What's New on WDCB... with Paul Abella
The Reid Hoyson Project – Your Move (RHP)
Drummer Reid Hoyson’s latest project, Your Move, features him with two ensembles: a “small” six-piece group with Keith Bishop’s tenor sax front and center, and a larger eight-piece band with multiple horns. That larger ensemble really shines on the Jaco Pastorius classic “Three Views of a Secret.” The smaller group sounds nice on the standards that they run through, including a nice jam on Sonny Stitt’s “The Eternal Triangle.” If you like swinging, straight down the middle, no frills, no questions asked, straight ahead Jazz, you’re going to love Your Move.
Various Artists - Relief: A Benefit for the Jazz Foundation of America’s Musicians’ Emergency Fund (Mack Ave)
As anyone who has been alive and awake for the past couple of years knows, it’s been a tough slog. And Jazz musicians lived for a good long while without income from gigs, decreased income from teaching and the threat of COVID hanging over their heads. With that in mind, some of the biggest names in the Jazz world contributed tracks to Relief: A Benefit for the Jazz Foundation of America’s Musicians’ Emergency Fund. Cecile McLorin Salvant gives us a Bessie Smith classic, “Easy Come, Easy Go Blues,” Jon Batiste hands in a nice version of “Sweet Lorraine,” and Kenny Garrett introduced the world to “Joe Hen’s Waltz.” A good album for a good cause? I’ll be looking forward to playing it for you on DCB Jazz.
Dave Stryker – As We Are (Strikezone Music)
It’s a new year, and that means a new album from guitarist Dave Stryker. Stryker deviates from what has been his usual form for some time now by eschewing the guitar/organ/vibes/drums format that he’d been favoring and trying something different. Different, this time, means a four-piece string section and an acoustic band with Julian Shore handling the piano duties, John Patitucci playing the bass, and Brian Blade behind the drums. Stryker takes to this new ensemble like a fish to water on a program of mostly original songs. The only nod to his Eight Track albums is a lovely version of Nick Drake’s “River Man.” “Lanes” and “One Thing at a Time” are the solid swingers, and “Soul Friend” hits a delicious mid-tempo groove. Sure, a little bit of strings goes a long way, but on As We Are, they’ve been thoroughly woven into the fabric of the ensemble, and it’s a fantastic record.