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New Releases Spotlight: Week of September 12, 2016

September 12th, 2016

This week in the Music Lounge, our music director Paul Abella reviews three new releases, including: a wonderful piano trio, a fantastically grooving session from drummer Steve Fidyk and homegrown grooves from Chicago’s own Brent Kimbrough and Company !


Alright, let’s start this week’s review of new discs off with a bang!  Pianist Edward Simon has just put out a new album called Latin American Songbook, with Joe Martin on bass and Adam Cruz on drums.  I first became aware of Simon when he was touring with Terence Blanchard’s band.  Even then (and that would have been over 15 years ago at this point), he was an absolute monster at the piano, and I’ve been shocked that the world hasn’t heard more from him.  If you’re thinking this will be a Latin Jazz release, hold the phone.  This is a straight ahead jazz collection of some South American classics – but they don’t sound like the tangos, boleros and bossa novas that they started off as.  This disc is swingin’!


You’ve been hearing a lot of drummer Steve Fidyk lately.  As part of the roster of Posi-Tone All-Stars, lately he’s been on quite a few releases from that label, and now he’s releasing one of his own, Allied Forces.  Joining him for the invasion are organist Brian Charette, tenor saxophonist Doug Webb, and a couple of soon to be all-stars, Shawn Purcell on guitar and Joseph Henson on alto.  These five have put together a greasy slab of grooving jazz that looks to the past ("Monk’s Evidence," "Bird’s Moose the Mooche") and gets good and groovy here in the present, too ("Food Court Drifter," "Doin’ the Shake").  John Scofield’s late ‘90s fingerprints are all over this disc, and that’s a great thing to my ears.


Finally, let’s bring this whole thing back home with Chicago-based guitarist Brent Kimbrough.  His latest, 12th Street Serenade is a very nice disc featuring some of Chicago’s heaviest: Victor Garcia (trumpet), Chris Mahieu (piano), Tommy Bradford (sax) and others.  The title cut and especially "La Danza de Carmen" (for Brent’s and his wife’s new daughter) are standout tunes.  And "Lovely Mirasol" (named for Brent’s wife), is a pretty ballad.  You can check out Brent and company’s music in person this Wednesday (Sept. 14) as he presents the CD Release Party for 12th Street Serenade, a WDCB sponsored event at the Jazz Showcase!


Next week, we’ll talk about the new (and outstanding) album from pianist Joey Alexander, a great new CD from vocalist Catherine Russell and more, in the Music Lounge! ‘Til next time, keep your ears open!

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