Guitarist John Hart has long had an affinity for working with groups that feature the organ as a primary instrument. Having worked with Jimmy Smith and logged a 16-year tenure with organist Jack McDuff, the guitarist now presents Act Three, yet another project with another organ master, this time New York-based keyboardist Gary Versace on the Hammond B3 organ. Versace is one of the most in-demand musicians on the jazz scene today.
Rounding out Hart's new band is long-time collaborator, drummer Andy Watson, who anchored Hart's touring band throughout the 1990s but whose musical relationship actually goes back even further to the 1980s. A professor of Jazz Guitar at the University of Miami's prestigious Frost School of Music, Hart has recorded two previous organ trio albums, only one as leader making this effort, his second organ trio album as lead.
Presenting a buoyant repertoire of six originals and three well-travelled standards, the music takes off with the title track setting the pace followed by a highly charged Nat Simon jazz standard "Poinciana," where the leader's solos are especially pronounced bouncing off the organist sizzling arrangement. Both Hart and Versace turn in a tender performance on Jule Styne's classic ballad "I Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry."
The music moves on through several originals such as the up-tempo waltz "Out of Somewhere" and "Heretics," which Hart says is "the most challenging tune on the album because of its shifting time signatures." Add to that the bluesy "Lile My Attitude," and "Low Point Avenue," a contrafact of the standard "Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise" featuring some heat from all three players.
Victor Herbert's familiar sweet ballad of "Indian Summer" serves as the finale of the session and a truly classic session it is as guitarist John Hart crafts one of the finest organ trio albums one will ever hear.
Act Three; Poinciana; Bad Penny; I Guess I'll hang My Tears Out to Dry; Out of Somewhere; Heretics; Like My Attitude; Low Point Avenue; Indian Summer.