What's New on WDCB... with Paul Abella
Joshua Redman – Where Are We (Blue Note)
Saxophonist Joshua Redman has a new album out, and it’s his first for Blue Note Records. Where Are We is a collection of songs about places. Pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Joe Sanders and drummer Brian Blake are the quartet that makes the most intriguing music on the album. The instrumental arrangements of Gabriel Kahane’s “Baltimore,” the Rodgers & Hart standard “Manhattan” and John Coltrane’s “Alabama” are gorgeous, and I look forward to getting to share them with you on DCB Jazz.
Krasno/Moore Project – Book of Queens (Concord)
Guitarist Eric Krasno (from Soulive) and Drummer Stanton Moore (Galactic) have known each other for years, so when they roped in organist Eric Finland for an album and tour, lots of folks (present company included) were excited. I went to the show, bought the CD and jammed it at excessive volumes for my whole block to hear. Finally, Book of Queens has seen an official release on Concord Records. An album of songs associated with some great female singers, from Peggy Lee’s “Fever” to Aretha Franklin’s “A Natural Woman” to Amy Winehouse’s “You Know I’m No Good” to Sharon Jones & the Dap Tones’ “Nobody’s Baby” to H.E.R.’s “Carried Away,” there’s a lot of inspiration going on throughout Book of Queens. This is modern organ trio funk packed with New Orleans’ greasy grit.
John Lang – Earotica (Cellar Music)
Bassist and composer John Lang wrote a bunch of tunes for a fairly large ensemble and collected the whole crew in Connecticut last year. Earotica is the result of those efforts. By looking at the cover art and seeing the title of the album, I was expecting the space-age bachelor pad music of Esquivel, Martin Denny or Yma Sumac. Instead, what you get is a swingin’ album by an all-star band that includes trombonist John Mosca, baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan and pianist Roberta Piket amongst its twelve members. “Sight Unseen” is an upbeat highlight, and the sole Jazz classic here, Horace Silver’s “The St. Vitus Dance,” gets a slow and stately introduction before settling into a classic, swinging, mid-tempo Silver-esque groove. “Payable in Hats,” “Flotando” and “So You Say” get more modern in their approach, and “Poetry in Commotion” definitely feels like Lang was listening to Charles Mingus when he sat down to write it. In other words, Earotica might have a little something for everyone.