What's New on WDCB... with Paul Abella
Fred Cantu and His Big Band: M.F.G. (self-produced)
Chicago-based trumpeter Fred Cantu can be seen with his small group in and around town. But for now, anyway, the only place to hear his big band is on his new album M.F.G. With nice arrangements, and a band that is chock full of veterans of the Chicago big band scene, the result a solid group putting out a solid recording. There’s a lot that reminds me of Maynard Ferguson’s ensembles here, and if you dig that sound, you’re going to love hearing this on WDCB.
Dr. Lonnie Smith: Breathe (Blue Note)
Dr. Lonnie Smith has released a string of great albums in the past few years, and his latest, Breathe, keeps the streak going. Featuring horns on a few tunes, and his longtime rhythm section of Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar and Jonathan Blake on the drums, this disc is full of tasty grooves. From the abstract funk of Thelonious Monk’s "Epistrophy" to the fat Coltrane-esque swing of "Bright Eyes", there’s a lot to enjoy here.
David Kikoski & Boris Kozlov: Sure Thing (High Note)
Pianist David Kikoski and bassist Boris Kozlov have released the excellent duo CD Sure Thing. There are some fine compositions here from Kikoski, as well as music from Chick Corea, John Coltrane and Jerome Kern, which are all expected. The standout moment on the album, however, is the reading of Keith Emerson’s "Fugue from the Endless Enigma". I never would have thought that it would work as a Jazz song, but, it works marvelously. Sure Thing is filled with those kind of smile inducing moments.