny as it tries to compete with everything from Swingle Singers to Manhattan Transfer. This bunch leaves the corn for corn muffins and even goes so far as to bring in original hipsters like Mark Murphy, Bob Dorough, Jon Hendricks and Annie Ross to keep them honest and on track. With the snap and verve of protean classics like "Everybody's Bopping" informing it's core, this is some of the hottest daddio cool music you are gong to come across in modern times. You knew those swinging singers in New York Voices had the goods in them but you couldn't have seen this jazz vocal classic without a really fine tuned crystal ball. Killer stuff that crosses every type of time and tide divide you can imaging. Check it out.

VINTAGE LATINO/various: The fun fact here is that all the tracks on this set were recorded in the modern era but they were recorded in such a way that you feel that these are authentic 50s Latin recordings. Not having it be acutely historic is a plus for modern ears actually. With an immersion in south of the border/pan Latin American sounds, you really do feel transported back to a time and place you probably never experienced. Solidly stacked throughout, this set will make you feel like you are having a sophisticated night out without leaving your back yard. One of the great audio getaways.

DAN TRUDELL/Plays the Piano: If you want to be a piano jazzbo that spent a lot of time in Chicago and say you want to get back to your roots, at some point you have to ditch the Hammond you bang on so righteously and serve up some original Ramsey Lewis Trio sounds. With a set card that has a lot of oldies and Matt Wilson on drums and Joe Sanders on bass, Trudell swings it like it's 1958 again and the London House is rocking. A tasty, skillful chopathon from some really on it cats, classic piano jazz fans will find nirvana in these bytes. By all means, check it out! Hot stuff.

PETE McCANN/Range: The chop laden jazzbo guitarist and his pals like to keep it away from the mainstream but their lightly left of center sound and fury still manages to bring you right into the tent. A tasty set that let's the chops fly with that kind of flow that makes it sound easier than it is, the different styles on display here come together as a nice whole and sitting down jazz has a new high water mark to behold. These are chops you can really dig in to.

Volume 38/Number 294
August 21, 2015
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2015 Midwest Record

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