What's New on WDCB... with Paul Abella
Artemis – In Real Time (Blue Note)
The all-star group Artemis has reconvened their second album, In Real Time. The band remains intact from their 2020 debut, which means you’ve got top-notch players at every position: Trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, Nicole Glover and Alexa Tarantino on woodwinds, Renee Rosnes at the piano bench, Noriko Ueda playing bass, and Allison Miller behind the drums. The band members composed most of the songs here, save for Lyle Mays’ “Slink” and Wayne Shorter’s beautiful ballad “Penelope.” Miller’s “Bow and Arrow” is a standout for me, as is Ueda’s “Lights Away from Home.”
Ken Fowser – Resolution (WJ3 Records)
Saxophonist Ken Fowser’s new album is a swinger from the very first note. Resolution is stacked not only with some great, mainstream Jazz, but also blessed with an immensely talented roster. Jeremy Pelt (trumpet), Peter Bernstein (guitar), Rick Germanson (piano), Gerald Cannon (bass) and Willie Jones III (drums) are phenomenal players one and all. So, stick ‘em all in a room and let them rip through 8 grooving tunes? The results are exactly what you’d expect. The band comes tearing right out of the gate on “All Avenues.” “Vanishing City” and the standard “Autumn in New York” are a couple of the mellow high points, and “Resolution” is reminiscent of some of my favorite mid-60’s Miles Davis moments.
Behn Gillece – Between the Bars (Posi-Tone)
Within the span of the first 10 seconds of the title track to Behn Gillece’s new album, Between the Bars, you realize you’re probably in for something special. Gillece and his vibraphone have found an empathetic rhythm section in Art Hirahara (keyboards), Peter Slavlov (bass) and Vinnie Sperrazza (drums). And while we don’t hear a peep from them until a minute into the second track, “Mindful Moments,” the three piece horn section of Patrick Cornelius and Diego Rivera on saxophones and Altin Seneclar trombone plays beautifully. They really come alive on “Due Up Next,” which feels like a long lost mid-60’s Blue Note jam, and the very up-tempo romp “Apogee,” which swings hard. “It’s Like Magic” hears Gillece and Hirahara working together at a couple of different tempos throughout its five and a half minute runtime, and Sam Rivers’ gorgeous ballad “Beatrice” makes a welcome appearance here, too. The phrase “something for everyone” is not usually a description you want used to describe your art, but on Between the Bars, nearly any Jazz listener is going to hear something that they like, and that’s an impressive feat, indeed.