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Kevin Coelho: Funkengruven: The Joy of Driving a B3 (2012)

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Kevin Coelho: Funkengruven: The Joy of Driving a B3 How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Kevin Coelho's debut, Funkengruven: The Joy of Driving a B3, is a tight trio affair that showcases the young organist's versatility as he successfully cooks his way through originals, R&B songs and fusion and bop standards.

Coelho brings a religious celebratory feel to teacher Randy Master's "Take A Stand," as his Hammond B3 lets forth spiritual and sophisticated harmonies. This contrasts well with the unabashedly sensual groove of Dr. Lonnie Smith
Dr. Lonnie Smith
Dr. Lonnie Smith
b.1942
organ, Hammond B3
's "Play it Back." Harking back to Blaxploitation film soundtracks, Coelho's solo is both viscerally moving and intellectually satisfying. Reggie Jackson's rhythmically complex drum work drives the tune with hard rock intensity.

Pianist Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
b.1940
piano
's "Cantaloupe Island" features Coelho's blues-drenched embellishments and earthy bass lines, reminiscent of Jimmy McGriff
Jimmy McGriff
Jimmy McGriff
1936 - 2008
organ, Hammond B3
—to whom Coelho has dedicated the original, hard-swinging "McJimmy," the organist's lyrical improvisation beautifully constructed on its deceptively simple melody. Guitarist Derek DiCenzo's elaborate yet earthy linearity adds a bop-ish flair that is further enhanced by Jackson's edgy approach.

Coelho is able to deftly tackle a piece as intelligently elaborate as Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
and Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
1920 - 1955
sax, alto
's "Donna Lee." Together with DiCenzo and Jackson, he endows the bebop workhorse with a funky aura while respecting its inherent intricacies.

Coelho also demonstrates his common touch with such pop-oriented materials as the tenderly mellifluous "What's New" and Otis Redding
Otis Redding
Otis Redding
1941 - 1967
vocalist
's soul classic, "Dock of the Bay." In both cases, he sticks close to the melodies, still managing to add a fresh gloss with his laidback vamps and clever adlib turns of phrase.

This intriguing record introduces a talented new voice who, albeit somewhat under the influence of mentor Tony Monaco
Tony Monaco
Tony Monaco
b.1959
organ, Hammond B3
(who also produced the disc) and other idols, manages to display his fledgling individualism—and, not that this is either here or there, all at the tender age of just sixteen.


Track Listing: Funkergruven; Cantaloupe Island; Take a Stand; Chagalu; Dock of the Bay; McJimmy; Donna Lee; Tangerine; Play It Back; What's New.

Personnel: Kevin Coelho: organ; Derek DiCenzo: guitar; Reggie Jackson: drums.

Record Label: Chicken Coup Records


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