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MICHAEL GALLANT/Live Plus One: The nerve racking thing about indie artists that impress you is that you never know if you'll hear from them again--or ever. Gallant comes back to disc after a few years away with a tasty jazz piano set that finds the sweet spot between the masters he loved and the punk rock he grew up with. Fear not listeners, the masters win out in presentation. With a load of tracks in his bag that make him sound like anything from an accompanist to a silent movie to a jazz rocker letting his freak flag fly, Gallant knows his business inside out. Fun stuff from a former journalist that quit writing about jazz and got down to actually playing it. Well done throughout.

DANIEL GUAQUETA/Saying is Only Saying So Much: Multi culti street pop from a new kid already making his bones on the awards circuit. It might only be ep length but there's a lot here for kids to dig into.

TERAKAFT/Alone: A cat that works with Robert Plant heads out to the Mali Sahara desert and finds a crew that would love to know more about electricity yielding a session that sounds like "Spirit in the Sky" meets "The Lion Sleeps Tonight". This isn't kumbyaa music, this is some rocking stuff that multi culti youngsters would go see at the next festival. Party music in any language, this is some wondrous world beat that spins the old globe on it's axis in fine style. Check it out.

ANIMATION/Machine Language: The late Bob Belden had a good enough day job at the major labels that he had room to experiment off the clock with some pretty well rounded pals. Here we find his last experimental session where he reaches down to find his inner Ken Nordine meeting up with his inner Miles Davis for a commercially flavored, non-commercial set where sci fi runs the table and the soul of machines is looked at in an operatic fashion. A wild set that's not so left field that it'll scare off those not firmly camped out in left field, a combo like Belden hanging out with Kurt Elling and Bill Laswell will not leave you hanging in a ditch. Certainly a must for those who like it bold and out of the ordinary.

PETER PAULSEN TRIO/A Few Thoughts: We're always up for a smoking piano trio even if it's led by a bass player. Smart little session from a professor that got the university to kick in for the session, everyone here hits all the right notes at the right times and the set's agenda to give you a smoking good time is fulfilled. Solid mainstream jazz that works throughout.

I AM DALE EARNHARDT: Well NASCAR fans, are you ready for three hours digging into one of the genre's late heroes showing a warts and all presentation about a cat that vacillated between being a true champ, a wrestling flavored bad guy, a guy that never met an ad opportunity he didn't like and a winner throughout his 20 years spinning laps around the track? Not your basic rip and run cable bio, this is a treasure trove for the hard core fan that still can't believe he's been gone over a decade.

Volume 38/Number 307
September 2, 2015
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2015 Midwest Record

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