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Trudy Pitts/Pat Martino: Legends of Acid Jazz

Douglas Payne By

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Organist Trudy Pitts, who still lives and plays in Philadelphia, is a classically trained pianist whose lounge-jazz organ style was captured on four Prestige albums during 1967-68. Legends of Acid Jazz: Trudy Pitts/Pat Martino collects the first two of these, Introducing the Fabulous Trudy Pitts and These Blues of Mine.

Like Shirley Scott and Gloria Coleman, two other women organists in jazz, Pitts brings an appealing sensitivity to her clunky, domineering instrument. But, unlike Scott and Coleman, Pitts tends to take her church pipe-organ warmth toward an easy-going sound often heard in hotel bars and ritzy lounges.

That isn't meant to detract from the solid strength that makes her truly interesting as a player. Listen to her choices on drummer/husband Bill Carney's interesting originals: the moody "Steppin' in Minor," the Latin funk of "Fiddlin" or the lively bop of "Organology." Or, check out Pitts' interesting, daring arrangements of "Take Five," "What The World Needs Now" and the otherwise awful "It Was A Very Good Year."

Her lounge-singer vocals on "Something Wonderful," "Matchmaker, Matchmaker," "The House of the Rising Sun," "Eleanor Rigby," "These Blues of Mine" and "A White Shade of Pale" are not bad, but they're an acquired taste

Guitartist Pat Martino, who gets equal billing on the CD's cover, is allowed little more than rhythm accompaniment throughout. His occasionally brief solos amount to little more than licks. But, as expected, Martino is a supportive associate, and he never seems intent on grabbing the spotlight (Pitts returned the favor by playing on Martino's 1967 solo debut, El Hombre (Riverside).

Track Listing: Steppin' In Minor; The Spanish Flea; Something Wonderful; Take Five; It Was A Very Good Year; Siete; Night Song; Fiddlin'; Matchmaker, Matchmaker; Organology; The House of the Rising Sun; Just Us Two; Eleanor Rigby; Count Nine; Man and A Woman; A Whiter Shade of Pale; Teddy Makes Three; These Blues of Mine; What The World Needs Now.

Personnel: Trudy Pitts: organ, vocals; Pat Martino: guitar; Bill Carney: drums; Abdu Johnson: conga.

Title: Legends of Acid Jazz | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Prestige Records


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