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Improvijazzation Nation 

Issue # 45 REVIEWS:

 

Robin Butterfield & Llewellyn - HEALING MASSAGE:  We haven't had the pleasure of listening to Mr. Butterfield previously, but have reviewed (at least) a couple of Llewellyn's works before.  This journey is (as the title may imply) greatly therapeutic.  While it's true that "new age" fans will enjoy this music a great deal, it should not be "lumped" in the pile of throwaways that so many reviewers tend to heap such CD's in.  Extremely sensitive and relaxing, this music can heal the sorrows and put life back where blackness has been.  I've been the pleased recipient of many massages, especially during my (many) years in the Orient.  After getting past the "G.I." aspects of such (especially in Thailand) & finding folks who were doing it for more than just the greenbacks, it was clear that the touch of another could reach deep in to the soul & release the stresses that had built up.  Having experienced it, I know that this CD would be the perfect match for a massage session.  It allows the listener to escape into other states of mind... somewhat methodically, but that's (actually) part of the trance.  Piano, flutes, acoustic guitar and angelic (synthesized) voices ply the strings of the heart & you just float away.  Gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from me, even for those who might not find new age their (normal) cup of tea!  Contact at Musik International, 154 Botasso Rd., Boulder, CO 80302 (e-mail is musikintl@aol.com    ) Rotcod Zzaj

Automatic Music - AND IN ARCADIA I AM:  I believe this was a project of Fred Hall's (down North Carolina way, where our long-time playin' friend Bret Hart now resides).  In fact, if I remember right, Bret told me he was in on this project... hard to tell, as the CD has no credits on it.  It's a suitable mixture of styles, sure to turn any rabid rawk fan on instantly!  Strains of (one of my) heroes peek through, namely Beefheart, especially from the standpoint of the rhythms - about as rabidly "sdrawkcab" as you kin' get - & you all know THAT'S what I like about thee good Cp'n... his rhythm makes you LISTEN!  Be prepared for the strange, as you might expect from any project named "Automatic Music".  It is indeed much like stream-of-consciousness playing, & (tho' some might disagree), that ain't (at all) bad!  Bass was mixed a bit high on the intro to cut 5, but calmed down enough to be listenable.  In the overall, this rates a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating, no question.  Next time out, tho', let's have a lil' better labeling on th' koverz, pleez!  Contact at gmaniac@nr.infi.net 
or via their site, at http://216.33.240.250/cgi-bin/linkrd?_lang=EN&lah=d49a03360fc60610fb73ef406ff8d83c&lat=975371493&hm___action=http%3a%2f%2fartists2%2eiuma%2ecom%2fIUMA%2fBands%2fAutomatic_Music%2f   Rotcod Zzaj

Caroline Peyton - CELTIC CHRISTMAS SPIRIT:  This 'zine is known (around the world) for finding (receiving) music that, while often traditional, is different!  This CD is a wonderful example of that, in from our friends at Creative Service Company.  Though it certainly should be played/enjoyed during the season, the ancient spiritual strains can be enjoyed year 'round!  This kind of composition (from the ancient corners of man's voice in earliest Ireland) stirs memories most of us have - but (may) have forgotten.   I'm genuinely impressed with the high spirits it passes on to the listener, and the insights it offers to the musical roots we all share (whether we will admit to it or not).  Amurrikan Christians will, in many sectors, (not only) IGNORE this, they will decry it's existence as unholy, because it clearly conveys a sense of sadness overcome by the joy humanity can express when they share the collective spirit.  My own experiences with many in the "Christian" movement in our country tells me that they will FEAR this kind of spirit - put it down as some kind of "humanitarianism".  What a ridiminous notion!  This (not only) gets our MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, it is also the "PICK" of Y2K for "best spiritual music".  Contact through Creative Service Company, 4360 Emerald Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918... also via e-mail to creatserv9@aol.com   Rotcod Zzaj

Wobbleshop - BITTERGREEN:  Brian Holmes and Levi Nunez have put together one RAWKIN' lil' CD here!  It's a pleasure to hear a duo that's not just folk oriented!  Highly original, just about every instrument sound you can imagine & energy that just won't QUIT!  The accordion weavin' in & out of "Rural Dakota" (just th' kind of folk orientation you might imagine) distorted the lyrical image just finely - enuff to make it a CLASSIC single release, no doubt!  What makes me feel like a band/group "has it" is when comparisons fail!  These guys could be compared to lots of players, but if you try & reach out & SNAP a handle on them, their music immediately melts into something you didn't expect, & I don't know about YOU (dear reader), but I LOVE that kind of music, particularly when it has such potential!  The lyrics take me back to early '60's originality, deep phrases behind/under seemingly harmless words.  This not only gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, it gets the "PICK" of this issue for "best original CD"!  Simply superb & doesn't forget the most IMPORTANT element of what (I think) music orter be... FUN!  Contact at Big Record Company, 1460 7th St., #201, Santa Monica, CA 90401-2631, via email to  wobbleshop@bigrecordcompany.com or on their site, at (orb-viously), http://www.bigrecordcompany.com/   Rotcod Zzaj

Hellborg/Lane/Selvaganesh - GOOD PEOPLE IN TIMES OF EVIL:  Now, THIS album isn't something for the "normal" people!  I mean, if you want cheezed-up rehash disko trax or the "same ol' smooth jazz", turn on yer' RADIO, or watch TV!  If, on the other hand, you want your music to be an adventure... LISTEN to this!  Hellborg's bass is magical, weaving dreams down under Lane's lead guitar, with Selvaganesh's percussives balancing out what can only be described as a heavenly musical journey!  Super energies combine with the wizardry of truly creative spirits to form swirling portals to time(s) & space(s) most musicians (or listeners) can only dream of!  Imagine yourself at the entrance to a wormhole, waiting patiently for the rush(es) to begin... builds are slow, patterns ancient & you are being escorted by players with a perception of how the universe flows.  Hop ON this rhythmic rocket & indulge your wildest fantasies!  That's just the kind of musical journey you've been waiting for all these years, right?  Well, "GOOD PEOPLE" will "take you there" (as songsters used to say).  This is a wonderful example of what music ought to be... it's not only a "keeper", it's a timeless GEM!  Gets our MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED & the "PICK" of this issue for "best exploratory music".  Contact at Bardo Records, 522 LaGuardia Place, # 421, New York, NY 10001, or on their site at http://www.hellborg.com/   Rotcod Zzaj

Esteban Ramirez - WELCOME HOME:  This seems to be a time for sweet solo piano CD's... or, that's just how they fell in the stack - I'm not sure.  Either way, though, this is some wonderful and introspective original piano composition.  Mr. Ramirez is aided on four of the cuts by a live cellist, but the keys are the focus on the album, no doubt.  His compositions are lovely and enchanting, but somehow seem to emulate other players.  I wouldn't turn this album off, because it's sensitively and skillfully played, but I'm not sure I'd purchase it, either.  On the other hand, I realize that my penchant for uncharted waters & dangerous turf makes me a bad one to judge that for others.  Listeners who crave sounds that are more traditional will rate this (along with me) as HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.  A very enjoyable album, with a talented player/composer.   Contact through Creative Service Company, 4360 Emerald Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918... also via e-mail to creatserv9@aol.com   Rotcod Zzaj

Henri Dikongue - MOT'A BOBE:  The music on Henri's CD can be summed up (from my perspective, anyway) in two words - wonderfully energetic!  Of course, there's more to say, too.  His compositions combine the musics of cultures that hold joy high in their voices... Cuba, Africa, the Caribbean & others!  One of the most noticeable parts of his music(s) are the intricacy & interweaving of harmonies through & through.  I imagine his being a resident of Paris has much to do with the strong flavors of Europa that float in, around & under, too.  The title track slows things down to ballad speed, & we're treated to a (very) soulful rendering (even though it's in another langauge, the soul shines through).  Some NICE mixing on cut 4, real reggae orientation & some echo stuff that is very enchanting!  There are strong elements of jazz (or what we here in the Americas would consider such, anyway) on several of the cuts, with Latino leanings.  Anyone who couldn't get up & let their soul dance to this music belongs in a graveyard without doubt.  This transcends the "world music" pigeonhole that many reviewers will put it in.  It is (in my estimation) "Universal Music" that is clearly in synch with the spheres!  Gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from me!  Contact at Musik International, 154 Botasso Rd., Boulder, CO 80302 (e-mail is musikintl@aol.com    ) Rotcod Zzaj

Kyle Bruckmann - ENTYMOLOGY:  This MUST be what a bug's life is like!  Bruckmann is a MASTER at squeezing patterns we've never heard before out of his reeds.  I know (from watching folks like Jeffrey Morgan, live) that circular breathing & an ABSOLUTE focus on the moment are the only manner in which sounds like this can be discovered.  For the human ear, it's (usually) a far reach, unless you're on some kind of hallucinogen... not that we'd recommend that, as this excursion will elevate your spirits to levels that even the BEST blow can never attain (& that is the vox of experience, too).  Headphones are essential, & don't try & play this when mom's gonna' be yellin' for supper... you need a good solid 45 minutes of no interruptions to absorb this improvised adventure.  Is it recommended?  For those who need brain surgery, or those in search of what a mosquito feels like in it's darkest AND (most) joyous moments - it's MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - "regulars" should avoid this like the plagues (those skeeters tend to carry around).  Seriously?  This is one of the most intimate and best-blown solo excursions I've heard in (at least) 3 years!  GET it, if yer' at all into improvisation.  Contact at Barely Auditable Records, 2649 W. Walton, 3, Chichago, IL 60622, via email to mail@barelyauditable.com  or on their site, at http://www.barelyauditable.com/   Rotcod Zzaj

Marilynn Seits - KARMIC TRIBUTE: We reviewed an entirely different kind of CD by Marilynn in the last issue, ALONG THE SILK ROAD... this album features solo piano. Though the concepts are different (this round is straight-ahead traditional jazz), the spirit is clearly the same... creative, introspective & gentle (even in it's wildest moments). Readers/listeners who want piano jazz that serves as (only) background should go back to the K-mart racks - Marilynn's touch and interpretation (alone) is an adventure in/of itself. You will find yourself wrapped in memories of dark & smoky rooms (or whatever environment your first exposure to the jazz giants was). There are moments when it feels (& I'm not hyping at ALL) like her hands are acting like a medium in a weird jazz seance, letting Monk speak through her fingers - COOL! This is (according to her press kit) her first CD that's not all original music - & it's a SMASHING success! Well recorded, full of life & a tribute that will be well received by those artists (even the ones on the other side) she brings back to life for us! Gets our MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Contact at http://www.shadow.net/~jazznow/ms.html  or via e-mail to jazznow@shadow.net  ) Rotcod Zzaj

Gary Hassay/Dave Pollitt - DBOPS POLLITTICS:  Though I'm not 100% positive as to the political intent (& who would WANT to be, on an improvised album, anyway), this is one HECKUVVA CD!  Excursionary, there are trade-offs & switchbacks throughout between Gary's alto & Dave's violin highs & lows.  They were at a (relatively) slow pace, no scorchers speedwise, but from the standpoint of intricacy, this outing will astound even the most hardcore of improv listeners (& players, for that matter).  As with any improvised recorded music, it's much better in live performance, but Dave & Gary have managed to capture a great deal of that ambience through the close attention they pay to each other.  They also are able to avoid the "squeek/whistle" mode often associated with violin/sax improv, which will make it accessible to a much broader audience.  For the pure improv-head & the dabbler alike, this will be pure pleasure, & a "keeper"!  If you haven't "dabbled" (with improvised/freestyle music) before, this would be an excellent place to start.  It gets our MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, without qualification!  Contact at 743 N. 19th St., Allentown, PA 18104, or via email to dbops@voicenet.com   Rotcod Zzaj

Kolo - DIVERSIONS OF GRANDEUR:  If yer' dig dance trax that just keep on chooglin', you won't be able to pass this CD up!  Bass & beat heavy, as you might expect.  In fact, listening through for the third time (now) tells me that it's really bass-centric - to their credit, though, the bass mix is complimentary, & not (too) overpowering!  "Triple Agent" (track 3) has some nice lead-line synthwork, & in the overall, this has some excellent drum-work, too. If they wanna' make it better for next go-round, I'd really like to hear a lil' live lead guitar!   Horn sounds are a lil' cheezy (Casio, mebbe'?), but all-in-all, I'd give this a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (tho' only for those who need their daily hip-hop dose).  Contact at 411A Highland Ave., # 312, Somerville, MA 02114, via email to kolo@c-fom.com  or on the site at http://www.c-fom.com/   Rotcod Zzaj

Llewellyn - MOONLORE:  Deep - rich - cleansing - satisfying.  Those are the descriptors that come to mind for the music on this grand CD!  Celtic celebrations brought to vibrant life... even if you DON'T understand anything about what those traditions mean, Mr. Llewellyn's music will reach down to the depths and drag memories (regardless of your cultural background) up you never knew were there.  His compositions rely heavily on the ancient rhythms & finely crafted percussion, in addition to his excellent keyboard and synthesizer work.  You will find a multitude of (little) instrumentation weaving in & out, too, if you listen to this with headphones (strongly recommended).  I've been impressed by his skills since the first time we reviewed him, & have come to greatly appreciate the beauty in his compositions - you will too!  Sweet, sweet, sweet!  Gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from us!  Contact at Musik International, 154 Botasso Rd., Boulder, CO 80302 (e-mail is musikintl@aol.com    ) Rotcod Zzaj

Karen Nunis Blackstone - GIVE ME SANITY:  A blues lady of mixed cultural descent, Karen provides a very interesting and insightful collection of songs on this CD.  Nice solid acoustic guitar work throughout & some interesting percussion backgrounds - definitely not what you might expect with 'da blooz - but I thought it was a very healthy mix!  Her voice sounds (at times) like a mix between a cement truck that didn't quite get thee rocks all blended down before they started pouring & a Catholic choir girl (which she was at one time).  Her lyrics are poignant & penetrating, & she sings them with the searing qualities often associated with that good ole' soul music!  Genre-wise, it would probably fall out somewhere betwixt straight-up folk & Rickie Lee Jones best funk-lickz!  There are some GREAT bass lines on cut 5, "Out The Door"... in fact, it's my favorite track on th' album... slow & slinky, th' kind that sneaks UP on ya'  (wierd - an eastern flute sequence, with electric leads that remind one a lot of an old, old album called "Hardcore Jollies", by the Funkadelics)!  This is a great little excursion - you'll (not only) be glad you met her, you'll agree with me that this is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  Contact at Musik International, 154 Botasso Rd., Boulder, CO 80302 (e-mail is musikintl@aol.com    ) Rotcod Zzaj

Paul Winter and the Earth Band - JOURNEY WITH THE SUN:  A "journey" indeed!  Heavy "eastern" influences on this wonderful and enchanting musical trip/rock opera with Winter & folks like (Grateful Dead percussionist) Mickey Hart, cellist Eugene Friesen (any relation to bassist David, I wonder) & others.  There are moments on the first track when one MUST think mid-to-late '60's, when the Beatles were just "hooking in" to the Maharishi, hookahs & other shades of that whole aura of energy!  Paul's soprano is astounding, in every respect on each of the pieces, as you might expect... sharing, leading, riding & romping the sonic magic throughout!  The vocals by Arto Tuncboyaciyan are masterpieces in and of themselves, evoking images of both the beautiful and the sad - simply amazing.  Track 9, "Yaku",  (as you might expect) was my favorite, featuring some of Hart's RAMU (computer-linked percussives)... crystal clear recordings help to amplify the bouncing rhythms, culled from (nearly) all cultural backgrounds!  You won't find much more majick this year - GET THIS ONE, it's MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for anyone who enjoys music with high energy and thoughtful introspection.  Contact at Musik International, 154 Botasso Rd., Boulder, CO 80302 (e-mail is musikintl@aol.com    ) Rotcod Zzaj

Abby Rabinovitz - WE USED TO DANCE:  Well, it sounds (to me) like flutist Abby never forgot how to KEEP the rhythm going on this CD.  Searing energies through & through, this will keep you on the edge of your seat.  Think middle European when concentrating - but don't plan on it being a "sitting" - you will find yourself (first) tapping your toes, (then) wiggling other parts of your anatomy until (finally) you're up on your feet (after you look out the window to make sure no nosy neighbors are watching - or to invite them to c'mon & join in), dancin' yer' BUNZoff!  Ms. Rabinovitz is a skilled composer, but (more importantly), she is able to FEEL the bounce & convey the REAL through her music.  There are slower moments of intimacy, too, but for the most part, this is spirited music that will magick karpet you (very quickly) back to the passion of the dance!  Gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from us for those who enjoy music that lifts you UP!  Contact at B&K Communications, 411A Highland Ave., Suite 353, Somerville, MA 02144, or via e-mail to bandkcomm@aol.com  Rotcod Zzaj

Morning 40 Federation:  YOUNG BROTHER:  I'm STILL tryin' ta' figger out where TEKITO label got THIS band/CD.  Accordin' to their guitarist, Ryan Scully, the 40 is tied to "the 40's", which he perceived as a pretty sleazy time.  Dunno' 'bout that, but they DO play some sax-influenced rawkin' stuff that will sorta' remind you of world war.  Izzit' GOOD?  Ay-up!  Izzit' GREAT?  That prob'ly won't be determined until the NEXT war, but these boyz' from down New Orleans will have 'em dancin' inna' streetz UNTIL the bomb falls!  Tell ya', I really DIG this, people.  There are (believe it or not) even strains of one of Amurrika's rhythm-perversion HEROES in there, Cp'n Beefheart (in places), as well as lyrical reminders (somehow, in my twisted brain) of Unka' Frank (Zappa).  An even dozen cutz of temporary insanity that will last through until (at least) the 2040's!  Some reviewers would want to toss this kinda' music in thee JUNK BIN - but I rate it a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, because th' energy quotient is rippin', & it is without question a style of rawkin' you (just) don't (& won't) hear every day!  Contact at PMB # 432, 828 Royal St., New Orleans, LA 70116, or visit their website at http://www.crosswinds.net/~tekito/main.html  Rotcod Zzaj

Frank Gratkowski Trio - QUICKSAND:  Not the kind of improv that "mires" you down, as the title might indicate.  This CD (from a label we were only recently introduced to, "Meniscus", out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, of all places) features some very intriguing reed work by Frank, "racy" keyboards by Georg Graewe & magical percussives by Paul Lovens.  It was recorded in early '99 in Cologne, Germany (which makes me wonder if our old friend Jeffrey Morgan wasn't hangin' somewhere in the wings).  This is actually the first full-length work I've heard from Gratkowski, & it's a great way to start.  Most of the tracks feature the kind of intricacy only lovers can achieve, & I know (from experience) that (for musicians) requires complete focus & involvement with the moment!  Some reviewers (the kind who only listen to half a cut or two & then write) will write this off as "random", which (in their kind of reviews) somehow implies "unsound".  How WRONG they would be.  The thing that's most impressive about this recording is how well (and smoothly) the random blends.... & not into unintelligible mish-mosh, either.  Anyone with even the least amount of interest in improvised music will agree totally with me when I declare this HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.  It is truly one of the best improvised recordings I've listened to in Y2K!  Contact via the label page at http://www.drimala.com/meniscus/gallery.htm or email to morga041@tc.umn.edu   An interesting postscript to this review:  On December 9th, 2000, I happened to be glancing through the ENTROPY STUDIOS listings for upcoming performances.  Here's what I saw - Frank Gratkowski  and John Lindberg  It was far more than I had bargained for... Frank was HIGHLY impressive, as was John Lindberg.  Portions of the sax percussion solo on one of their duets was (not only) humorous, it was ON!  Lindberg's bass was solid through & through, & Gratkowski's smooth and flowing clarinet against that made for a splendid listen.   Th' comfortable atmosphere at ENTROPY helped (as it always does), too... 's a really nice place to listen to improv... THAT was my C-mas present!   Rotcod Zzaj

 

Our friend HENRY SCHNEIDER will now provide a "review interlude"... we genuinely thank him for getting back in touch with us & writing some reviews for us... enJOY!

Siren Circus Solid Poems on a Ghost of a Subject  (Carbon 7 C7-044, CD 57:56)    Somewhere between Nina Hagen, Laurie Anderson, and Philip Glass lies the musical territory of Siren Circus. Gothic images of twisted and sick relationships abound in this collection of 15 quirky songs by Anglo-Canadian sisters Cathryn and Lucie Robson. Cathryn and Lucie compose, sing, and play most of the instruments on these songs ranging in styles from intricate compositions to minimalistic ballads, from humorous tales to melancholic stories – in a mixture of cabaret and pop music. Solid Poems is a unique listening experience and an enticing choice for the adventurous listener.   Contact at Carbon 7 Records, 23, AV, General Eisenhower, B-1030 Brussels, Belgium; www.netbeat.com/carbon7   Henry Schneider – November 2000

Hardscore Surf, Wind, & Desire  (Carbon 7 C7-045, CD 65:54)   Not at all what you would expect for surf music, this is a far cry from Jan and Dean and the Beach Boys. The title is in fact an allusion to the band Earth, Wind, and Fire. What Hardscore accomplishes on this CD is immersing the listener in an aquatic world of crabs, sharks, cod, ships, and people through a hybrid of classical and rock instrumentations, firmly in the realm of Frank Zappa. There is a lot of surreal humor here. How else could you treat subjects like interactions between crabs, codfish, sharks, etc.? Hardscore is an amazing band that deserves your attention.  Contact at Carbon 7 Records, 23, AV, General Eisenhower, B-1030 Brussels, Belgium; www.netbeat.com/carbon7 Henry Schneider – November 2000

Slang Los Locos  (Carbon 7 C7-046, CD 46:31)   Slang is a trio of Francois Garny (bass), Manuel Hermia (woodwinds), and Michel Seba (percussion) from Belgium. Francois’ bass playing is extraordinary and is well complimented by Manuel’s sax and flute and Michel’s drumming. Garny brings the lowly bass to the musical forefront as a solo instrument. The resulting music is an amalgam of sophisticated jazz and ethnic themes. Not for the casual listener, Slang’s music demands your attention and is well worth your time and effort.   Contact at Carbon 7 Records, 23, AV, General Eisenhower, B-1030 Brussels, Belgium; www.netbeat.com/carbon7   Henry Schneider – November 2000

 

...we now return to our regularly scheduled reviewing...

Ron Imhoff - CHEMISTRY:  Believe it or not, we reviewed the 7th track on this CD, "Solitude", nearly 5 years ago.  Sometimes seems hard to believe how much music has passed thru this reviewers' ears in that span of time.  According to Ron, that song "was the foundation" for this recording.  Though he calls it "New Age Music", I think it leans away from that kind of labelling... his guitar work alone adds far more character than any "new soup" I've heard lately.  The other thing that makes a strong impression is the compositional skill he displays... clearly an "evolution" of the pieces that began with the "Solitude" track into clear sonic images of calm energies that will soothe even the most savage among us.  I keep coming back to his guitars, though... he blends them seamlessly to convey a sense of "undercurrent" that elevates (each of) the tunes to soaring... not "searing", but "high", if you can catch my drift.  Totally a D.I.Y. effort, to include some stunning cover art.  Gets our MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  Contact at Kookie Jar Records, Chemistry, POB 245, Glen Gardner, NJ 08826, or via email to chemistry@kookiejar.com    Rotcod Zzaj

Wilkins & Allen Quartet - PETTY THEFT:  Nothin' petty 'bout th' music they play, tho', folks!  Skip (Wilkins) has some of the best hands/fingers you've ever heard on a keyboard... highly energetic, with chords that stick to yer' ribs.  Jill (Allen) does flute more than poetic justice.  Clear tones & hot licks from both of these talented players.  Their special guest is none other than David Liebman... shows you what kind of stature, they've got, eh?  There is some RED-hot bass underpinning from Tony Martino & their drummer (Tom Whaley) keeps the driving energy going through & through!  Don't expect a blast of improvised stuff, though.  This is pretty straight-up jazz, no chaser, the kind that is intended to be listened to from start to finish.  What my ears keep coming back to (even though the flute stands out) is Wilkins' keyboards!  It's not just the mix, it's the CHOPS!  Some SUPER jazz to bid adieu to Y2K with & welcome the new year!  This is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for all fans of straight-up jazz with an edge.  Contact through Musik International, 154 Botasso Rd., Boulder, CO 80302 (e-mail is musikintl@aol.com    ) Rotcod Zzaj

Jovino Santos Neto - AO VIVO EM OLYMPIA (LIVE IN OLYMPIA):  You might know that Jovino would pick th' year I left thee majickland (of OlyWa) to perform there.  We've been listening to & reviewing his great jazz for (at least) 3 years now, & this CD captured a live performance that I wish I hadn't missed!  Sweet jazz, but not th' "smooth" stuff (that sounds like stale syrup).  His quintet is captured with full crowd noise, nice interactions & (most importantly) jazz that is A-L-I-V-E!!!  It sounds like it was a "full house" at the State theater that night to listen to Neto's amazing keyboards, energized reeds by Harvey Wannapel, deep bass by Chuck Deardorf, "just the right touch" drums by Mark Ivester & some lively percussion by Jeff Busch!  Actually, this is one of the best live recordings I've heard in the last 5 years or so... it really captured the moment and the music!  Jovino's keyboards speak to you, even if you're not the best listener around!  The players compliment each other all the way through this wonderful CD.  If you're a jazz aficionado, you'll agree when I declare this (nolo contendre) to be MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  Some GREAT jazz that your ears (& heart) will cherish for many years to come.  Contact at Liquid City Records, POB 4418, Seattle, WA 98104, or through the WWW site at http://www.liquidcity.com/   Rotcod Zzaj

The Timbre Project - FREE SOUVENIRS:  Some impressive acoustic pop balladry on this CD, but it doesn't stop there... moves right on into some rawkin' backbeat-oriented heavier rock stuph!  Flawlessly executed & very tight compz that will have ya' doin' more than just tappin' yer' lil' toezie-wozies!  This is a great recording, not sure why it didn't jump outta' th' stak a lil' earlier at me - I mean, this kinda' music is somethin' you'll find yer'self goin' back to.. & back to... & back to!  VERY high energy, lyrics that have a bite (but don't gnaw yer' leg off).  Th' odd beats on "Junkie Disco Girl" (trak 7) will keep ya' guessin' (that's why it was my favorite track)!  Another thing that was mighty attractive to these aural appendages is that they MIXED th' styles up, won't LET you get stuck in any ruts.  Only complaint (recordingwise) is that the vinyl album (or so it seemed) used for the intro/outro had too many scratches in it.  All in all, though, comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for those who dig on acoustic/electric folk/kowboy/rawk that'll keep yer' blood pumpin'!  Contact at POB 426006, Cambridge, MA 02142, or via email to malcom@fivedollarmilkshake.com   Rotcod Zzaj

 

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