Big Ego’s had some excellent releases this year, with more on the way, including a new album from pedal steel luminary Dave Easley. Following on his excellent and essential outing for the label in 2021, Byways of the Moon, Ballads continues his reinterpretation of standards and deep cuts that gain a sense of depth and darkness through his steel. The first cut from the album, a version of Duke Ellington’s “Fleurette Africaine” retains the original’s reserved nature, but adds a wealth of shading through Easley’s Kodachrome tone and inquisitive guitar from Jeff Parker. Alongside Parker, the quartet is rounded out with Jay Bellrose on drums and David Tranchina on bass. This time around the band lays into works by Ornette Coleman, Sonny Sharrock, and Billy Strayhorn among others, and was captured once again with the aid of Chris Shlarb at Big Ego Studios. Ballads finds its way to the world October 20th.
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