What's New on WDCB... with Paul Abella
Libby York – DreamLand (OA2 Records)
Vocalist Libby York is back with a new album called DreamLand. This is a unique album, with an incredibly laid-back vibe (thanks to Randy Napoleon’s guitar, Rodney Whitaker’s bass and their sparse playing throughout). York isn’t afraid to drift away from the Great American Songbook, looking to Abbey Lincoln (“Throw It Away”) Antonio Carlos Jobim (“This Happy Madness”) and even Barry Manilow (“When October Goes”) for material and inspiration. The standards that are here, like “Something Cool,” “Mountain Greenery” and the always amusing “Rhode Island is Famous For You” are all standouts.
Joe Chambers – Dance Kobina (Blue Note)
Drummer, composer and bandleader Joe Chambers is back with a new album in 2023 called Dance Kobina. Joined by two separate bands, we see Chambers with an East Coast group featuring Rick Germanson on piano and Mark Lewandowski on bass, and we also get to hear him with a Motreal based group co-led by pianist Andres Vial. Both groups explore Jazz, Afro-Latin and African music with plenty of depth and excitement. Vial’s contributions, like “Dance Kobina” and “City of Saints” are impressive, as are the arrangements of Chambers’ compositions of the past (“Caravanserai”) and classics from the pen of Joe Henderson (“Power to the People”) and Kurt Weill (“This is New”).
Dave Stryker – Prime (Strikezone)
Dave Stryker has been busy these past few years. What, with his Eight-Track Quartet making their way through the pop hits of the late ‘60s and ‘70s, his tributes to his former boss Stanley Turrentine and albums with the WDR Big Band and a string section all making a splash, and now, he’s back with a stripped down group on his latest, Prime. Organist Jared Gold and drummer McClenty Hunter round out this trio which got together in one day to rip through 9 of Stryker’s grooving compositions. Stryker and company are in prime form throughout, and songs like “Captain Jack,” “Dude’s Lounge,” and “As We Were” are all worth multiple listens.