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

January 9th, 2023

Derrick Gardner & The Jazz Prophets – Pan Africa (Impact Jazz)

Trumpeter Derrick Gardner has put out a new concept album with his band The Jazz Prophets about the African Diaspora called Pan Africa. And much as a diaspora spreads to places far and wide, so are the reaches of this group. Derrick (trumpet) is in Chicago. His brother, Vincent (trombone) is the lead trombonist in the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra in NYC. Rob Dixon (saxophones) works out of Indianapolis. Pianist George Caldwell hails from upstate New York. Obasi Akoto (bass) teaches and plays music in Baltimore, and drummer Kweku Sumbry plays drums out of Washington D.C. So, where better to record than in Winnepipeg, right? On Pan Africa, this band sounds like they’ve been working for years, moving from strength to strength, and from groove to groove throughout these 8 songs. We’re treated to a rich mixture of band member originals, as well as a classic from Jackie McLean in a great take on “Appointment in Ghana.”

The Jon Cowherd Trio – Pride & Joy (Le Coq)

Pianist Jon Cowherd is joined by John Patitucci on the bass and Brian Blade on the drums to form The Jon Cowherd Trio for their album Pride and Joy. On one track, Cowherd is heard solo, and on four tracks, he’s joined by the legendary percussionist Alex Acuña and saxophonist Chris Potter. Sparks fly from the get-go on “Grand Mesa” with Potter and Acuña, and the trio proves that they are more than capable of building up a head of steam on their own on “The Colorado Experiment.” This is a fiery album that is enjoyable from beginning to end, and that means you’ll be hearing a lot of this one on DCB Jazz.

Jay Hoggard

Jay Hoggard – Raise Your Spirit Consciousness (self-produced)

Vibraphonist Jay Hoggard just put out a new album called Raise Your Spirit Consciousness with a grooving ensemble featuring Dwight Andrews on soprano and bass clarinet, Nat Adderley, Jr on piano, James Weldman on organ, Kenny Davis on bass and Pheeroan Akiaff on drums. They bring the funk, they bring the mellow sambas and they bring the swing throughout these 12 songs. Hoggard wrote about half the program here, and the other half features some great tunes from the pens of Stevie Wonder (“Bird of Beauty”), Wayne Shorter (“Deluge”), Thad Jones (“A Child is Born”) and Duke Ellington (“In the Beginning/Praise God”). If 2023 is starting off with a new Jay Hoggard album, I think we’re in for a good year, indeed.

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