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

March 27th, 2023

Cecile McLorin Salvant – Mélusine (Nonesuch)

Vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant looks back at her French and Haitian roots on her latest album, Mélusine. Playing with a varied group of musicians, McLorin Salvant sings some songs from the Chanson movement, without leaning into the easy choices of Edith Piaf or Serge Gainsbourg. She gets to music from Haiti in the 1800’s, and France in the 1400’s and 1660. So, she covers a fair amount of ground. Cecile’s own “Doudou” is a highlight, as is the Charles Trenet penned “En Route Enchantée.”

Jeremy Pelt – The Art of Intimacy, vol. 2: His Muse (High Note)

Trumpeter Jeremy Pelt has just released a new album called The Art of Intimacy, vol. 2: His Muse. He’s joined here by a nice trio of Victor Gould (piano), Buster Williams (bass) and Billy Hart (drums), and on five tracks, a four piece string section. Given the name of the album, it should be obvious that there are no fireworks to be found here. That’s not a problem, though. This is a disc of glowing, slow-burning embers that are charming in their own right. “Blues in Sophistication” and “For Whom I Love So Much” are both excellent examples of just how lovely this collection really is.

Billy Childs – The Winds of Change (Mack Avenue)

Pianist Billy Childs recently released a new album with an all-star lineup called The Winds of Change. Joining Childs are Ambrose Akinmusire on trumpet, Scott Colley on bass and Brian Blade on the drums. From the first song, “The Great Western Loop,” this band is on fire, and halfway through the second song, “The Winds of Change,” you start to notice that there’s a lot of Miles Davis’ 60’s Quintet in the mix here…a deep thinking horn player matched with a rhythm section constantly trying to find new ways of expressing themselves, by varying the tempo and the intensity. These songs aren’t merely songs, but rather trips into the ether where we’ve been invited along on some pretty epic adventures. This is a pretty cool album, and I look forward to getting to play it for you soon. And if you’d like to experience this first-hand, WDCB is sponsoring a concert featuring the Billy Childs Quartet with trumpeter Sean Jones at SPACE on Thur, May 11.

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