86

Jake Langley: Diggin' In

Michael McCaw By

Sign in to view read count
Jake Langley: Diggin' In

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 The Better Angels of Our Nature CD/LP/Track Review The Better Angels of Our Nature
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 20, 2017
Read What Brought You Here? CD/LP/Track Review What Brought You Here?
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 20, 2017
Read My Head Is Listening CD/LP/Track Review My Head Is Listening
by John Sharpe
Published: July 20, 2017
Read Passin' Thru CD/LP/Track Review Passin' Thru
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 20, 2017
Read Ugly Beauty CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beauty
by Nick Davies
Published: July 20, 2017
Read Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet CD/LP/Track Review Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 19, 2017
Read "Impulsive Illuminations" CD/LP/Track Review Impulsive Illuminations
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "Think Ahead" CD/LP/Track Review Think Ahead
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 2, 2017
Read "Taking Direction" CD/LP/Track Review Taking Direction
by Marithe Van der Aa
Published: April 4, 2017
Read "Juxtaposition" CD/LP/Track Review Juxtaposition
by David A. Orthmann
Published: March 9, 2017
Read "Sunrain" CD/LP/Track Review Sunrain
by Geno Thackara
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "The Deep" CD/LP/Track Review The Deep
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Published: July 4, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!