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Bryan Beninghove puts a different spin on the jazz trio. Instead of piano or guitar with bass and drums, he heads sax-organ-drums combo. It makes for an interesting, off-the-beaten-path recording, aptly titled Organ Trio.
Saxophonist/composer Beninghove hails from the Baltimore suburb of Westminster, Md. He has performed with such musicians as Rufus Reid, Jamey Haddad and many others. When he's not performing, he can be often found giving private lessons, putting on clinics, running ensembles or leading a jazz camp for children.
Kyle Koehler brings a Jimmy Smith-like quality on the Hammond B3 organ. Don Williams completes the trio on drums. The album concept is part tribute to the organ trios of the 1950s and '60s, and much of the music sounds like it came from that era.
"Hey Zeus," one of four Beninghove originals, is a clever title that could easily be a call to a mythical god or a witty take on a common Spanish name. Either way, the song is lighthearted, passionate and groovy. Beninghove thrills in the lead, and Koehler enjoys a nice solo.
The cover of Wayne Shorter's "Adam's Apple" continues that spirit of playfulness. While Beninghove's lead is stunning, his sidemen get plenty of action as well. Williams mixes it up with snare, cymbals and toms. Koehler's performance on the B3 has a duel purpose: in the background, he makes it seem as though more than three instruments are playing; as a soloist, he sizzles, particularly during one high-speed sequence.
Another Beninghove composition is "Sam Spade." Upbeat and danceable, it's the shortest song on the album, but still offers plenty to enjoy. It also has a slight film noir feel to it. Williams gets some rim shots in during Koehler's solo, adding to the song's finger-snapping mood.
Several of the tracks end with yells and applause; giving the music the feel of a live recording. Adding to that are the song lengths; all but one are longer than four minutes, and four top seven and a half minutes. All have an element of fun, and several are made for dancing. Organ Trio is feel-good music from another erathat doesn't sound old.
Track Listing: Tape Side Up; Hey Zeus; Adam's Apple; Hear Me Now; I've Never Been In Love Before; Sam Spade; Out of Nowhere; Everything Happens To Me; My Secret Love.