At best, the Jordan Young Group cooks like one of those hard bop organ-led outfits of the 1960s. At worst it PiNGs. The "PiNGs" are short clips from a long improvisation, credited on the sleeve as a composition by its initiator, organist Brian Charette
, who calls it "a song with no consequences." Young says, "I felt a strong sense that there were different sections to it, and had the idea to break it up into four interlude-like sections."
The problem is that the "PiNGs" break the flow, becoming mightily tiresome on repeated listening. Without them, the Jordan Young Group's debut disk would have been something of a mini-landmark. Even with them, the album is still very good, and holds out the promise of greater things to come, once it is realized that "PiNGs" ain't what they used to be.
Young, a 32 year-old drummer from Detroit who is now based in Brooklyn, New York, started playing at the age of 10, influenced by his mother's record collection. After listening to Art Blakey
, Jimmy Cobb
and Philly Joe Jones
he realized he had found his way in life.
The album kicks off appropriately, with a drum roll on Pat Metheny
's "H and H." There's some sterling work on tenor by Joe Sucato
, and more from organist Charette, before another drum break heralds the talented guitarist Yotam Silberstein
, originally from Tel Aviv. Israel. This is followed by a tight reading of Cole Porter
's "Everytime We Say Goodbye," which features an assured solo from Sucato.
Then, alas, the first of the "PiNGs."
Blue Note producer Duke Pearson
's "Jean de Fleur" features a long, probing solo from Silberstein, and is followed by Young's own "Claudes Monet"a tribute to the drummer's late father-in-law, whose name was Claude and was an artist and fan of the French Impressionist painter.
Pause for "PiNGs 2." Then Joe Henderson
's "Afro-Centric," one of the standout tracks, which is primarily a vehicle for Sucato and Silberstein, deftly underpinned by Charette, before the organist takes off on a highly inventive solo of his own. Sucato's "JF Blues" is another standout, despite one rather irritating bit of note-holding by Charette. It's reminiscent of the good old days of Jimmy Smith
and Jack McDuff
, when soul was what Julian "Cannonball" Adderley
said it was.
Another excellent track, the lovely ballad "My One And Only Love," follows ""PiNGs 3," with everyone shining, but none more so than Sucato, as he brings the song to its conclusion. Wayne Shorter
's "Angola" is a blowing vehicle for all concerned, including Young, who otherwise respects the solo limitations of his chosen instrument. The disk comes to a conclusion with the fourth and longest "PiNGs," of which the least said, the better.