154

Gene Ludwig: Hands On

By

Sign in to view read count
Gene Ludwig: Hands On This is a very likeable B3 album, and notably for people who are not enamored of tenor sax-organ dates. Gene Ludwig, a longtime Pittsburgh musician with a history of 40 years of plugging away at this genre, has pulled out all the "stops." Ludwig has recorded seven sessions including one on Muse in 1979, all with local musicians, and on independent labels. You've got to hand it to someone who has consistently produced quality sessions and still comes back with more.

Ludwig has smartly programmed this album with two originals, three standards and, on the remaining tracks, five "organ party anthems." Sam Jones' "Unit 7" ostensibly has no connection with the B3 but it was Cannonball Adderley's intro and outro theme for a long time and it fits the bill perfectly. Jerome Richardson's "Groove Merchant" (which came first, the song or the record label?) is a highly under-recorded bounce tempo from the late '60s with the Hammond filling in the horn riffs. "Baby Don't You Go Away Mad," which I remember quite distinctly as Illinois Jacquet's "Black Velvet," swings mightily, as when Sinatra had it in his repetoire.

Pianist Carl Perkins' "Groove Yard," popularized by the Montgomery Brothers, is a fine medium tempo blues. "Willow Weep for Me" is done as a boozy, crying-in-your-beer mode just as if Jimmy Smith and Hank Mobley were blowing it. Ludwig's own "Louie and Jazz" is a perfect '50s-'60s Blue Note hard bop melody line, and until I read the composer credits I was searching mentally for the tune's name and songwriter. I was only disappointed in the closer "Spiritual" which is a solo B3 recitation that you might hear as recessional music at Sunday morning services.

This combo is one that Ludwig has worked with consistently over the past few years. Ken Karsh, a good melody player on guitar, gets ample solo time and makes his point concisely. Tom Wendt, takes care of the percussion, keeps the album moving along nicely. Saxophonist Eric DeFade is the son of Ray DeFade, who played sax for Ludwig in the early '60s. He is a young follower of the organ-tenor sax stars who are no longer on the scene and provides the appropriate sermon when called upon.


Track Listing: Louie and Jazz, Unit 7, Groove Yard, Willow Weep for Me, Groove Merchant, Groovy Samba, Baby Don't You Go Away Mad, Pete Kelly's Blues, Layin' Back, Have You Met Miss Jones, Spiritual.

Personnel: Gene Ludwig,Hammond B-3 Organ; Ken Karsh,guitar; Tom Wendt,drums; Eric DeFade,sax

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Blues Leaf Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Umbra" CD/LP/Track Review Umbra
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 31, 2016
Read "Funk 'n' Feathers" CD/LP/Track Review Funk 'n' Feathers
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: August 7, 2016
Read "The River" CD/LP/Track Review The River
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 16, 2016
Read "Live At Okuden" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Okuden
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 13, 2016
Read "Echoes From Rudolph's" CD/LP/Track Review Echoes From Rudolph's
by John Sharpe
Published: March 30, 2016
Read "Taylor Street" CD/LP/Track Review Taylor Street
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 3, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!