What's New on WDCB... with Paul Abella
Jeremy Monteiro, Jay Anderson & Lewis Nash – Live at No Black Tie (Jazz Note)
Pianist Jeremy Monteiro has made 40 albums in his native Singapore, played with James Moody and Ernie Watts and toured the globe. And 45 years into his career, he’s finally releasing an album in the U.S. Live at the No Black Tie catches Monteiro in action with bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Lewis Nash on a program that’s half Jazz Standards, like “In Your Own Sweet Way” or “Prelude to a Kiss” and Monteiro’s compelling originals. “Mount Olive” is a dedication to Chicagoans Eldee Young and Redd Holt, and “Monk in the Mountain” is a swinging, propulsive jam that evokes the mystical quality that McCoy Tyner had in much of his work.
Carlos Vega – Art of the Messenger (Origin)
Carlos Vega’s Art of the Messenger might very well end up being a contender for one of my favorite albums of the year. And when you dissect the pieces, it’s easy to understand why. First, start off with a who’s who of young(ish) Jazz players in Chicago – Vega plays tenor sax and writes the songs. Victor Garcia is the trumpet player, Stu Mindeman is on piano, Josh Ramos is on bass and Xavier Breaker is playing the drums. Second, write some compelling songs that bring out the best in this hard-hitting crew. Vega succeeds here with a mix of songs that run the gamut from Blakey inspired gems like “Who Cooks for You” to more modern fare like “Don’t Forget to Ask.” My personal favorite is “Bird’s Word.” It’s got just a hint of a “latin tinge” propelled by a montuno-esque piano groove, a fat groove from Ramos and Breaker and some awesome soloing from Vega and Garcia. Third, get all of that into one room, hit the record button and let the sparks fly. Sparks do indeed fly throughout Art of the Messenger, and I am excited to share this one with you on DCB Jazz!
Dara Tucker – Dreams of Waking: Music for a Better World (Green Hill)
Vocalist Dara Tucker is joined by a stunning cast of characters on her latest release, Dreams of Waking: Music for a Better World. Cyrus Chestnut and Sullivan Fortner split the keyboard duties, Dezron Douglas and Vicente Archer are bassists, Jonathan Blake and Joe Dyson share the drum throne, and Giveton Gelin (trumpet) and John Ellis (saxophones) play on a few cuts, too. So, the music is in great hands. And Tucker’s vocals are impressive throughout, whether on a Jazz standard like “Make Someone Happy,” or on the number of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye or Donny Hathaway songs on the album. In a year that’s been a little slim on great Jazz vocal records, Dreams of Waking is a very welcome addition to WDCB’s rotation.