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The New Cool: A Pair of Cool NW LP Previews

Do you still call them records? Or maybe you refer to a new CD? You're not still talking about the latest tape release, are you? Whatever you call them, new album releases are to musicians what children are to parents - although old albums are a lot easier to forget.

On this week's edition of The New Cool, you'll hear previews of two new releases due in May from two talented young Northwest groups. Both of whom KNKX is working with on upcoming live events.

The New Triumph is a group that drummer Adam Kessler brought to our attention when he performed live on 88.5 with his Barca Lounge band this past Winter. Kessler drums for this group as well, though the sound is much different, with bass player Camilo Estrada handling the bulk of the songwriting.

Their new album, "Keep On Push'n," is their second, and the music keys off of bass grooves and lots of rhythm, with guitar and keys in the pocket and a horn or two shining over the top.

From the upcoming release, you'll hear the afro-beat flavored song "Count Dracula's African Vacation" which moves from a pulsing rhythm into a dramatic (cinematic?) horror soundtrack break into a slower funk groove that sets up a slithery electric keyboard solo.

This song earned itself a live performance video worth checking out, and The New Cool is looking forward to presenting The New Triumph at this year's Northwest Folklife Festival in late May, right around the time "Keep On Push'n" is available to the public. You can catch the band live at the Seamonster Lounge in Fremont Saturday night!

The other area group getting an album release preview this week is the trio Duende Libre, which we heard about from their drummer Jeff Busch on one of his many visits to the KNKX studio sessions. Led by Alex Chadsey on keys and also featuring the electric bass of Farko Dosumov, they've been playing together for about a year around the Northwest.

Drawing on modern jazz and traditional music from around the world, Duende Libre will release their debut album (on vinyl, CD and digitally) in early May.

Chadsey is a recent transplant to the Seattle area, having traveled and played in Ghana, South America and Mexico, and he's found worthy world-music trio partners in Dosumov and Busch. Also inspired by his time in Northwest reggae star Clinton Fearon's Boogie Brown Band, Duende Libre are constantly knocking down genre barriers to create a global jazz alchemy.

From their upcoming self-titled album, this week's show features their groovy original "Theme for Billy", with the world-music influence barely evident. This is a lightly funky platform for soulful improvisation, closer to Medeski, Martin & Wood than Fela Kuti. You could almost imagine it being used as an alternate "Cosby Show" theme - it will get you smiling, if not dancing.

KNKX is excited to welcome Duende Libre to our studios for an exclusive session in June, and you can catch them live at Seattle's Hummingbird Saloon on March 24, and the Seattle Art Museum's "Art of Jazz" concert March 25. Do you know of an upcoming album that you think would sound great on The New Cool? Let us know in the comments!