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What's New on WDCB... with Paul Abella

March 15th, 2021

Joe Chambers: Samba de Maracatu (Blue Note)

The biggest shock on Joe Chambers’ first album in five years, Samba de Maracatu, is just how mellow it is. Now, that’s not a bad thing; this is a gorgeous set of songs. "You And the Night And the Music" gets a solid, straight ahead reading, and the Horace Silver classic "Ecaroh" gets handled about as gently as it’s ever been. Some of the most interesting moments on the album come through the magic of overdubbing, with Joe on vibes, Latin percussion and drums, creating a much bigger, denser and intriguing group. This is a cool album, and one you’ll be hearing frequently on WDCB.

Veronica Swift: This Bitter Earth (Mack Avenue)

Vocalist Veronica Swift is gifted with a beautiful voice, and she uses it with vigor, swing and a big fat dollop of attitude, too. On This Bitter Earth, she’s put together an interesting batch of tunes. The standards here stand out for their unique arrangements, so, be sure to check out her versions of "Getting To Know You", "The Man I Love" and "This Bitter Earth".

Roberto Magris & Eric Hochberg: Shuffling Ivories (JMood)

Italian pianist Roberto Magris has teamed up with Chicago bassist extraordinaire, Eric Hochberg, for the duet album Shuffling Ivories. As one might imagine, this is a slightly hushed, intimate affair, and my oh my does it cover a lot of ground. Magris’ originals are sprinkled throughout a program that also includes music from Eubie Blake, Cal Massey and Andrew Hill, and it all impresses. The title track has hints of Ornette Coleman’s bluesiest writing, and I’m a fan.