90.9 FM WDCB Public Radio
Chicago's Home for Jazz!

90.9FM  Glen Ellyn - Chicago
90.7FM  Chicago's West Loop

Public Radio from College of DuPage

What's on Now

'DCB Jazz


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

May 13th, 2024

Charles McPherson - Reverence

Charles McPherson – Reverence (Smoke Sessions)

So, here’s a pretty easy recipe for success: take a legendary saxophonist, in this case, alto saxophonist Charles McPherson, and put him together with four veterans of the NYC Jazz scene. Terell Stafford makes an ideal foil for McPherson on the trumpet, and the rhythm section of pianist Jeb Patton, bassist David Wong, and drummer Billy Drummond is as swinging of a piano trio as you’re likely to find. Next, let that legendary alto saxophonist and his cohorts go to town on four of McPherson’s original compositions, and a couple of lovely choices from the Great American Songbook. Put them under stage lights and let them boil until they’re done. That’s exactly what’s happened on Reverence, McPherson’s latest on Smoke Sessions Records. Two of the album’s most enjoyable moments, “Surge” and “Dynamic Duo” sound like they were pulled right off a mid-60’s Blue Note album. “Blues for Lonnie in Three” may start off nice and pretty, but it gets through a bunch of different moods in its nine-minute run time. “Come Rain or Come Shine” is a clear highlight of the album. David Wong’s walking bassline and the lack of a drummer both make this arrangement stand out in a pack of standout collection of songs. The closer, “Ode to Barry,” dedicated to pianist Barry Harris, is a buoyant song worthy of its namesake. The results throughout are tasty indeed.

Karrin Allyson - Kiss for Brazil

Karrin Allyson – A Kiss for Brazil (Origin Records)

Vocalist Karrin Allyson has now made three albums focusing on the music of Brazil: 1999’s From Paris to Rio, Imagina – Songs of Brazil in 2007, and now in 2024, A Kiss for Brazil. She’s clearly very comfortable with the material, and that makes this newest album a treat. She’s joined by an excellent group with Vitor Concalves on keys and accordion, Yotam Silberstein on guitar, Harvie S on bass and Rafael Barata on drums. There are Brazilian classics, like “Manha de Carnaval,” “Wave,” and “Flor de Lis.” We get new lyrics to Recado Bossa Nova, and now it’s “The Gift.” Allyson’s in great voice throughout, and this band grooves wonderfully.

Roger Kellaway - Live at Mezzrow

Roger Kellaway – Live at Mezzrow (Cellar Music/Smalls Live Living Masters)

Pianist Roger Kellaway left his California home to play a handful of concerts at Mezzrow in New York City in May of 2023. Using the opportunity to change up the format of his trio, he enlisted Jay Leonhart to play bass and Dennis Mackrel to play drums for this live recording. On three songs, “Pages of Life,” “Good Morning, Bahia,” and Thelonious Monk’s “Straight, No Chaser,” he added guitarist Roni Ben-Hur to the fold to make for a swinging quartet. The rest of the song choices on the album were interesting: “All Blues,” “Blue in Green,” and “So What?” come from the Miles Davis masterpiece Kind of Blue. He clearly delights in the freedom of those songs and their modal frameworks. On “Try to Remember” and “All My Life,” Kellaway uses his solo piano opportunities wisely, playing a ton of piano, but never too much.  The curious song here is the closer, “Take the ‘A’ Train.” Taken at a slower than usual tempo, Kellaway swings while Leonhart and Mackrel continually hint at doubling up the tempo, giving that chestnut a fresh and breezy new look. Overall, Live at Mezzrow is a lovely album that I think we’ll all enjoy digging into during DCB Jazz.

Jammin Jazz
Jazz Thursdays