190

Benjamin Koppel: Hammond Street

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
With the popularity of Hammond B-3 organ-based recordings, it's becoming hard to differentiate one from another. Ever since the patriarchal organ sounds of Jimmy Smith's hot greased soul and Larry Young's smooth sophistication, the organ combo has flourished. Copenhagen alto saxophonist Benjamin Koppel offers his spin on the idiom with Hammond Street.

Koppel is a versatile and gifted player who has led ensembles in jazz, crossover and classical music. He's an alto stylist with a tone similar to Phil Woods and Greg Osby; his horn is quick and lyrical. And when you add these attributes to the in-demand drumming of Bill Stewart and one of today's foremost B-3 players, Larry Goldings, the result is more than just your average B-3 grind session.

On eight originals and a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Make Sure You're Sure, Koppel leads the trio in a what feels like a live setting where the interaction among the musicians creates an utterly enjoyable atmosphere. There's a some experimentation on "H.T.E.S.T.A.C, where Goldings pulls off a cathedral organ timbre, and some heavy bop on "Ostrich Itch, where the trio engages in playful communication and unexpected solos, wrapping the piece up with an abstract ending.

The ballads "Jetlag and "Holtemmen are alluring and poignant, with Koppel's soulful sax burning against luxuriant backdrops as the trio plays with intimacy. They swing hard on "Pasadena Pancakes and close the set with "Coconino County (Part II ) —a prime cut of savvy and groove-inspired music.

Track Listing: Ostrich Itch; Jetlag; H.T.E.S.T.A.C ((how to explain socialism to a cat)); Hammond Street; Make Sure You're Sure; Armadillo Run; Holtemmen; Pasadena Pancakes; Coconino County (Part II).

Personnel: Benjamin Koppel: alto saxophone; Larry Goldings: Hammond B-3 organ; Bill Stewart: drums.

Title: Hammond Street | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Cowbell Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Bright Yellow with Bass CD/LP/Track Review Bright Yellow with Bass
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 18, 2017
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 "My Love" CD/LP/Track Review My Love
by Chris Mosey
Published: September 28, 2017
Read "Magia" CD/LP/Track Review Magia
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 6, 2016
Read "Birdhoused" CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "Ida Y Vuelta" CD/LP/Track Review Ida Y Vuelta
by James Nadal
Published: December 30, 2016
Read "L.O.T.U.S." CD/LP/Track Review L.O.T.U.S.
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "Dialectrical" CD/LP/Track Review Dialectrical
by John Sharpe
Published: June 19, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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