Deep Blue Organ Trio: Goin' To Town - Live At The Green Mill

Mark F. Turner BY

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Deep Blue Organ Trio
Goin' To Town: Live At The Green Mill

On most Tuesday nights since 2003, The Deep Blue Organ Trio has dished out a thick and satisfying dose of jazz blues at the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge in Chicago, Illinois. This DVD captures essence of the trio with music that sticks to your ribs and touches the heart, whiles capturing three highly skilled musicians who have formed a unique bond after playing together since 1992. At the center of the group is Chi Town favorite, B3 organist Chris Foreman whose beautiful playing could be listed among names such as Lonnie Smith, and Larry Young. But of equal importance are band-mates drummer Greg Rockingham who provides sweet rhythm traps, and guitarist Bobby Broom who is one of jazz most accomplished and stylized guitarists.

The footage reflect the trio's mantra of "Blues is the preacher, Jazz is the teacher" with music that is rooted in ethnicity and articulated by jazz improvisation. And when the trio's chemistry is combined and extended to an appreciative audience; magic simply occurs. The six selections cover a variety of originals and standards such as a straight but unique version of the Sinatra favorite "The Way You Look at Tonight" or Earth Wind and Fire's soulful "Can't Hide Love."

The video is very good opening with the visual segue of the crowd entering into the venue as the trio plays "Goin' To Town." Alternating views include the audience, the trio, and each musician, with angled positions, and even brief yet effective camera montages. It's quite interesting to see as well as hear the trio communicate with once another. The listening experience is enhanced when you see Broom's facial expressions as he solos, Rockingham's blurred flurry of sticks, and Foreman's quick hands that seem to float over the keys.

The sound is excellent as heard on Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Once I Loved" as the ballad slowly begins then builds in strength featuring Forman's delicate fingers with a percussive sound that mimics a marimba quality and concludes with an incredible solo from Broom's sinewy hollow-body guitar, as Rockingham snaps, taps, and glides the Brazilian rhythm.

The extras while sparse do include a trio interview with interesting background information on each musician. But the real treat here is being able to witness an outstanding trio perform music that entertains and makes the listener feel, see, and hear good music.

Other recordings of interest by the group include the companion CD Goin' To Town and Deep Blue Bruise (Delmark Records, 2004).

Tracks: Goin' To Town; The Way You Look Tonight; Once I Loved; No Hype Blues; Lou; Can't Hide Love.

Personnel: Chris Foreman: Hammond B3 organ; Bobby Broom: guitar; Greg Rockingham: drums.

Production Notes: Recorded at 24 bit/96kHz High Resolution Audio, live on May 2 & 3, 2005.

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