148

Gene Ludwig: Love Notes Of Cole Porter

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Gene Ludwig: Love Notes Of Cole Porter The release of Gene Ludwig's Love Notes Of Cole Porter is a bittersweet event. While this collection of music shines a spotlight on one of the great, under-recognized organ talents in the world of jazz, it also marks the final recording from this mainstay of the Pittsburgh jazz scene. Ludwig passed away suddenly in the summer of 2010, leaving behind his loving wife Pattye, a rich legacy and solid reputation within the jazz community, and an unreleased collection of Cole Porter tunes from his final recording session, in the fall of 2008.

Now, thanks to Pattye Ludwig's devotion, this music has reached the marketplace, and though she notes that "this CD is a gift back to Gene," it's actually a gift to any true fan of the organ jazz tradition. Ludwig's last recording covers ten Porter tunes, ranging from the oft-covered "Night And Day" to the rarely noticed "Rosalie," and highlights his solid technique and exceptional taste.

The program is split evenly between trio and quartet performances, giving Ludwig an opportunity to shine in two different settings. On the quartet numbers, tenor saxophonist Lou Stellute is often tapped to dish out the melodies, delivering soulful lines on "Why Can't You Behave?" and nonchalant statements on "Everything I Love," but Ludwig is still the star here, delivering his most impressive performances in some unexpected places. Drifting songs, like the aforementioned "Why Can't You Behave?" and the album-closing "Dream Dancing," give Ludwig some space to to open up and deliver some fluid, yet elastic runs that somehow manage to fit perfectly within the mannered pace of these pieces. Ludwig impresses even more when he takes on "Begin The Beguine"—rarely covered anymore and seen as kitsch in some jazz circles—hitting a grand slam with his stellar solo work.

When the organist isn't at center stage, he has no problem supporting Stellute or guitarist Mark Strickland, who serves as Ludwig's traveling companion on all ten numbers, delivering soulful statements and swinging lines in a hip, understated fashion. Hints of Wes Montgomery and Grant Green can be found in Strickland's single note lines, but he takes these influences and fashions them in his own way.

While some may look back fondly and remember Ludwig for his stint with saxophonist Sonny Stitt as the '60s drew to a close, or for his albums on labels both big (Atlantic Records) and small (Blues Leaf), his legacy reaches beyond these mere footnotes in his life. Ludwig was a true gentleman of the jazz organ and a genuine artist to the very end.

Track Listing: What Is This Thing Called Love; Everything I Love; I Love You; Begin The Beguine; You'd Be So Nice To COme Home To; Every Time We Say Goodbye; Rosalie; Why Can't You Behave?; Night And Day; Dream Dancing.

Personnel: Gene Ludwig: organ; Mark Strickland: guitar; Lou Stellute: tenor saxophone (1-3, 5, 8); Thomas Wendt: drums (1, 3, 5, 7, 9); Billy Kuhn: drums (2, 4, 6, 8, 10).

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Big O Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Get 'Em CD/LP/Track Review Get 'Em
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Radioactive Landscapes EP CD/LP/Track Review Radioactive Landscapes EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 24, 2017
Read The Many Minds of Richie Cole CD/LP/Track Review The Many Minds of Richie Cole
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: April 24, 2017
Read LifeCycle CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Young" CD/LP/Track Review Young
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 4, 2016
Read "Waltz About Nothing" CD/LP/Track Review Waltz About Nothing
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 3, 2016
Read "Matador 4" CD/LP/Track Review Matador 4
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 31, 2016
Read "Living Water" CD/LP/Track Review Living Water
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 15, 2017
Read "Iridescent Clouds" CD/LP/Track Review Iridescent Clouds
by James Nadal
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "The Havana Sessions" CD/LP/Track Review The Havana Sessions
by James Nadal
Published: June 11, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!