86

Jake Langley: Diggin' In

Michael McCaw By

Sign in to view read count


Archtop guitarist Jake Langley makes no bones about his group's sound, noting "we're not inventing anything new, but someone has to keep the [organ] tradition alive. And although the music on Diggin' In is dexterous and keeps with Langley's words, the proficiency of the album often outweighs its originality, which results in little surprise for the listener, nor any disappointment, save for the very issue of originality. Diggin' In simply exists as a pleasant vehicle for guitar, organ, and drums that lie within the lighter end of the organ tradition.

Often working in the same sound space as Wes Montgomery, as well as a bit of the instrumental George Benson of late, Langley's interpretations of the songs here are often familiar and unfold closely within the framework of the originals, with little variation. The group's take on Montgomery's "O.G.D." is typical of the date as a whole—Langley sticks on top of the opening melody, hardly breaking away from it until he rips into a speedy solo that eventually gives way to Joey DeFrancesco's more leisurely paced feature.

Having DeFrancesco as his primary foil was a wise move on Langley's part. But while the organist has proven in the past that he can break a date wide open, here he seems more subservient to the songs' original structure and voicings, not really taking any liberties to stab at something special—as he has done elsewhere, such as on Pat Martino's 2001 release Live at Yoshi's. One notable exception is his burning solo on "Gibraltar, where he breaks out of the mold and really raises the tune from the sound obscurity that plagues the rest of the album by inspiring his bandmates to ride along with him.

Opening with a considerable amount of forward motion and egged on by DeFrancesco's contrasting staccato and elongated notes, Langely builds momentum by gradually increasing his own pace, rather than jumping from normal speed to light speed, as he does elsewhere. The song also provides one of the few spotlights for drummer Terry Clarke, who contributes a nice solo, but like most of the album, it's nothing overtly memorable. In contrast, DeFrancesco's spotlight isn't his longest solo of the date (at only around a minute long), but his development is sharp and aggressive, bleeding over into his driving comping style on this particular track.

All critiques aside, Diggin' In is a pleasant listen that many listeners of a lighter organ trio sound will enjoy. From a technical standpoint the album is well-paced and the playing never hits a bad note. Nonetheless, as greasy organ trios go, there are a lot of other options out there, and Diggin' In rarely presents anything that warrants repeated listening.

Track Listing: 1. Cheesecake; 2. O.G.D.; 3. Blues For Jim San; 4. God Bless The Child; 5. The Garage; 6. Gibraltar; 7. Sugar

Personnel: Jake Langley, guitar; Joey DeFrancesco, B3 organ; Terry Clarke, drums

Title: Diggin' In | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Alma Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Rev CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Seasons 1-4 Live" CD/LP/Track Review Seasons 1-4 Live
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: January 6, 2017
Read "Reflections" CD/LP/Track Review Reflections
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: March 11, 2017
Read "Noumenon" CD/LP/Track Review Noumenon
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "Closer To The Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Closer To The Sun
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: January 9, 2017
Read "May I Introduce To You" CD/LP/Track Review May I Introduce To You
by James Nadal
Published: August 23, 2017
Read "Seifert" CD/LP/Track Review Seifert
by Ian Patterson
Published: August 10, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.