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

July 8th, 2024

Rob Parton - Renlentless

Rob Parton’s Ensemble 9+ - Relentless (Calligram Records)

One time Chicagoan, and current professor for the prestigious University of North Texas’ Jazz program, Rob Parton, has revived his Project 9 Ensemble, and they’ve recorded a new album called Relentless. The band and the arrangements sound as good as ever with this mini big band, featuring music written by Billy Strayhorn (“Intimacy of the Blues”), Freddie Hubbard “Straight Life”) Wayne Shorter (“Ping Pong”), and of course, Parton himself (“Thank You Colby,” “No Response”). Other highlights include the ethereal “Shorter Images,” which evokes Wayne’s nature beautifully, “Ray’s Idea,” with it’s feverish pace, is a delight, and the first track, “Open for Business” sets the stage for what turns out to be an excellent ride. I was excited to open the envelope and see Rob’s name on a new disc. Let’s hope that there’s more to come!

Monika Herzig - All in Good Time

Monika Herzig’s Sheroes – All in Good Time (zoho)

Keyboardist Monika Herzig has been leading a band called Sheroes for the past few years, and I’m glad to report that they have a new album out called All in Good Time. Herzig assembled a fantastic band for this new album, with Jamie Baum (flute), Camille Thurman (tenor sax), Reut Regev (trombone) and Leni Stern (guitar) making up the formidable front line, while bassist Gina Schwartz and drummer Rosa Avila hold down the rhythm section duties. With one exception, Herzig and Schwartz have written everything here, and there is some very cool music happening here. “All in Good Time” is some solid modern Jazz Funk with a great melody, cool interplay between the horns and enough going on to keep a listener interested. “Palermo Chico” is clearly informed by Horace Silver and Oscar Hernandez, but Schwartz lets her own character shine through on it as well. The only cover here is Beyonce’s “Run the World (Girls),” which is both thematically on point, and more importantly, a really well conceived and executed arrangement. I look forward to getting to share All in Good Time with you soon!

Steve Turre - Sanyas

Steve Turre – Sanyas (Smoke Sessions)

Trombonist Steve Turre has been on the scene and making music with the highest caliber of artists for over 50 years at this point, so it’s no shock that he put together a top-tier band for a short residency at Smoke in New York City. That band, by the way, is a sextet for the ages, with Nicholas Payton playing the trumpet, Ron Blake on tenor sax, Isaiah J. Thompson at the piano, the legendary Buster Williams on the bass, and the mighty Lenny White behind the drums. The results gave us the album Sanyas. Though only containing six songs, Sanyas covers a lot of ground. There are the bold reinventions of the standards “All the Things You Are” and “These Foolish Things.” Turre’s lovely ballad “Wishful Thinking” gets beautiful solos from Thompson and a muted Nicholas Payton. And then there’s the title track from this album. He first recorded “Sanyas” with Woody Shaw on The Moontrane in 1975. The version we hear here features Turre with solos on both instruments for which he’s known, the trombone and the shells. It brings 50 years of Turre’s experiences as a musician full circle, now leading the band and directing traffic.

Jammin Jazz
McAninch Arts Center