Home » Jazz Articles » Mike LeDonne: I Love Music

4
Album Review

Mike LeDonne: I Love Music

By

Sign in to view read count
Mike LeDonne: I Love Music
The uncommonly talented Mike LeDonne continues his transition from piano to Hammond B3, if that is what one may call it, with yet another superb album, the suitably named I Love Music. And while using the organ throughout is a good idea, it is but the first of two, as whenever LeDonne schedules a recording session he's almost sure to invite his friend and colleague, the stellar tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, a decision that is bound to please almost any listener. As a matter of record, Alexander has been a member of LeDonne's "Groover Quartet" for more than fourteen years, as have guitarist Peter Bernstein and drummer Joe Farnsworth who comprise the group's exemplary rhythm section. Clearly, LeDonne and his comrades share some history together, and LeDonne has even served as a sideman on seven of Alexander's albums.

Save for the tenor's imposing presence (he never designs a solo that is less than admirable), the album hews closely to the organ trio format pioneered by the legendary Jimmy Smith and his successors. As such, the blues is of course ever-present, if not explicit (as in "Blues for Gene," "Blues for Ball" or "The World Is a Ghetto"), then invariably hovering nearby, as each of these gentlemen is well-versed in the genre and makes it his basic home, even when blowing on more straight-ahead themes such as "I Love Music" or the standard "Put on a Happy Face." Milt Jackson composed the irrepressible "Blues for Gene," McCoy Tyner the animated "Blues for Ball." A pair of songs by Stevie Wonder, "Do I Do" and "I Love Every Little Thing About You," while not expressly the blues, emulate the music's supernal spirit and temperament so closely that they may as well be.

"Happy Face," drawn from the Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie and arranged by LeDonne to honor his disabled daughter and indeed all children born with disabilities (he's the founder of the non-profit "Disability Pride New York City"), is taken at a more leisurely pace than usual, underscoring engaging statements by LeDonne, Alexander and Bernstein, each of whom is squarely in the pocket on every number. Farnsworth, besides keeping unerring time, fashions a vigorous solo on "Do I Do." "Ghetto" is a pleasant surprise (half a dozen writers are listed), a charming tune on which everyone has something perceptive to say. That is, in fact, the order of the day, as LeDonne and the others prove once more that organ trios (plus one) are unequivocally salubrious and relevant.

Track Listing

Blues for Gene; I Love Every Little Thing About You; I Love Music; Put on a Happy Face; Blues for Ball; The World Is a Ghetto; Do I Do.

Personnel

Mike LeDonne: Hammond B3 organ; Eric Alexander: tenor saxophone; Peter Bernstein: guitar; Joe Farnsworth: drums.

Album information

Title: I Love Music | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Savant Records


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Post a comment about this album

Tags

More

Spirituality
Courtney Pine
Speakers In The House
The Headhunters
Grow
Kaja Draksler, Susana Santos Silva
Live From the Heat Dome
Thomas Marriott

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.