What's New on WDCB... with Paul Abella
Rachael & Vilray – I Love a Love Song! (Nonesuch)
Rachael Price, of Lake Street Dive fame, is back with her second duet album with the guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Vilray. Just like their self-titled album in 2019, Vilray provides all of the songs, but on I Love a Love Song!, they’ve gone all-out with the backing band, and it makes a difference. Larry Goldings provides the keyboard work, David Piltch plays bass, Joe LaBarbara is the drummer, and with Rachael and Vilray up top, you get a charming, intimate sounding record that hints at Django and the Hot Club, but lands somewhere else entirely.
Yvonnick Prené – Listen! (Sunnyside)
I didn’t think that one of the early musical highlights of 2023 was going to be a Jazz harmonica record. But, here we are. Yvonnick Prené assembled an outstanding crew for Listen, with Jeremy Pelt on the trumpet, Dayna Stephens on tenor sax, Kevin Hays playing piano, Clovis Nicolas covering the bass duties, and drummer Bill Stewart holding the whole thing down. There’s a nice mix here of originals (“Mystic Minor” is a standout), Jazz classics (Miles Davis’ “Dig” and “Seven Steps to Heaven”) and standards (“She’s Funny That Way”). Tempos cook, arrangements swing, and this band came to PLAY. Watch out for this one. You’re going to be digging it as much as I do.
John Bailey – Time Bandits (Freedom Road)
Trumpeter John Bailey struck early in 2023 with a fantastic album with an excellent band. George Cables, Scott Colley and Victor Lewis combine with Bailey on Time Bandits to great effect. Bailey wrote some nice tunes for the session, like “Various Nefarious,” “Ode to Thaddeus,” and “Groove Samba.” This swinging album was a welcome surprise when it came across my desk, and I hope that you are just as enthused when you hear Time Bandits on WDCB!