151

Carl Orr: Deep Down

By

Sign in to view read count
Carl Orr: Deep Down This recording is a radical departure from guitarist Carl Orr's previous high-voltage fusion output, and on first listening one can be lulled into a false sense of smoothness brought on by commercial aspirations. However, as the title suggests, there is much more to Deep Down than a cursory scratching at the surface would suggest.

The sound is warm and familiar, and anyone with a penchant for Blue Note organ trios with Grant Green or early George Benson will be served well here. There are also some rather lush classical overdubbed acoustic guitar pieces, plus one or two solo efforts where Orr plays all instruments, apart from some junglist drum programming by Ernie McKone. Indeed, three distinct recording sessions appear to have gone into making this album, but they are nicely integrated into a pleasing whole.

The disc kicks off with the first of five organ trio tunes, "Stand Alone, a classic 5/4 swing piece with a catchy but simple tune. Orr uses a hollow-body jazz guitar here and his tone is clear but mellow. Drummer Nic France keeps the whole thing bubbling along nicely, and the guitarist shows tasteful restraint throughout. Tracks such as "Peace by Peaceful Means and "People Power, whose titles themselves tell us much about the writer's motivation for the album's direction, amply express his depth of thought and feeling.

Orr can also trade chops with the finest, however, and on the drum-n-bass flavoured "11th hour, he and Butch Thomas do get down to some mean blowing, while France's excellent live drums replace McKone's sequenced work on the programmed version. Even in the midst of these fiery salvos, however, there is a simplicity of expression and execution which are the trademarks of a craftsman at his best and Orr plays with energy, directness and spontaneity throughout, putting his own stamp on this classic format.

"Precious Baby Boy, "Nam Shin and "Isolation are all short, almost classical etudes, the former featuring a particularly lovely theme built on parallel harmonies. Two tracks are dedicated to departed friends, including the tender ballad "Nothing Can Hurt Her Now, another organ trio track.

Deep Down is exactly what it says, rich in emotion in a soulful, bluesy way, still retaining high technical proficiency, albeit in a subtle setting. The production is studied and clear, lending a relaxed vibe to the sound. The title track is a romantic bossa nova, apparently inspired by the classy, sophisticated music of Burt Bacharach.

Although this wide detour from Orr's normal musical path explores a more chilled-out, soulful area, he's managed to convey a deeply felt emotional sensibility through a warm, accessible medium. Whilst this music can be used as a soundscape for your favourite form of relaxation or dinner party, this well of heartfelt feelings can only be plumbed by going deep down into the very core of the music. Put your CD player on loop, turn down the lights and dive into this beautiful album.


Track Listing: Stand Alone; Peace By Peaceful Means; 11th Hour; People Power; Deep Down; Precious Baby Boy; Nam Shin; Give The People Something; People Power, Reprise; Isolation; Nothing Can Hurt Her Now.

Personnel: Carl Orr: electric and acoustic guitar; Pete Whittaker: organ; Nic France: drums; Christian Brewer: alto saxophone (1,4); Butch Thomas: tenor and soprano saxophone (3,4): Julian Bury, bass (2,5): Steve Rose: piano (8); Ernie McKone: programming (10).

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Contemporary/Smooth


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Light Shines In" CD/LP/Track Review Light Shines In
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "Live in Concert" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Concert
by David Becker
Published: January 30, 2017
Read "Purple Patio" CD/LP/Track Review Purple Patio
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 27, 2016
Read "Backlog" CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: November 29, 2016
Read "Boss Tenor" CD/LP/Track Review Boss Tenor
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: July 20, 2016
Read "Three Miles From Avalon" CD/LP/Track Review Three Miles From Avalon
by Doug Collette
Published: October 15, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!