Charlie Gabriel has signed to Sub Pop to release his debut album 89. The album, which features the highlights “I’m Confessin’” and ”The Darker It Gets,” will be available on DSPs February 25th, 2022, and released on CD/LP/CS July 1st, 2022 worldwide from Sub Pop.
Charlie is the most senior member of the legendary New Orleans Jazz ensemble, Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Charlie’s first professional gig dates to 1943, sitting in for his father in New Orleans’ Eureka Brass Band. As a teenager living in Detroit, Charlie played with Lionel Hampton, whose band just then also included a young Charles Mingus, later spending nine years with a group led by Cab Calloway drummer, J.C. Heard. While he’s also fronted a bebop quintet, played and/or toured with Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennet, Aretha Franklin and many more, this is the first time his name appears on the front of a record, as a bandleader.
Since 2006, he’s been a member of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and has developed a tight musical relationship with the group’s bassist and tuba player, Ben Jaffe. The two men, along with guitarist Joshua Starkman, recorded Charlie’s new album 89 throughout 2020 and 2021.
89 includes six jazz standards and two new pieces, “The Darker It Gets” and “Yellow Moon”.” Charlie describes the repertoire, which includes “Stardust,” “I’m Confessin’” and “Three Little Words,” as “standard material that every musician if they’re an older musician like myself, will have played throughout their career. Every time I play one of these tunes the interpretation is a little bit different.”
He plays tenor sax and clarinet throughout, Starkman plays guitar, and Jaffe plays bass, drums, and keyboards. You can listen to the debut offerings, “I’m Confessin’” and “The Darker It Get” by clicking here. There is also an official video for “I’m Confessin’,” which was directed by Alex Hennen Payne. Check out the video below.