What's New on WDCB... with Paul Abella
The Harry Allen Orchestra – With Roses (Triangle 7)
Harry Allen, a swinging tenor saxophonist, dons another hat on his latest album, becoming a big band leader on With Roses. This is an interesting album all the way around, featuring the compositions of Roger Frankham, and on 9 of the 10 songs, the vocals of Lucy Yeghiazaryan. Lucy’s an excellent vocalist that I am sure we’ll be hearing more from in the coming years, and Allen’s arrangements on With Roses are lush, pretty and lightly swinging. I’m impressed. I think you will be, too.
Clark Gibson – Counterclock (Cellar Music)
Alto Saxophonist Clark Gibson has put together an impressive band for his latest album, Counterclock. Joined by trumpeter Sean Jones, trombonist Michael Dease, organist Pat Bianchi, drummer Lewis Nash, and on a few tracks, vibraphonist Nick Mancini, Counterclock is a swinging, greasy album with toe tapping grooves and tasty solos all around. “Conflict” and “Counterclock” are a solid way to start the album, and wherever “Harding Place” is, this song makes me want to go there, with its sultry bossa nova rhythm. George Gershwin’s “Embraceable You” is the only standard here, and it’s the lone live, in-person performance as well. Things end of a fantastic note, with Gibson’s “Boptude,” where he breaks out the baritone sax at a burning tempo. We all love some organ jazz around here at WDCB, and Counterclock is a nice addition to the mix in 2023.
Sammy Figueroa – Searching for a Memory (Asche)
The excellent percussionist Sammy Figueroa has recently released a new album, a tribute to his father called Searching for a Memory. Sammy’s father was the bolero singer Charlie Figueroa, and Searching for a Memory is filled with the elder Figueroa’s songs. On some of these, like “Like the Whispering Palms” and “The Fault of Fate,” vocalist Aymee Nuviola steps in to sing Charlie’s lyrics. On others, like “You Will Be Mine” or “Longing,” they’re arranged as instrumentals, giving plenty of solo space to pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba or saxophonist Miguel Zenon. I know you’ll be hearing this on the Latin Bit and throughout the day on DCB Jazz.