Prime Vintage is an Indiana-based organ trio led by Steve Snyder and including guitarist Joel Tucker and drummer Kenny Phelps. Introducing Prime Vintage is the group's first recording, and a fine one it is.
Seven of the album's eight engaging numbers are original compositions by Snyder; the other is Leo Nocentelli's funky "Message from the Meters," arranged for organ trio by Snyder and Leon Spencer. The mood is generally upbeat, even on the slower-paced tunes, as Snyder sets the pace, Tucker weighs in with well-modulated solos and Phelps shows his versatility by using every tool in his kit to strengthen the rhythmic pulse. He solos brightly when called upon, and trades eight-bar volleys with his mates on the bracing "Thank You."
As for Tucker, he mostly keeps his guitar in the middle range, using simplicity and emotion to press home his point. Meanwhile, Snyder roams the keyboard freely in the manner of a Jimmy Smith, Mel Rhyne or Charles Earland, showing at every rest stop that the organ trio remains very much alive and well. Snyder is splendid throughout, and reaches a peak on the closing blues, "So That's What This Is About."
Of course, no group is better than its music, and Snyder's themes are generally pleasing albeit short of memorable. "Legacy" opens the session on a groovy vibe, "Sharp Left" enables everyone to display his forceful chops, and "So Be" has a dreamy late-night feel. They are followed by the melodic "Fourth Sixth," breezy "Thank You" and lustrous "Those Two." Nothing less than attractive anywhere, which is no less true of Snyder's trio and its debut album. Pleasant music, proficiently performed.
Legacy; Message from the Meters; Sharp Left; So Be; Fourth Sixth; Thank You; Those Two; So
That’s What This Is About.
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