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Dan Pratt Organ Quartet: Springloaded (2004)

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Dan Pratt Organ Quartet: Springloaded How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

DPOQ, as it's named on the cover of Springloaded, stands for the Dan Pratt Organ Quartet, a smokin' band led by tenor saxophonist Dan Pratt. DPOQ draws upon the foundations of organ jazz as set by Jimmy Smith and Larry Young, using modern compositional forms to create up-to-the-minute jazz that combines invention and swing. The members of DPOQ are young and they take no prisoners.

Pratt exemplifies the approach of DPOQ. He composed most of the tunes on Springloaded , using challenging and unorthodox formal devices. Yet the tunes are accessible and melodic, and some of them, such as the up-tempo burner "Who Knew," have the potential to become jazz standards. On tenor sax, Pratt has a huge, warm sound, and he improvises creatively and aggressively. He might play against the rhythm, and more often, he digs in and swings, as on "Blues With A Limp."

Organist Jared Gold demonstrates firm footwork, maintaining solid bass lines even as he negotiates the intricate forms of the tunes, such as the odd-meter funk that's part of "Still Steamin." He seems to be developing a personal style based in Larry Young, including Young's lighter touch, and he solos effectively throughout. Alan and Mark Ferber happen to be identical twins, and they're also excellent musicians. Alan can go outside, blare, riff, or bop like J.J. Johnson. Mark keeps swinging time even through the most complex situations.

But DPOQ's strongest asset might be its unity, its band sound. This is a working band, with deep interplay, and when Pratt and Alan Ferber improvise collectively, their lines intertwine with remarkable clarity.The result is Springloaded, a fine debut by a band to watch.

Track Listing: Grapple With The Apple, 20/20, Did You See What I Saw, Still Steamin, House Of Cards, Blues With A Limp, The Other End, Moraga, Who Knew.

Personnel: Dan Pratt, tenor saxophone; Alan Ferber, trombone; Jared Gold, organ; Mark Ferber, drums.

Record Label: Sunny Sky

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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