Dan Fogel fell in love with the sound of the Hammond B-3 organ at a young age by hearing "Groove" Holmes' recording of "Misty," and has since worked hard to play in the style of the jazz musicians from the golden age of the organ/tenor sax combo.
Whether or not you're an aficionado of the subgenre, it's clear, after a single listen to 15 West, that Fogel has certainly cornered the sound and feel of those days when artists like Larry Young, Jimmy McGriff, Don Patterson and, of course, Jimmy Smith were toiling at their art. With a group including guitarist O'Donel Levywho has kept a low profile since his days recording for Groove Merchant Records in the 1970'stenor saxophonist Pete Chavez and drummer Webb Thomas, Fogel has a group that sounds like it's in perfect mesh. Chavez, in particular, has a Stanley Turrentine-like quality that is tough enough on the up-tempo numbers and lyrical enough on the ballads.
Fogel's background is unusual if just for the fact that he is a second-cousin of Jackie Gleason's and big band singer Helen Forrest's nephew. He has spent a lot of time and energy recreating the ambiance of the Atlantic City jazz scene, and this group's sound is certainly redolent of that.
With tunes that read like a set list in an after-hours club, including "Willow Weep for Me, "Just Friends, "A Night in Tunisia" and "I Thought About You, the swinging door of this lounge is about to open. With liner notes by the esteemed Nat Hentoff, this album is off and running.
Personnel: Dan Fogel: Hammond B-3 organ; O'Donel Levy: guitar; Pete Chavez: tenor sax; Webb Thomas: drums.