360

Greg Skaff: East Harlem Skyline

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
Greg Skaff: East Harlem Skyline
The organ-led trio has long been a fascination for guitarist Greg Skaff—especially when a guitar is involved. So it follows that he borrows from the playbooks of guitarists like George Benson and Wes Montgomery, and organists like Jimmy Smith and Don Patterson.

East Harlem Skyline brings Skaff together with Hammond B-3 organists George Colligan and George Laks, with Darryl Jones on electric bass and drummers Charley Drayton and E.J. Strickland. The collection includes six Skaff compositions and covers of songs by Colligan, Wayne Shorter, Fiona Apple and Billy Strayhorn.



"Willie D" is part throwback to early rock fusion. Skaff leads in a freestyle rock mode. Laks, Jones and Drayton make their only appearance count. For the remainder of the set, Strickland carries drum duties, and Colligan uses the organ to cover for the bass. This element comes through strongly on Shorter's "Angola." Skaff's play is clean and crisp. Strickland works the cymbals effectively, while Colligan adds plenty of depth. Colligan also contributes a Smith-like solo.

If Skaff original "Tropicalia" has a Brazilian feel, it's because of the song's inspiration: the word itself is the name of a musical movement in Brazil, but the title also is influenced by Tropical Truth, an autobiography by singer Caetano Veloso. It's a charming, easygoing piece in which Skaff, Colligan and Strickland do plenty of stretching out. Strickland is especially effective during the closing sequence, scoring on the snare and toms with vigor.

Colligan is more of a force on "Twenty Three," named so because of the number of bars in the melody. The organist leads through most of this selection, with Skaff mostly in a rhythm guitar role. Strickland, as throughout, is sharp in mixing the snare, toms and cymbals.

With East Harlem Skyline Skaff reinforces his mark to be considered among the guitar/B-3/drum trios whose styles he honors.

Track Listing

Willie D; Contrary to Popular Motion; Angola; Tropicalia; Yasmine

Personnel

Greg Skaff: guitar; George Colligan: Hammond B-3 organ (2-10); E.J. Strickland: drums (2-10); George Laks: Hammond B-3 organ (1); Darryl Jones: electric bass (1); Charley Drayton: drums, percussion (1).

Album information

Title: East Harlem Skyline | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Zoho Music

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

View events near New York City
Jazz Near New York City
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop Amazon

More

Westward Bound!
Harold Land
Jazz Mix 12
Kris T Reeder
Horizons Quartet
Horizons Quartet
3,5,8
Gui Duvignau
On Fire
Bévort 3
Lockdown
Joshua Jern Jazz Orchestra

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.