On the face of it, Shadow Box, Bob DeVos' fifth outing as a leader, is a sixty minute case study of the evolution of the organ combo, one of the music's most popular and enduring formats. DeVos tips his hat to legendary individuals (some of whom he played with in the early stages of his career) like Wild Bill Davis, Jimmy Smith, Trudy Pitts, Charles Earland, Richard “Groove" Holmes, Wes Montgomery with Melvin Rhyne, Jimmy McGriff, and Larry Young. Though you can hear echoes of them in most of the disc's eleven tracks, there's something else at work here. A ...read more
Bob DeVos and Don FriedmanNyack Library Carnegie RoomNyack, NYJune 29, 2012The spate of live performances that expressly pay tribute to various figures from bygone eras of jazz raises a number of complex questions about the music and the business which surrounds it. Do concerts and club dates in honor of musicians ranging from Duke Ellington to Louis Prima represent a marketing ploy to attract listeners who are reluctant to venture out to hear performers with unfamiliar names? Are these events exercises in recreating the music's storied past? Or, are they a tacit admission that jazz ...read more
Bob DeVos The Turning Point Cafe Piermont, New York May 12, 2008
There's never been a better time to catch jazz/blues master Bob DeVos in live performance. Having played scores of gigs since 2005, DeVos's working trio, consisting of his guitar, organist Dan Kostelnik, and drummer Steve Johns, is at the peak of its creative peak. A seventy-five minute opening set at The Turning Point Cafe featured mostly selections from DeVos's two recent Savant releases, (2006) and Playing For Keeps (2007). The trio, plus guest saxophonist John Richmond, displayed an exemplary rapport, knowing ...read more
There are few lovelier sounds in music than a guitar that is played correctly, and by that I mean with warmth and sensitivity, even though I couldn't single out one guitarist from another even under threat of waterboarding. All that's really necessary, though, is to know who can play, and Bob DeVos raises no doubt about that. Logically and aesthetically, he's squarely on the mark.
DeVos, who toured and performed early on with such legendary organists as Richard Groove Holmes, Jack McDuff, Jimmy McGriff and Charles Earland, has patterned his close-knit guitar/organ/drums combo after the classic Grant Green/Larry Young/Elvin Jones ...read more
There's nothing muddy about the waters Bob DeVos dips his digits into--his fluid, sure and straight-ahead guitar rings as clear as any superbly played horn. Favoring moving single-note lines, he has fashioned a playing style influenced by horn masters like Sonny Stitt and he obviously admires Coltrane, who has received tributes on a couple of his recordings. He's also taken inspiration from pianists McCoy Tyner, Wynton Kelly and Herbie Hancock, and from guitar kingpin Wes Montgomery. And in his liner notes for Playing for Keeps, DeVos cites the Larry Young, Grant Green and Elvin Jones trio of the 1960s as ...read more
It is old news that the classic B-3 guitar trio is back. What is news though are the inventive explorations happening in the genre--and Shifting Sands, the latest from guitarist Bob DeVos, is one such delight. DeVos meshes his teeming tone with the chordal subtleties of organist Dan Kostelnik and wide-open feeling of drummer Steve Johns. This program includes a healthy quantity of new material and benefits from the guest horn of post-bopper Eric Alexander. Lost and Found is home to a satisfyingly funky groove that DeVos and Kostelnik alternately investigate prior to Alexander's horn joining in ...read more
For aficionados of the Hammond B-3 organ trio, the name of Bob DeVos is immediately recognizable. DeVos has been the guitarist of choice for B-3 luminaries such as Richard “Groove” Holmes, Charles “The Mighty Burner” Earland, and Jimmy McGriff for over three decades. In addition, he's worked with saxophonists Sonny Stitt, Stanley Turrentine, David Fathead" Newman, and Houston Person, as well as singers Etta Jones and Irene Reid. Nor is DeVos solely wed to the soul-jazz genre; he is currently a member of bassist Ron McClure’s innovative quartet, and he regularly works with bassist Mike Richmond in a duo format. ...read more
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