Few instruments are as fascinating to listen to as the Hammond B-3 organ. Sliding from the sweetest buttery swirls to the deepest, darkest tones whose vibrations ominously shake whatever glass might be in the area, the B-3 is like an orchestra unto itself. Born in New Jersey but based in Paris, organist Rhoda Scott is an often overlooked master of the instrument who puts on a wild, ebullient show of her skills on her fiftieth release, Encore, Encore, Encore
With only drummer Lucien Dobat for support, Scott performs a rousing round of standards with soul and panache. "Mack The Knife is an inevitable showstopper and Scott does not let it down. Dobat provides the sparest beat and Scott runs wild over the keyboard, expertly playing the pedals barefoot, as is her custom. The two musicians are in perfect sync; Dobat is always ready with a cymbal splash or propulsive fill to match the increased intensity of Scott's searing swoops and crests. The splashy finish certainly warrants applause.
Their take on "It Might As Well Be Spring falls at the other end of the emotional spectrumsensitive rather than brashbut it certainly matches the musical merits of the more extroverted numbers. Here Dobat provides dreamy backup to comment on the beautiful, rich sounds emanating from the organ. Scott applies soul-gospel accents to great effect, adding a tart edge to the syrupy sweet melody.
Encore, Encore, Encore combines the sometimes incompatible elements of ace showmanship and musical sophistication. Scott and Dobat use their considerable chops to create music that is affecting and invigorating.
Personnel: Rhoda Scott: Hammond B-3 organ; Lucien Dobat: drums.