A native Chicagoan now living on the West Coast, this is guitarist Nicholas Hoffman's second album. But his Chicago roots have followed him to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. While in the Windy City, Hoffman was influenced by those who played on the blues sides, especially sax men Von Freeman and Bunky Green. Hoffman returns to Chicago to record this program of ten tunes which includes one of his originals and one by his wife, Debra Chang.
The session features the talents of two masters of the Hammond B3 organ, Joey DeFrancesco and Dave Mathews. Hoffman has wanted to record in this setting for a long time following in the pedal steps (if you will) of such other famous guitar organ combos as Grant Green/Larry Young, Kenny Burrell/Jimmy Smith and Wes Montgomery/Mel Rhyne. The Hoffman/DeFrancesco run on Hoffman's fun, fast paced "Silly Wabbit" recalls the sound of the Green/Young collaboration. "Old Devil Moon" recalls the Eddie Lockjaw Davis/Shirley Scott 1958 recording with Hoffman taking the sax role with his guitar. Regardless of the tune or tempo, Hoffman's guitar stays clean and refreshing, there's no heavy smearing in his technique.
This album is also endowed by the presence of the Dexter Gordon influenced sax of Hadley Caliman who made some forward looking albums for Mainstream and Catalyst during the 1970's. Among his contributions here are imaginative improvising on "This Can't Be Love" and soulful sax on a blues based "You've Changed" with Dave Mathews playing soap opera type organ underneath on the latter. The other member of the cast is drummer Mark Ivester who backs many of the fine jazz performers from that very active part of the country. This album is a marriage between organ and guitar that everyone can enjoy. Recommended. Visit Hoffman on the Internet at www.memes.com/~jazzkoo/ jazzypage. html.
Personnel: Nicholas Hoffman - Guitar; Hadley Caliman - Tenor Sax; Joey DeFrancesco*, Dave Mathews# - Hammond B3 Organ; Mark Ivester - Drums