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Vince Seneri: The Prince's Groove (2008)

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Vince Seneri: The Prince's Groove How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

A masterful keyboardist who has been performing for over twenty years, Vince "The Prince" Seneri releases a scorcher of an album with The Prince's Groove, definitely one of the best jazz organ recordings around. Seneri, who was given the nickname by his peers, plays the Hammond B3 organ with a unique sound and style, making him one of the top B3 players of his generation. Influenced by many other great organists, it was Jimmy Smith who left the biggest mark on Seneri's music.

Seneri selects a repertoire of classic standards and originals designed to showcase the talented cast of musicians he has assembled for this grooving session. He reunites with guitarist Paul Bollenback and flautist Dave Valentin, with whom he has performed before, adding other artists including legendary trumpeter Randy Brecker and saxophonist Houston Person. Person only appears on Hoagy Charmichael's "The Nearness of You," but leaves quite an impression. Blowing with heartfelt passion, he leaves Seneri in a backup role until half way through the piece, when the organist weighs in with a short solo.

Seneri opens the session with the funky "Renegade Man," highlighting Brecker's horn play and Bollenback crisp guitar. A brief, fast-paced rendition of the Mercer/Kern standard "Dearly Beloved" follows, with both Seneri and the guitarist playing fast and furious in front of Buddy Williams' quick drum rolls.

Pablo Beltran Ruiz's famous "Sway (Quien Sera)" never sounded quite so good, as Seneri takes it for an organ ride that needs to be heard to be believed. Valentin also lends his chops here with a nice foray on the flute, as percussionist Riche Flores shows his stuff, making this a sizzler of a tune. "The Stinger" and "Overdrive" are two other rapid-paced Seneri originals, where the organist delivers shining performances.

The title piece is a bit more laidback, showcasing Brecker's voice on trumpet, with a sprinkle of Bollenback before giving way to a swinging Seneri groove. Providing a measure of the Latin jazz sound, Seneri's "Passion Dance" features Valentin and Flores, along with Williams' percussive beats and Brecker, this time on flugelhorn.

The finale takes Richard Carpenter's "Walkin'" on a slow but very hip walk through some bluesy chords, finishing off one burner of a session. For those partial to the sound of the organ, The Prince's Groove places Vince Seneri alongside some of the great Hammond B3 players.

Track Listing: Renegade Man; Dearly Beloved; Sway (Quien Sera); The Stinger; The Nearness of You; Overdrive; Prince's Groove; Passion Dance; Walkin'.

Personnel: Vince Seneri: Hammond B3 organ; Randy Brecker: trumpet & flugelhorn (1,4,6-8); Paul Bollenback: guitar; Dave Valentin: flute (3, 8); Houston Person: tenor saxophone (5); Richie Flores: percussions (3, 8); Gary Fritz: percussions (1, 2, 4-7, 9); Buddy Williams: drums.

Record Label: Self Produced

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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