Jordan Young: Jordan Young Group (2010)
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It's too early to tell if drummer Jordan Young's music will stand the test of time, but it's already evident that this isn't just a run-of-the-mill organ-based album. Rather than an all-too common blues-saturated affair, Young has made some wise choices, with repertoire selection topping the list. In fact, tenor saxophonist Joe Sucato's lone contribution, "JF Blues," is the album's only soulful, blues-based number. By the time it arrives, two-thirds of the way through the program, Young has already covered so much ground that this song comes as a welcome change, rather than a stale throwaway.
The album opens with Pat Metheny's "H and H" and this immediately makes a statement, since Metheny's wares aren't often peddled in this part of the jazz world. Two standards"Every Time We Say Goodbye" and "My One And Only Love"are presented in two very different manners, with the former delivered as a swinging number in five. The latter is given a more straightforward treatment, with Sucato and guitarist Yotam Silberstein steering the ship. Young's solo original composition, "Claude Monet," is a relaxed jazz waltz with impeccable instrumental balance.
Three selections take things back to the '60s with stellar results. Sucato and Silberstein seamlessly slide through the head of Duke Pearson's "Jean De Fleur," and organist Brian Charette delivers the sly riff that establishes the rhythmic direction on Joe Henderson's "Afro-Centric." Charette's soloing is a real treat, beginning with a thin sound and expanding ever-so-slightly into a more appropriate girth, while Young has a little fun expanding on his own ideas over an outro vamp. Wayne Shorter's "Angola" is propelled by Young's drum work, rounding out the musical triptych from this era.
The four other tracks on the album are odd little miniatures inserted after every two fully formed statements. Charette is credited as the composer on "PiNGs 1" through "PiNGs 4," but these pieces come off like spontaneous group creations. The first one opens with random soundsrain stick, shakers, cymbals and odd organ blipsbut a steady, trance-inducing guitar ostinato eventually emerges. The duality between freedom and stability is present in all of the "PiNGs," with "PiNGs 3" being the spaciest and "PiNGs 2" the most cohesive. Though these four short selections don't add much, they don't detract from overall enjoyment of the album, and point to a largely untapped area of music for organ groups.
While organ groups around the world seem to cling to convention like a security blanket, drummer Jordan Young's debut shows an artist willing to build on the tradition and take this instrumental format into new places, heretofore unexplored to the fullest extent.
Track Listing: H And H; Every Time We Say Goodbye; PiNGs I; Jean De Fleur; Claudes Monet; PiNGs 2; Afro-Centric; JF Blues; PiNGs 3; My One And Only Love; Angola; PiNGs 4.
Personnel: Joe Sucato: tenor saxophone; Brian Charette: organ; Yotam Silberstein: guitar; Jordan Young: drums.
Record Label: Self Produced
Style: Modern Jazz