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

November 8th, 2021

The Scenic Route Trio – Flight Of Life (self-produced)

Led by Bay Area bassist Ollie Dudek, the Scenic Route Trio is a pleasant piano/bass/drums trio playing all original music. On Flight of Life, pianist Javier Santiago does a fantastic job conjuring the spirit and soul of early Ahmad Jamal or Red Garland, and Genius Wesley is ever-swinging through these 8 compositions.


Nicholas Payton – Smoke Sessions (Smoke Session)

On Nicholas Payton’s latest album, Smoke Sessions, he plays trumpet, of course, and as been his custom for his last few albums, sometimes he plays piano, sometimes other electrified keyboards. He’s joined this time out by the legendary Ron Carter (bass), George Coleman (tenor sax) and drummer Kariem Riggins. This is a mostly original program, save for one song from Keith Jarrett (No Lonely Nights) and one from Herbie Hancock (Toys). And Nicholas is writing some swinging tunes these days. “Hangin’ and Jivin’” is an enjoyable romp, “Q for Quincy Jones” sounds a little like the music of its namesake, and “Gold Dust Black Magic” is lightly funky and sounds like it’s dying to be a theme for a TV show. This one is going to be a lot of fun to play for you on DCB Jazz.


Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett – Love For Sale (Interscope)

Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga have made a follow-up to their 2014 album Cheek to Cheek. Cheek to Cheek was a novelty with some genuinely charming moments. What followed were concerts, commercials, and clearly for Lady Gaga, more comfort with the nuances of the Great American Songbook and the phrasing and character of Jazz singing. Which gets us to 2021’s Love For Sale. Gaga sounds more comfortable this time out, and the choice to do an all Cole Porter program (where hamming it up just works) was an inspired one. Of course, Tony Bennett is in fine form here. This is his wheelhouse, and he doesn’t disappoint. Put all of these pieces together, and you’ve got a fun and surprisingly engaging album that makes for an enjoyable listen.