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It's difficult to imagine good jazz without a bass, but a Hammond B3 organ in the right hands can cover the absence quite well. Matthias Bublath has such hands.
Bublath, a fixture on the New York scene, has performed at many festivals around the world and toured extensively in the United States, Europe and Japan. Accompanying him on Second Angle are Tim Collins on vibes, Scott Bourgeois on saxophone and Obed Colvaire on drums.
The melody of "Dump the Goose" is fun, but not challenging. The solos, however, are another story, with Bourgeois putting the horn through some frantic paces freely over Bublath and Colvaire, and cranking up the intensity before giving way to Bublath. The organ starts midly, but soon gets into a funky, layered play that's punctuated emphatically by Colvaire.
"B3 Choro" has a slightly Brazilian feel to the rhythm. During the solo, Collins scores on the vibes worthy of Gary Burton, Dave Samuels or even Lionel Hampton, with Bublath following on the B3. Sax and vibes share the melody while the organ ad libs. The energetic closing sequence is delightful.
"Pocket" is a slow, bluesy track that's right at home inside a smoky nightclub as Bourgeois leads with a long, soulful solo. Colvaire does some interesting broken-time work underneath on he drumkit. The song's climax comes when sax and organ reach a fever pitch just before things soften for Bublath's solo but with Collins adding a quiet touch throughoutall done with a toe-tapping flair.
Bublath composed 10 of the 11 tracks, with the lone cover being Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Luiza." Second Angle clearly establishes Bublath's skill as a leader, composer and organist, but the album's strength is the interaction of the group. Regardless of who has the melody, all four musicians are deeply involved in this outing.
Track Listing: Dump the Goose; Sweet Melody; B3 Choro; Africa; On the Road Again; Pocket; Douleur; Luiza; Humidifier; Silvershining; Second Angle.
Personnel: Matthias Bublath: Hammond B3 organ; Tim Collins: vibes; Scott Bourgeois: sax; Obed Colvaire: drums.