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

April 17th, 2023

Juan Pastor

Juan Pastor’s Chinchano – Cachito (Bace Records)

Juan Pastor is a triple threat as a drummer, percussionist and composer. It’s always a treat when his band, Chinchano, puts out a new album, and Cachito is that new disc. Chinchano is an all-star crew, ostensibly co-led by keyboardist Stu Mindeman, with Dustin Laurenzi on tenor, and Matt Ulery on bass, with Victor Garcia’s trumpet and Greg Ward’s saxophone getting added to the mix on a few of the songs here. There’s even a string section on “Azucar de Cana” and “Humanidad.” Personal favorites that you’ll be hearing on the Latin Bit soon include “Carlitos” and “Wayrapa Yuyay.”

Wayne Escoffery

Wayne Escofferery – Like Minds (Smoke Sessions)

Saxophonist Wayne Escoffery recently released a new album on Smoke Sessions Records called Like Minds. The quartet playing on the majority of the album is thoroughly impressive, with the rhythm section of David Kikoski (piano), Ugonna Okegwo (bass) and Mark Whitfield, Jr (drums). A few assorted tracks feature guest artists, like trumpeter Tom Harrell, guitarist Mike Moreno, percussionist Daniel Sadownick and Gregory Porter. This mostly original program shows off just how far Escoffery has come as a writer (I’m particularly a fan of “Shuffle” and the title track), and the Jazz classics on here (“Nostalgia in Times Square” and “Idle Moments”) prove that he has great taste, too.

John Pizzarelli

John Pizzarelli – Stage and Screen (Seven String)

It’s been a long, long time since the last John Pizzarelli trio album. And that’s why I was intrigued when I saw the lineup for his latest release, Stage and Screen. Joined by Isaiah J. Thompson on piano and Michael Karn on bass, Pizzarelli clearly relishes being pushed by two excellent sidemen and the space of a smaller ensemble. “Too Close for Comfort,” “Tea for Two,” and “Time After Time” are all excellent, but to hear this trio just go off on an instrumental rendition of “I Want to Be Happy” might rank with one of my favorite Pizzarelli moments on record.

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