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New Releases Spotlight: Week of May 12, 2014

May 13th, 2014

This week in the new releases section of The Music Lounge, we’re going to be taking a look at some new CDs that are making their way onto WDCB’s airwaves. 

Sonny Rollins - Road Shows, Volume III: This is Sonny’s third installment in his Road Shows series (and his first for the newly reactivated Okeh Records).  Sonny’s up to his usual tricks with his touring band, which features Chicagoan Bobby Broom on a few cuts, and his nephew, Clifton Anderson on trombone.  We’ll be featuring most everything off this disc in the next few months. Cuts deserving special recognition include "Someday I’ll Find You," and "Don’t Stop the Carnival," which finds Sonny playing Calypso rhythms with the same tasty groove that he brings to "St. Thomas."


Bria Skonberg - Into Your Own: Bria is cut from roughly the same ‘jazz-meets-pop’ cloth as Norah Jones or Madeleine Peyroux – and in Skonberg’s case, she’s taking it in some really interesting directions.  There’s definitely a deep trad-jazz vibe to what she does, and at her jazziest, she wouldn’t sound out of place next to Chicago’s own Fat Babies.  But, she’s got a wicked sense of humor too!  Check out her version of "Three Little Words" where she works in all of the horn lines to Stevie Wonder’s "Sir Duke."


Curtis Stigers - Hooray For Love: Crooner Curtis Stigers is back with a new album, a mostly standards affair called Hooray For Love.  Stigers is in fine voice throughout, and one of the finest moments on this disc is his duet with Cyrille Aimee, "You Make Me Feel So Young."  (WDCB listeners might remember Aimee’s voice from her work on the Chicago Jazz Orchestra’s album Burstin’ Out.)  Also of note are the three originals, "Give Your Heart to Me," "A Matter of Time" and the title track.  In fact, they just might be the highlights!


Steve Kroon - On the One: Percussionist Steve Kroon has long been a fixture of New York’s Jazz scene, and has often been heard on bassist Ron Carter’s recordings for Blue Note.  His latest, On the One is a tasty Latin jazz album that grooves heavily throughout.  The instrumentation is nice here too… vibes and flute make for a really nice and unique front line sound that immediately grabs the ear.  The version of “As Time Goes By” is a really nice treat.


Abigail Riccards - Every Little Star:  Jazz fans in Chicago who have made their way to storied venues like the Green Mill, the Jazz Showcase, Pete Miller’s, Katerina’s (and others) may already be familiar with Abigail.  An outstanding vocalist who came to Chicago from New York, her latest CD, Every Little Star is a beautiful disc featuring stellar guitarist Peter Bernstein, Bill Evans alum Eliot Zigmund on drums, and others.  Fellow vocalist Jane Monheit makes a guest appearance in a really nice duet on Joni Mitchell’s "Circle Game."


Juan Pastor - Chinchano: Drummer and percussionist Juan Pastor is striking out on his own after appearances on discs by the Chicago Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble , Darwin Noguera and Hood Smoke.  His debut disc, Chinchano blends jazz and Afro-Peruvian sounds, with the help of some young Chicago notables, like Stu Mindeman, Rich Moore and Marquis Hill.  This is a very interesting disc, crackling with energy and musical ideas that you don’t hear too often.  Turn this one up when you hear it on WDCB!


And that’s not all!  On the overnights, we’ll be playing music from Fareed Haque’s latest Trance Hypothesis, and Harvey Mason’s Chameleon, a tip of the hat to jazz in the ‘70s.