What's New on WDCB... with Paul Abella
Out to Dinner – Episodes of Grace (Posi-Tone)
The Posi-Tone label, in addition to putting out excellent mainstream albums from their roster of artists, has also packaged a number of supergroup outings. Out to Dinner might be my favorite one of the bunch. Not only is the instrumentation the same as two of my favorite bands ever (the Dave Holland Quintet of the 90’s and 00’s AND the Jackie McLean/Grachan Moncur III bands of 1964/65), but the spirit is largely the same as both of those bands, as well. This is a group that is straight ahead…with a twist. Vibraphonist Behn Gillece, trombonist Ryan Keberle, bassist Boris Kozlov and drummer Rudy Royston have been around for a while, making their marks on Jazz in the present tense. Rounding out the band is saxophonist Patrick Cornelius, and together, they make some compelling music.
Andrea Brachfeld & Insight – Evolution (Origin)
Flautist Andrea Brachfeld can play a ton of flute. And on Evolution, with pianist Bill O’Connell, bassist Harvie S and drummer Jason Tiemann, she is not messing around. From the first notes of “What’s Up,” you know you’re going to be in for a wild ride, and even when the tempos come down, there’s still a full-throated intensity to these songs that is a joy to listen to. On “Being With What Is,” Brachfeld sounds like she’s singing through her flute, and on “The Hut Song,” she gives off some strong Pharoah Sanders vibes. That’s a ton of ground to cover on one album, and that will make Evolution even more fun to play for you.
Robert Turner, Henry Franklin & Carl Burnett – Three More Sounds Play Ray Charles (SP Records)
In the 1960’s, Gene Harris led a fantastic, swinging, blues soaked trio called The Three Sounds. Bassist Henry Franklin spent three years in that group, and Carl Burnett was the drummer with them for a full decade. Together with Robert Turner, in the unenviable task of sitting in Gene Harris’ chair, they’re attempting to go back to the well for another drink of inspiration with Three More Sounds Play Ray Charles. There’s honestly not a better pianist for this trio to pay tribute to (short of an overt celebration of Gene Harris himself) than Ray Charles, and this disc covers a large swatch of his early career, with R&B hits, Jazz standards and even a couple of Country songs. They do Ray Charles justice on this one, and they do right by Gene Harris, too. This is a fun one.