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New Releases Spotlight: Week of January 23, 2017

January 23rd, 2017

This week in the Music Lounge, our music director Paul Abella reviews three new discs!

Hey everyone!  Let’s take a look at three new releases that we’ve been spinning on ‘DCB Jazz. 


Saxophonist Dan Pratt has a new disc out called Hymn for the Happy Man.  He’s joined by an all-star crew here, including  Mike Eckroth on piano, bassist Christian McBride and Gregory Hutchinson on drums.  Together, the four of these guys really work up some steam on a mostly original program of tunes.  "Warsaw" is my favorite, as McBride plays a bass-line reminiscent of Charles Mingus, with a sparse melody that serves as a jumping off point for some tasty solos.  "Gross Blues" is also a great jam, and the up-tempo version of "Speak Low" sounds great too. 


Greg Osby’s label, Inner Circle Music, puts out stellar discs, especially over the last couple years, and one artist that they’ve given some more visibility to is saxophonist Troy Roberts.  His latest, Tales & Tones, is a fantastic collection with stellar players – pianist Silvano Monasterios, alongside Robert Hurst and Tain Watts on bass and drums. Tales and Tones is an exciting disc, filled with a ton of energy, that provokes and engages, whether on the well written originals like "Decoration," or the very cool version of the standard "Bernie’s Tune."  If you like your jazz aggressive, you’re going to love this one.


Finally, we hear from one of the greats on the Chicago Jazz scene, guitarist John Moulder.  His latest, Earthborn Tales of Soul and Spirit, is just astounding!  Not only does Moulder bring his usual A game, with a unique tone and an exciting way of approaching music with excellent song-writing, but he’s assembled a pretty jaw dropping crew around him: Donny McCaslin on tenor, Marquis Hill on trumpet, Jim Trompeter on piano.  The bass and drum duties are shared by a Chicago “who’s who”: Eric Hochberg, Steve Rodby, Larry Gray, Paul Wertico, Xavier Breaker and Kalyan Pathak.  The end result here is a world class album. I hope you dig it as much as I do!


Next week, we’ll dig into some new music from Chicago drummer Gustavo Cortiñas, vocalist Curtis Stigers and guitarist Mark Whitfield! ‘Til then, keep your ears open!