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 20th, 2024

Eric Alexander - Timing is Everything

Eric Alexander – Timing is Everything (Cellar Music)

Eric Alexander’s latest album, Timing is Everything, might be one of his most interesting to date. Of course, it helps that he’s joined by an excellent rhythm section of pianist Rick Germanson, bassist Alex Claffy and drummer Jason Tiemann. On three of the nine songs, they’re joined by special guests. Flautist Jed Paradies and guitarist Rale Micic join in on the fun for Roland Kirk’s “Serenade to a Cuckoo,” where Paradies plays the melody, and the leader of the band is nowhere to be heard until he pops up as the third soloist on the tune. That’s a pretty bold move. Fellow tenor saxophonist Stan Wetering plays alongside Alexander at a breakneck tempo on the George Coleman tune “Big G’s Monk.” That’s a bold move, too. Kicking off the album with a Coltrane ballad? That’s a pretty bold move. Writing your own melody over the Giant Steps chord changes on Sasquatch? Also a bold move. In fact, it wouldn’t be out of line to say that Timing is Everything is a series of bold moves that you will want to check out on DCB Jazz.

Live Edge Trio - Closing Time

Live Edge Trio + Steve Nelson – Closing Time (OA2 Records)

I have to admit, I didn’t have “Swinging Jazz trio from Wyoming joins forces with legendary vibraphonist Steve Nelson for a really impressive CD” on my 2024 bingo card. But here we are. Closing Time, by a trio of professors from the University of Wyoming that call themselves the Live Edge Trio, with special guest, Steve Nelson, was a surprise when it made its way into my CD player. Pianist Ben Markley, bassist Seth Lewis and drummer Andy Wheelock have loads of chemistry when playing together, and Nelson’s economical and thoughtful playing pushes them further still. The opening “Ben’s Tune,” is a charming mid-tempo swinger with some nice orchestration between the piano and vibes. The title track, “Closing Time,” sounds like the final murmurs of decaying revelry at a jazz club that’s just announced last call. They do a quite nice version of Horace Silver’s “Cape Verdean Blues,” and if there’s such a thing as a hushed crime noir boogaloo, “Don’t Stress” is its name. I am charmed by this disc every time I listen to it, and I’m glad that I’ll get a chance to share it with you.

Behn Gillece - Stick Together

Behn Gillece – Stick Together (Posi-Tone Records)

Vibraphonist Behn Gillece is back with a new album for Posi-Tone Records called Stick Together. Gillece finds himself stuck together with his usual cohorts on Posi-Tone, pianist Art Hirahara, bassist Boris Kozlov and drummer Rudy Royston. That’s a great thing, because their familiarity breeds a telepathy between these four that makes for some very well played swingin’ sounds. Save for two songs, this is an original program of tunes, and there are some impressive compositions on Stick Together. The amount of variety here is impressive, too. There are the quite lovely drummer-free ballads, “Changing My Day” and “Lazy September.” There’s the modern Jazz-Waltz of “Cascades Merging,” the old-school boogaloo of “Get On It!” and the rather funky “In the Huddle.” The knotty melody of “Four of a Kind” inspires some fire from Kozlov and Royston, and great solos from Gillece and Hirahara. As someone who has always been a big fan of Sam Rivers, seeing “Cyclic Episode” make its way toward standard status is heartwarming, too.  Stick Together may be an album with something for everyone, but it’s also the rare album where “something for everyone” actually delivers.

The Real Deal - 500 Show
Jazz Thursdays