When Czechoslovakian organist Ondrej Pivec ventured to New York City with fellow countryman drummer Tomas Hobzek, a recording session was arranged with Brooklyn-based, Canadian guitarist Jake Langley and tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm. The resulting disc, Overseason, is a groove-oriented collection of soulful sounds, steeped in the organ combo tradition and brimming with hard-hitting, progressive solos.
Pivec's compositions, which make up the bulk of the disc's material, are full of melodic hooks and funky grooves. The opening track, "Song for Sam," has a gospel vibe that recalls the recordings organist Larry Goldings made with guitarist John Scofield in the 1990s. "Nine Days Wonder," propelled by Hobzek's solid back-beat produces some intensified lines by Langley and Frahm.
Other disc highlights include a Larry Young-influenced rendering of "Invitation"recalling the late organists legendary sessions from the 1960s with guitarist Grant Green and drummer Elvin Jonesand a heavy- handed run through of Joe Henderson's "Inner Urge."
Pivec demonstrates a thorough understanding of the Hammond B3 tradition, laying down convincing bass lines and soloing with ample amounts of greasy fervor. Through lucid lines and thick voicings, the organist evokes the lushness of Don Patterson and the drenched blues of Jimmy Smith.
All in all, Overseason is an intense, yet toe-tapping experience that beckons for repeated listening.
Personnel: Ondrej Pivec: organ; Jake Langley: guitar; Tomas Hobzek: drums; Joel Frahm: tenor saxophone.