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What's New on WDCB... with Paul Abella

July 17th, 2023

Altin Sencalar – In Good Standing (Posi-Tone)

Altin Sencalar is a trombonist originally out of Austin, Texas, and a relatively new name on the larger national Jazz scene. His fifth album, In Good Standing, finds him playing with an excellent crew and covering a lot of ground. Diego Rivera & Patrick Cornelius play reeds, and what seems to be the official Posi-Tone rhythm section of Art Hirahara, Boris Kozlov and Rudy Royston hold down the fort and swing hard throughout. Tommy Flanagan’s “Minor Mishap” gets a cool arrangement that hints at Afro-Cuban Jazz. Sencalar also visits the songbooks of Wayne Shorter on “Fall,” Horace Silver on “Nutville” and Jack Wilson on “Do It,” but the other seven songs, including the nicely swinging “Walk Around” and the groovy samba “Homenaje a Armando” were composed by Altin.

Steven Feifke – Catalyst (La Reserve)

Over the course of previous few albums, bandleader, arranger, composer and pianist Steven Feifke has proven himself to be quite force to be reckoned with. On Catalyst, he’s produced another star-studded effort featuring trumpeter Benny Benack III, saxophonists Alexa Tarantino and Ched Lefkovitz-Brown and vocalists Bryan Carter and Martina DeSilva. Whether hearing Feifke’s originals like “The Promised Land” or Jazz classics like “Stablemates,” Catalyst proves itself to be a winner.

Don Braden – Earth, Wind and Wonder 2 (Creative Perspective Music)

Saxophonist Don Braden is back with a second volume of Earth, Wind and Wonder, featuring the music of Earth, Wind and Fire (three songs), Stevie Wonder (four songs), and Don Braden (two songs). Braden doesn’t have to do much to these songs to make them excellent Jazz tunes; after all, their songs could arguably be called the modern day Great American Songbook. So, “In the Stone,” “Send One Your Love,” and “That’s the Way of the World” all sound right at home on a straight-ahead Jazz record. Of course, I should mention Braden’s excellent songs as well. “Arise” and “Profusion” are both as tasty uptempo swingers. Which means that all in all, Earth, Wind and Wonder 2 is a fun album that I know I’ll enjoy playing for you.

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