Skip Heller: It's Like That: The Organ Trio Anthology 1998 - 2004

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count

The hyper-eclectic Skip Heller has most recently been attending the often-abused genre of guitar-organ jazz. The guitarist's most recent recordings, Fake Book , Battle in Seattle , and Homegoing were all devoted to this time-tested format, and in each case Heller revealed some element not otherwise considered when thinking of Hammond B3-driven jazz. It's Like That is an anthology containing music from these three discs, plus Career Suicide, Couch, Los Angeles, and previously unreleased live and studio cuts. The opening tune, the previously unreleased "Big J Shuffle," demonstrates Heller's sharp sense of humor and style, a trend continued through the Heller originals, "Jelly" (a beautifully wild and wooly vamp), the ballad "Dave Alvin," and the jump blues "Andy Tesso."

Like his East Coast cohort, Uri Caine, Mr. Heller has a Hebraic streak he likes to indulge in his music. This is brilliantly evident in his original "Meydele" and the Funeral March from Mahler's Fifth Symphony, both from Homegoing. Heller injects this music with joy and intelligence, making the listening experience a bit like witnessing genius by lightening strike, fast and furious and allowing for revelation in future listening. The Mahler piece, rearranged by Heller, may be the crowning achievement to date for the guitarist. The piece swings in a dozen time signatures and rhythms, across genres, and back again.

The unreleased tracks are the most fun, revealing more of the multifaceted Heller. His cover of Norah Jones' "I Don't Know Why" is understated and charming, while his rave-up of Charles Earland's "The Mighty Burner" cooks with pots on, gas on high. Heller's blues sensibility uniquely authentic, as demonstrated by "The Yodel" and "Emiko." The best tunes on the recording belongs to Heller's previous release, Fake Book, but do not let this keep you from buying this disc. The unreleased music is worth the price.

Visit Skip Heller on the web.

Track Listing: Big J Shuffle; Jelly; Dave Alvin; Andy Tesso; Meydele; Nika's Dowery; Giant Steps; Funeral March From Mahler Symphony 5; Interplanatary Music; Rosetta; Emiko; Don't Know Why; Never Can Say Goodbye; Chinatown; The Yodel; The Mighty Burner

Personnel: Big J Shuffle—Big Jay McNeely: Tenor Sax; Skip Waring: Trumpet; Jay Work: Baritone Sax; Red Young: Organ; Howard Greene: Drums Jelly (Written By Uri Caine)—Red Young: Organ; Howard Greene: Drums Dave Alvin—Mike Bolger: Organ; Philippe Aubuchon: Drums Andy Tesso, Meydele, Nika's Dowry, Giant Steps—Mike Bolger: Organ; Howard Greene: Drums Funeral March from Mahler Symphony No. 5—Mike Bolger: Organ; Howard Greene: Drums; Robert Drasnin: Alto Saxophone; Lee Toft: Trumpet Interplanetary Music—Knoell Scott: Alto Sax; Unknown: Organ; Johnny Kennedy: Drums Rosetta—Robert Drasnin: Alto Saxophone; Harlan Spector: Organ; Howard Greene: Drums Emiko, Don;T Know Why, Never Can Say Goodbye—Joe Doria: Organ; John Wicks: Drums Chinatown, The Yodel—Joe Doria: Organ; John Wicks: Drums; Robert Drasnin: Alto Saxophone, Clarinet; Jay Roulston: Trumpet The Mighty Burner—Joe Doria: Organ; Mike Tone: Drums

Title: It's Like That: The Organ Trio Anthology 1998 - 2004 | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Jewbilee


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Déjà Vu CD/LP/Track Review Déjà Vu
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts CD/LP/Track Review Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Two in a Box CD/LP/Track Review Two in a Box
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Discussions CD/LP/Track Review Discussions
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio CD/LP/Track Review Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 19, 2017
Read "Meet Me At Minton's" CD/LP/Track Review Meet Me At Minton's
by James Nadal
Published: June 17, 2017
Read "Fly Or Die" CD/LP/Track Review Fly Or Die
by John Sharpe
Published: July 10, 2017
Read "Seaside" CD/LP/Track Review Seaside
by John Eyles
Published: January 30, 2017
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 27, 2016
Read "Resonance" CD/LP/Track Review Resonance
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 15, 2017
Read "Live at Club Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Club Helsinki
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 5, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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