An organ-led session by a trio of (relatively) young lions who downplay the pyrotechnics usually associated with such groups in favor of perceptive interplay. Organist Larry Goldings cooks but over a lower flame than, say, Jimmy Smith, Joey DeFrancesco or newcomer Tony Monaco. He and guitarist Peter Bernstein are locked onto each other's radar screen while drummer Bill Stewart keeps everything in motion with a variety of rhythmic appliances from brushes to bass drum. Goldings, who's also a fine pianist, soft-pedals the shock chords and wailing high-register lines favored by his contemporaries and generally assumes a more pianistic posture, preferring to paint in shades of pastel instead using the more garish tones usually associated with the Hammond B-3. An exception is "Gnomesville," on which the colors are brighter and more flamboyant. Bernstein is an able partner, comping proficiently and framing trim single-note solos that are never less than engaging. Would that the trio's choice of material were as strong as its synergy. Eight of the ten selections were written or co-written by members of the group, and there's nothing there to quicken one's ear, even though everything on the menu is well-seasoned. Goldings wrote three of the tunes, collaborated with Bernstein on four others, and Stewart contributed one, the elegiac "Chorale." The more captivating selections (our opinion) are the other two, Burt Bacharach / Hal David's "This Guy's in Love with You" and Rodgers and Hart's "Spring Is Here." Even so, this is a splendid trio date characterized by an uncompromising group ethic and resourceful blowing
Contact: Palmetto Records, 71 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011 (phone 1-800-PALMCDS; www.palmetto-records.com).
Personnel: Larry Goldings, organ; Peter Bernstein, guitar; Bill Stewart, drums.