Monday, January 28, 2013

Money Jungle Redux; Organissimo Dedicated - Bob Stewart

In 1962, Duke Ellington recorded a trio date with bassist Charles Mingus and drummer Max Roach that is today considered one of the pivotal jazz recordings of the '60s. The resulting disc was, among other things, a commentary on the perennial tug-of-war between art and commerce. In some ways, the songs were intended as a sort of counterbalance to the capitalist bent of the "Mad Men" generation. Fifty years later, the precarious balance in the world of jazz hasn't changed much. Enter drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, who enlists the aid of keyboardist Gerald Clayton and bassist Christian McBride, to pay tribute to Duke, his trio and his creative vision with "Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue", her interpretation of his historic recording with guests Clark Terry, Lizz Wright, Herbie Hancock and others.

Following up on their live release of a few years back, the Michigan-based trio Organissimo emerges from the studio with "Dedicated" -- a stunning collection of soul jazz for modern ears. Formed in 2000, the trio has wowed audiences across the globe with its unique take on the jazz organ tradition. The new disc not only extends that illustrious heritage but also introduces the band's new guitarist, Ralph Tope, whose playing adds a visceral immediacy to the band. Featuring ten new original songs and one very funky cover, the album is laid-back, swinging jazz infused with soul.

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