What's New on WDCB... with Paul Abella
Bill Charlap Trio - Street of Dreams (Blue Note)
Pianist Bill Charlap, and his usual trio, with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington have emerged with a new album, Street of Dreams. Largely a collection of ballads, Street of Dreams is a lovely listen. While I’m partial to the arrangement of Billy Strayhorn’s “Day Dream” and Kenny Burrell’s “Your Host,” this album is an excellent listen all the way through, and I’m sure you’ll be hearing every track on the album here on WDCB.
Stacey Kent - Songs From Other Places (Candid)
Vocalist Stacey Kent is no stranger to making albums that sound as intimate as can be. And her latest, Songs From Other Places, puts a sharp focus on that point. A duet album with pianist Art Hirahara, the song choice here is both interesting and effective. A couple of Jobim songs (“Bonita” and “Imagina”), pop songs that have become standards at this point (The Beatles’ “Blackbird,” Paul Simon’s “American Tune”), one pop song that should have hit the standard mark decades ago (Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide”), alongside Kurt Weill’s “My Ship” and a handful of songs written by Kent’s husband, Jim Tomlinson. The album was conceived of during the tumultuous events of 2020, and it sounds like it, both in its’ themes of traveling around the world, and in its’ incredibly sparse nature. Songs From Other Places is gorgeous.
John Moulder - Metamorphosis (Origin)
Chicago guitarist extraordinaire John Moulder is back at it with a new album on Origin for 2021 called Metamorphosis. The band lineup here is as outstanding as always, with Richie Beirach on piano, Steve Rodby on bass and Paul Wertico on drums. As a quartet, they cover a lot of ground, and a lot of it a lot mellower than you’d usually expect from Moulder. “Sarum” captures Moulder and Co. swinging their tails off, “Into the Dazzling Darkness” is a really nice ballad, and “Morning Angels” finds Moulder in almost Metheny-esque territory. Cap that off with “Game Changer” and “Soliloquy,” which I am eager to play on Notes from the Jazz Underground, and you’ve got an album that covers an immense amount of ground.