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The Young Lizards: Our Modern Lifestyle (2011)

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The Young Lizards: Our Modern Lifestyle No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

The organ trio, once a focal point of soul-drenched jazz in the heyday of such elder statesmen as Jimmy Smith
Jimmy Smith
Jimmy Smith
1925 - 2005
organ, Hammond B3
, Richard "Groove" Holmes
Richard
Richard "Groove" Holmes
1931 - 1991
organ, Hammond B3
, Brother Jack McDuff
Jack McDuff
Jack McDuff
1926 - 2001
organ, Hammond B3
, Jimmy McGriff
Jimmy McGriff
Jimmy McGriff
1936 - 2008
organ, Hammond B3
, Charles Earland
Charles Earland
Charles Earland
1941 - 1999
organ, Hammond B3
, Don Patterson
Don Patterson
Don Patterson
1936 - 1988
organ, Hammond B3
and others, hasn't been nearly as prominent in recent years as the ranks of virtuosic organists (Joey DeFrancesco
Joey DeFrancesco
Joey DeFrancesco
b.1971
organ, Hammond B3
notwithstanding) have thinned. Nevertheless, the organ remains a persuasive jazz instrument, capable of creating uncommon qualities and textures that are implausible in its absence. When a horn is added, as on this quartet date by the Washington state-based Young Lizards, the mood is even more expansive and colorful.

The organist on Our Modern Lifestyle is Ty Bailie, and even though he may lack the bombast or firepower of a DeFrancesco or his predecessors, he fits snugly into this framework, lending strong support to alto saxophonist Chris Fagan while blending seamlessly with guitarist Dave Peterson and drummer Greg Williamson
Greg Williamson
Greg Williamson
b.1965
drums
. The quartet is clearly of one mind, and no one vies to aim the spotlight in his direction. The emphasis, in other words, is on purposeful teamwork.

As for the music, it consists of engaging compositions by Joe Henderson
Joe Henderson
Joe Henderson
1937 - 2001
sax, tenor
("Punjab," "Y Ya La Quiero"), Jaco Pastorius
Jaco Pastorius
Jaco Pastorius
1951 - 1987
bass, electric
("Three Views of a Secret"), Woody Shaw
Woody Shaw
Woody Shaw
1944 - 1989
trumpet
("Katrina Ballerina"), John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
("Mister Day"), Clare Fischer
Clare Fischer
Clare Fischer
1928 - 2012
band/orchestra
("Morning"), drummer Williamson ("Short Mojo") and the standard "While My Lady Sleeps." Tempos are generally moderate, and there's not a barn-burner in the bunch ("La Quiero" comes closest). "Lady" and "Morning," each of which runs for more than ten minutes, are the most sweet-tempered items on the menu. "Punjab" is snappy in spots, giving Bailie a chance to display his chops, which prove to be more than adequate. Fagan and Peterson generate maximum mileage from their solo excursions, while Williamson ensures a steady and dependable backdrop.

For those who miss the transcendent sound of the jazz organ, especially in an evocative context, Our Modern Lifestyle should give rise to enchanting memories as it provides hours of listening pleasure.

Track Listing: Mr. Day; Katrina Ballerina; Y Ya La Quiero; Three Views of a Secret; Short Mojo; While My Lady Sleeps; Morning; Punjab.

Personnel: Chris Fagan: alto saxophone; Ty Bailie: Hammond B3 organ; Dave Peterson: guitar; Greg Williamson: drums.

Record Label: Pony Boy Records


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