What's New on WDCB... with Paul Abella
Hinda Hoffman & Soul Message – People (Know You Know Records)
Hinda Hoffman and the Soul Message Band have been frequent collaborators on stages throughout the Chicagoland area for quite some time now, so it’s not necessarily and sort of shock that they would record together. But seeing and holding and hearing People, their new album, and the fruit of their labor, is a genuine joy. Hoffman’s a great singer that I hope will be singing more often as things slowly get back to normal. And Soul Message is, well, Soul Message. Chis Foreman (organ), Lee Rothenberg (guitar), Greg Rockingham (drums) and Greg Ward (saxophone) make for an always potent team. This album swings hard, and from the first notes of “All of You” it is clear that neither Hoffman nor the gentlemen in Soul Message are taking any prisoners whatsoever. People is the sound of a mature and confident singer and a band that aren’t just some of the best in Chicago, but are some of the best in the world. Dig it!
Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio – Cold as Weiss (Colemine Records)
Organist Delvon Lamarr and his trio of guitarist Jimmy James and drummer Daniel Weiss is back with their third studio album, and arguably their best so far, Cold as Weiss. The grooves are as focused as ever, and the playing is disciplined and deep in the pocket. And while a focused and disciplined Jazz-Funk record may not sound enticing on paper (screen?), in practice, it’s the business. Michael Jackson’s “I Wanna Be Where You Are” was a great idea for an organ trio arrangement, and it complements an otherwise all original program.
Negroni’s Trio – Esperanzas/Hopes (Sony Classical)
Negroni’s Trio is one of those artists like Harold Lopez-Nussa or Gonzalo Rubalcaba, who are at once both wholly “Latin” (in this case, hailing from Puerto Rico) and wholly “Jazz.” On their new album, Esperanzas/Hopes, that becomes evident throughout all nine of its songs. The feel is “Latin,” full of syncopation and nods to Afro-Cuban and Boriquen rhythms, but the instrumentation (a piano trio with occasional guests) is “Jazz,” and the improvisations throughout are filled with the fire of fellow musicians who go down the road of being both fully Latin and fully Jazz, like Hilton Ruiz, Michel Camilo or Manuel Valera. Whether on some fantastic originals like “Que Felicidad” or “Don’t Go Anywhere” or on standards like “How High the Moon” or “Petit Fleur,” Negroni’s Trio offers up some compelling music that you’ll be hearing a whole lot during ‘DCB Jazz.