What's New on WDCB... with Paul Abella
Addison Frei – Time and Again (Next Paradigm Records)
Pianist Addison Frei has been becoming an ever more in-demand sideman as of late, and hearing him on his latest album, Time and Again, gives us some clues as to why. Joined by an outstanding bass/drum tandem of Ben Wolfe and Terreon Gully, Frei is at times contemplative, at times swinging, at times aggressive and at times loose and bluesy. There’s some late-period Bill Evans in his playing with rubato ideas opening up into main themes with beauty and precision on a handful of the songs, and these ears definitely hear the influence of Ahmad Jamal in his approach as well. “Relaxin’ with Luca” swings at a nice, easy tempo, and “Ramble for FK” is a funky, off-kilter groover that I really enjoy. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it, too!
Samuel Mosching – Ethereal Kinks (self-produced)
Guitarist Samuel Mosching recently put out his debut album, Ethereal Kinks, and it is an interesting one. Save for three tracks, Mosching plays all of the instruments himself. Over the course of the CD, I’ve come to find that Mosching is an effective bassist and drummer, staying right in the pocket and keeping things focused on the groove. But, because we’re here to hear Mosching the guitarist, he turns up the heat on the six-string front, and he does not disappoint. “Indigenous” comes the closest to out and out swinging here, and it works. On “The Belief in Magic,” Mosching finds the line between Jazz, Funk and Rock, and rides it perfectly. It really is a cool tune. I hope to get to play some of these Ethereal Kinks for you soon!
The Night is Alive All-Stars - Old New Borrowed & Blue (Night is Alive)
Night is Alive is a relatively new label, but they’ve already put out a few fantastic albums, and now they’re back with a star-studded effort called Old New Borrowed & Blue. Led by pianist John DiMartino, this band is stacked…Joe Magnarelli plays trumpet, Wayne Escoffery is on the tenor sax, Lonnie Plaxico is the bassist, and Willie Jones III is behind the drum kit. Put a band like that in the room, and all you have to do is hit record. From the first moments of “Hudson River Wind,” it’s clear that this is going to be an excellent listen. “Tune for Mr. T” gets good and funky, “Tell Me Why” has a dark and brooding minor mood, and “Blue and Sentimental” is a lovely ballad feature for Escoffery and DiMartino. If you’re looking for an absolutely straight ahead hard bop album in 2022, you’d be hard pressed to do better than Old New Borrowed & Blue.