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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gene Ludwig / Pat Martino Trio: Young Guns

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The name Young Guns seems ironically amiss until one learns that this recording dates from 1968-69 when organist Gene Ludwig was thirty years old, guitarist Pat Martino twenty-three and drummer Randy Gelispie somewhere in that neighborhood, long before he became fondly known as “Uncle G." The organ trio was in its heyday then, and this one was caught on tape during an exciting live date at Club 118 in Louisville, KY. How many other such performances have been lost forever owing to the absence of a tape recorder or the failure to turn it on is anyone's guess. But this ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gene Ludwig: Love Notes of Cole Porter

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The Hammond B3 organ combo has always seemed like a working man's jazz group. Drums/guitar/organ groups, often with a saxophone, was a brand of music brought to popularity in the mid-fifties by Jimmy Smith, with interest in the B3 soul jazz sound exploding in the sixties with the work of Jimmy McGriff and Jack McDuff, and the establishment of organ rooms in centers of working class cities like Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, Newark, and Gene Ludwig's home turf, Pittsburgh. Ludwig, who passed away in July, 2010, enjoyed a fifty-year career as an organist, switching from piano to the Hammond ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gene Ludwig: Love Notes Of Cole Porter

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The release of Gene Ludwig's Love Notes Of Cole Porter is a bittersweet event. While this collection of music shines a spotlight on one of the great, under-recognized organ talents in the world of jazz, it also marks the final recording from this mainstay of the Pittsburgh jazz scene. Ludwig passed away suddenly in the summer of 2010, leaving behind his loving wife Pattye, a rich legacy and solid reputation within the jazz community, and an unreleased collection of Cole Porter tunes from his final recording session, in the fall of 2008. Now, thanks to Pattye Ludwig's ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Gene Ludwig: Love Notes Of Cole Porter

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Gene LudwigLove Notes Of Cole PorterBig O Records2011 Nearly two years prior to his untimely death in July of 2010, Pittsburgh organist Gene Ludwig recorded this tribute to composer Cole Porter. Thanks to the efforts of Ludwig's wife and the folks at Big O Records, Ludwig's final recording is now seeing the light of day. Coming off of the stellar Duff's Blues (18th & Vine, 2008), a date featuring Bill Warfield's big band, Love Notes Of Cole Porter finds Ludwig exploring the Porter oeuvre within the confines of a smaller ensemble. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gene Ludwig: Live in Las Vegas

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When Hammond B-3 maestro Gene Ludwig performed recently at JALC's tribute to fellow Pittsburgh native Stanley Turrentine, his playing was certainly up to the occasion. Unfortunately, the sound system at the Allen Room wasn't. On certain notes the organ faded out or crackled like poor radio reception. These audio problems might have diminished Ludwig's performance, but they failed to defeat his spirit as he forged ahead through the faulty connection. Live in Las Vegas, recorded at the Blue Note in 2002, shows how vibrant Ludwig can sound when properly amplified. Percussionist Emedin Rivera's congas introduce “Love For ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gene Ludwig: Hands On

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Hands On is the fourth Gene Ludwig release on the Blues Leaf imprint since the former Sonny Stitt and Pat Martino confederate was rediscovered by producer Jack Kreisberg in the mid-1990s. Amidst an ever-growing number of recordings featuring capable Hammond B-3 organists, Ludwig’s discs always stand out. This time he leads an able band of musicians from his home base of Pittsburgh, PA. A wide embrace of material and moods enables Ludwig and company to avoid the clichés and repetition often associated with the soul jazz genre. The eleven tracks coalesce like the chapters of a well-plotted novel. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gene Ludwig: Hands On

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This is a very likeable B3 album, and notably for people who are not enamored of tenor sax-organ dates. Gene Ludwig, a longtime Pittsburgh musician with a history of 40 years of plugging away at this genre, has pulled out all the “stops." Ludwig has recorded seven sessions including one on Muse in 1979, all with local musicians, and on independent labels. You've got to hand it to someone who has consistently produced quality sessions and still comes back with more.

Ludwig has smartly programmed this album with two originals, three standards and, on the remaining tracks, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gene Ludwig: The Groove ORGANization

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Comprised of craftsmanship and inspiration in equal measure, Hammond B-3 organist Gene Ludwig’s The Groove ORGANization (Blues Leaf) thrives within the broad, well-trod parameters of soul-jazz. Ludwig and his partners guitarist Bob DeVos and drummer Billy James pull off the admirable feat of making music that has an aura of good times, yet is substantial and thought provoking. The overall sound is blues and soul saturated, minus any hint of cliché or grandstanding. Although this is jazz that provides visceral pleasure in the sure-handed presentation of familiar, seemingly basic elements, the trio’s serious play rewards the listener who pays close ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gene Ludwig: Soul Serenade

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Aside from extended touring with Sonny Stitt, Arthur Prysock, as well as in a trio co-led with Pat Martino, Hammond B3 Organ master Gene Ludwig’s activities have primarily taken place within the Pittsburgh, Pa. area jazz scene. Although widespread recognition has eluded Ludwig, his command of the instrument and ability to make vital music while sustaining a wicked groove equals his better-known contemporaries.

Soul Serenade, his second recording for the Loose Leaf label, finds Ludwig in excellent form and generously willing to share the spotlight. Guitarist Ken Karsh has a full, open sound, and the blues pervades everything he plays. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gene Ludwig: Soul Serenade

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Gene Ludwig has remained a local Pittsburgh phenomenon for most of his life, despite some recording and/or touring stints with jazz notables like Sonny Stitt, Pat Martino and Arthur Prysock. Approximately ten years younger than the best of the B-3 masters like Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff and Jack McDuff, Ludwig is recognized by his fellow jazz organ musicians, as well as by the almost cultish enthuasiasts of the instrument's sound. And Ludwig's outgoing, soulful sound is entirely within the tradition of the instrument. His composition, “Duff's Blue," nails the McDuff sound, complete with effortless swing, the urgent tenor sax lead ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gene Ludwig: Soul Serenade

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Gene Ludwig is four square in the traditional school of Hammond B3 organ players and with more than 40 years at the console, he helped to form the tradition. His playing is relaxed, laid back, drenched with a mix of blues and soul. This comes with the realization that the organ quartet can be one of the most pleasurable listening experiences in jazz. With its extremely large range of tone colors and timbres, the organ expresses the full range of human emotions, from the romantic and sultry, through highly charged beat excitement, to soul drenched melancholy. This potential is fully ...



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