New Releases Spotlight: Week of May 15, 2017
This week in the Music Lounge, our music director Paul Abella reviews three new discs being played on WDCB!
Let’s check out new music from saxophonist Dave Anderson, vibraphonist Steve Nelson and violinist Regina Carter!
Saxophonist Dave Anderson might not be a familiar name to many. But that’s about to change. His new album, Blue Innuendo, featuring Pat Bianchi (organ), Matt Wilson (drums) and Tom Guarna (guitar) is outstanding! Pat Bianchi’s taste and energy really drive this disc, and the moments where he and Wilson lock in are the best moments of the set, like they do on "22 Doors" or "12 Step Blues." The title track, written for Joey DeFrancesco, is a standout, too. There’s A LOT to like here, and I think you’re gonna be grooving when you hear it!
One of my favorite vibraphonists currently making music is Steve Nelson. Known for more than a decade as the vibes player with Dave Holland’s various groups, his unique tonal palate and intriguing soloing style helped to make Holland’s group one of the most fascinating of the ‘90s and into the 2000s. As the leader for Brothers Under the Sun, he steps into the spotlight. Joined by Danny Grissett on piano, Peter Washington on the bass and Lewis Nash behind the drums, this is a beautiful set of tunes. "Grew’s Tune" and "Soul-Leo" were awesome when played by Mulgrew Mulgrew, and they’re no less compelling here. Be sure to check out Nelson’s gorgeous take on the standard “The More I See You.” This is some nice music, indeed.
Finally, Regina Carter has released a new disc in dedication to the First Lady of Song, Ella Fitzgerald (the centennial of her birth was in April). Ella: Accentuate The Positive completely rearranges a few tunes closely aligned with Ella, and a few that are a little less familiar as well. Recasting "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive," "Undecided," "Dedicated to You" and others with a more contemporary feel is a risky proposition. After all, taking songs that are so incredibly familiar to a jazz audience, catapulting them 70 or 80 years into the present, and still making them feel familiar, that’s a lot to take on. And at its best, "Crying in the Chapel," or "Reach for Tomorrow," Accentuate the Positive hits its mark.
Next week in the Music Lounge, we’ll check out three more new ones! ‘Til then, keep your ears open!