There's a loose quote from an unknown source that states that "soul can't be taught or learned, you either have it or you don't." This most definitely seems to be the case with the Deep Blue Organ Trio. They simply have it. Even though this is a debut recording, the trio was formed in 1992 and has performed weekly at one of Chicago's premier jazz venues, the Green Mill lounge. The players include guitarist Bobby Broom, drummer Greg Rockingham, and organist Chris Foreman, who has been called "Chicago's most exciting and under-recorded organist." Together their credits include associations with names from Miles Davis to Ellis Marsalis. The culmination of experience and skill, but more significantly their sound and vibe, makes this a special recording.
While this is not a progressive new flavor of the organ combo, what clearly is apparent is the energy, passion, and deep feeling the trio delivers to the music. Broom, a masterful guitarist (see Modern Man and Stand! ), brings serious jazz chops with smoothness and continues to pave the way with a style that is reminiscent of other greats, yet he has his own voice. Rockingham holds the timing and fills in the spaces nicely with precision, while the backbone of the trio lies in the hands of Foreman, who brings not only jazz but also elements of gospel (he plays on Sundays at a local church) and blues. His touch and level of playing trancends mere academics and relays the message that he's feeling what he's playing.
All these various roots flourish in this strong recording as the trio works out ten selections with ease; the only original piece is the title selection. It makes no difference because they do an outstanding job in transforming old favorites into newly revised works that are totally fresh. The selections include jazz standards ("These Foolish Things"), R&B covers (Prince's "Raspberry Beret"), and rock songs (The Doors' "Light My Fire"), each given distinct facelifts.
The trio is the essence of cool, whether delivering complex vamps, heated solos, or tempered ballads. One of the highlights is a remake of the '70s supergroup Earth Wind & Fire's "Can't Hide Love" where Foreman and Broom mirror the funky melody with a nimble exactness and killer solos as Rockingham lays down a sweet rhythm. If you want to hear the real deal, then check out the trio in the Windy City, but until then Deep Blue Bruise is the next best thing to being there.
1. These Foolish Things;
2. Cafe Regio's;
3. It Was A Very Good Year;
4. Rasberry Beret;
6. Can't Hide Love;
7. Willow Weep For Me;
8. Light My Fire;
9. Polka Dots And Moonbeams;
10. Deep Blue Bruise.
Chris Foreman - Hammond organ; Bobby Broom - guitar; Greg Rockingham - drums.