DEEP BLUE ORGAN TRIO, WONDERFUL!


You can’t argue with a concept that puts the music of Stevie Wonder front and center; you could only find fault if your personal favorite isn’t a part of the “Wonderful!” (Origin Records) playlist. Formed in Chicago in 2000, The Deep Blue Organ Trio is Bobby Broom on guitar (a longtime sideman for Sonny Rollins,) Greg Rockingham on drums and Chris Forman on the Hammond B3. Forman, blind since birth, supplies the soul power on a kick-ass recording that pulls its selections from Wonder’s earlier records. “Tell Me Something Good” (the hit Wonder wrote for Rufus and Chaka Khan) sets a celebratory tone, a “grease and grits” approach that organist Charles Earland favored, especially covering pop tunes as he often did. Connecting the dots, drummer Rockingham played with Earland for years; here he keeps the groove sustained on “Golden Lady” and “Jesus Children Of America” and provides the percussive fills around Forman’s slamming solos. So infectious are these tracks that the recording has a natural thrust – one great tune ends and you’re anticipating the next hit. “My Cherie Amour” gets a moody treatment, slowed way down and sounding as if it’s played at a downstairs bar through a haze of smoke at 3 am. Dig that “Ribbon In The Sky” coda, too. Broom is in sterling form here, as good as he was on his recent Monk tribute record, and he plays with a Wes Montgomery-like facility and grace. The undoubted highlight here is a bump and grind riff on “You Haven’t Done Nothin’, with enough vamps and struts to carry on twice its length. Well worth purchasing here. (9 tracks; 62:19 minutes) www.origin-records.com  here

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JAZZ IN SPACE: DEEP BLUE ORGAN TRIO, WONDERFUL!

Monday, October 3, 2011

DEEP BLUE ORGAN TRIO, WONDERFUL!


You can’t argue with a concept that puts the music of Stevie Wonder front and center; you could only find fault if your personal favorite isn’t a part of the “Wonderful!” (Origin Records) playlist. Formed in Chicago in 2000, The Deep Blue Organ Trio is Bobby Broom on guitar (a longtime sideman for Sonny Rollins,) Greg Rockingham on drums and Chris Forman on the Hammond B3. Forman, blind since birth, supplies the soul power on a kick-ass recording that pulls its selections from Wonder’s earlier records. “Tell Me Something Good” (the hit Wonder wrote for Rufus and Chaka Khan) sets a celebratory tone, a “grease and grits” approach that organist Charles Earland favored, especially covering pop tunes as he often did. Connecting the dots, drummer Rockingham played with Earland for years; here he keeps the groove sustained on “Golden Lady” and “Jesus Children Of America” and provides the percussive fills around Forman’s slamming solos. So infectious are these tracks that the recording has a natural thrust – one great tune ends and you’re anticipating the next hit. “My Cherie Amour” gets a moody treatment, slowed way down and sounding as if it’s played at a downstairs bar through a haze of smoke at 3 am. Dig that “Ribbon In The Sky” coda, too. Broom is in sterling form here, as good as he was on his recent Monk tribute record, and he plays with a Wes Montgomery-like facility and grace. The undoubted highlight here is a bump and grind riff on “You Haven’t Done Nothin’, with enough vamps and struts to carry on twice its length. Well worth purchasing here. (9 tracks; 62:19 minutes) www.origin-records.com  here

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