One of the few modern day champions of the Hammond-B3 organ trio, “Niacin” now record for progressive-rock/fusion label “Magna Carta” and with their 3rd USA release, Deep the musicians do indeed, sway their hard driving ways a bit more towards the prog/fusion realm. Deep may be the trio’s finest effort to date! With this release, “Niacin” not only kicks out the jams while often trading heavy fours intermingled with a huge wall of sound yet also intertwine powerful funk-rock backbeats thanks to Dennis Chambers’ explosive drumming and Billy Sheehan’s brawny yet ominous sounding bass lines! B-3 specialist John Novello lays down the enticing melodies, swirling clusters and memorable themes amid bone-crushing rhythms that at times seem relentless or perhaps indicative of the group’s overall persona. Compositions such as the melodious yet groove orientated opener, “Swing Swang Swung” and the prog/metal-ish “Blue Mondo” convey somewhat of a new direction or cheery outlook for the band as these musicians have molded their respective energies and vivacity into a distinctive group sound. Not unlike bands of the 70’s such as “Triumvirate” or to some extent “ELP”, “Niacin” have emerged as contemporary delegates of a much beloved yet for the most part, bygone era in music. The blues-rock composition titled, “Things Ain’t What They Used To Be” featuring guest vocalist Glenn Hughes and famed Los Angeles based session guitarist Steve Lukather is more or less your standard fare and seems a bit out of place. However, Lukather does provide some salvation while turning in a well executed and often mind-bending electric guitar solo. In any event, Deep is a fine jubilee that packs a mighty yet good-natured punch! .............* * * *
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.