4

Mike LeDonne: I Love Music

Jack Bowers 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.

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


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Sonder CD/LP/Track Review Sonder
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Putting Off Death CD/LP/Track Review Putting Off Death
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Heaven On Their Minds CD/LP/Track Review Heaven On Their Minds
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "Evergreen (Canceled World)" CD/LP/Track Review Evergreen (Canceled World)
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 4, 2017
Read "Trickster" CD/LP/Track Review Trickster
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 24, 2017
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: January 19, 2017
Read "My Picture" CD/LP/Track Review My Picture
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 13, 2017
Read "Nearness And You, Duets and Improvisations" CD/LP/Track Review Nearness And You, Duets and Improvisations
by John Sharpe
Published: November 16, 2016
Read "Tangofied III" CD/LP/Track Review Tangofied III
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 13, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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