Friday, November 4, 2016

The Art Of Organizing, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Hammond B-3 organ.

I know I’ve made it clear in the past that I’m not exactly a walking ad for jazz organ. So this B-3 record is going to appeal to those of you who are more into such things. Smith’s trio includes Peter Bernstein on guitar and Billy Drummond on drums. I guess what appeals to me is that Smith, rather like Jimmy Smith, doesn’t go for the funky r&b sound so common in these groups. Instead, he takes a very straight-ahead approach with some evergreen tunes like “Polka Dots and Moonbeams,” “Softly As in a Morning Sunrise,” and even Charlie Parker’s bop line, “My Little Suede Shoes.” Among Smith’s original compositions, there’s a nifty blues called “That Ain’t Right”; a burner called “Turning Point”; and a medium-up, fresh melody line called “Too Damn Hot.” Bernstein is always on track no matter the assignment, and his authoritative guitar is on target in this setting. To my way of thinking, this is about as good as it gets in the B-3 ballpark.
Criss Cross, 2009, 65:07.

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