Cecil Brooks III frequently performs with this unit at his Cecil's Jazz Club & Restaurant in West Orange, New Jersey. The trio abides by a free-spirited, good-timey jazz gait, and is not concerned with reinventing the proverbial wheel. It's a good bet that the patrons got their monies' worth via these perky and tightly-woven spins on jazz and pop standards. The musicians also dish out a sprightly jazz-waltz rendering of "Theme from, Mannix," from the popular 1960s and '70s TV detective series starring Mike Connors.
Brooks holds the fort down with crisp and powerful drumming during these straightforward and unpretentiously executed works. With Bobby Hebbs' pop classic "Sunny," the trio does indeed parallel the song title with a radiant and at times, spunky workout, enamored by guitarist Matt Chertkoff's weeping chord progressions. Then Brooks lays it all out towards the finale with a vividly poetic solo.
The band works within a breezy methodology amid some hot and nasty riffing by organist Kyle Koehler, who also delves into some heated call-and-response mechanisms with his band mates. On the Burt Bacharach/Hal David hit "They Long To Be Close To You," the artists get knee-deep into the classic jazz-organ combo format, spiced with the soloists bluesy phrasings. They inject a prominent groove quotient into the parts of the whole as memorable hooks are equalized by the soloists' buoyant exchanges, nicely exploiting Brooks' nifty arrangements.
Personnel: Cecil Brooks III: drums; Kyle Koehler: organ; Matt Chertkoff: guitar.