172

Gene Ludwig: Love Notes of Cole Porter

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
The Hammond B3 organ combo has always seemed like a working man's jazz group. Drums/guitar/organ groups, often with a saxophone, was a brand of music brought to popularity in the mid-fifties by Jimmy Smith, with interest in the B3 soul jazz sound exploding in the sixties with the work of Jimmy McGriff and Jack McDuff, and the establishment of organ rooms in centers of working class cities like Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, Newark, and Gene Ludwig's home turf, Pittsburgh.

Ludwig, who passed away in July, 2010, enjoyed a fifty-year career as an organist, switching from piano to the Hammond B3 in 1957 after hearing Jimmy Smith. Ludwig went on to record albums for Atlantic, Prestige, Muse and Blue Leaf Records, and spent a formative year working and recording with saxophonist Sonny Stitt.

Love Notes of Cole Porter is Ludwig's swan song. Cole Porter, with his urbane songwriting, classy show tunes and huge contribution to The Great American Songbook, seems an unlikely subject for an organ combo group—a sound known more for its down-home soulfulness than its uptown sophistication—but Ludwig and crew dispel any doubts as to their ability to pull it off on the opener, one of Porter's most-covered songs: "What is This Thing Called Love?" Ludwig's organ breathes a frosty breeze—a cold mist wafting from an open freezer—while saxophonist Lou Stellute sizzles like bacon on a hot iron pan. p>The group covers some of Porter's best-known tunes: "I Love You," "Begin the Beguine," "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To," with a smooth-flowing organ combo cool. The group also goes after a couple of lesser-known but equally fine songs like "Rosalie" and "Why Can't You Behave," the latter a trio effort featuring particularly tasty guitar from Mark Strickland.

Love Notes of Cole Porter proves itself an outstanding bookend to Gene Ludwig's half-century career.

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).

Title: Love Notes Of Cole Porter | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Big O Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Signal 9 CD/LP/Track Review Signal 9
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 22, 2017
Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965" CD/LP/Track Review Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965
by Doug Collette
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Music Box Music" CD/LP/Track Review Music Box Music
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 8, 2017
Read "N.O. Escape" CD/LP/Track Review N.O. Escape
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 26, 2017
Read "Unification" CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 12, 2017
Read "Rebel Portraiture" CD/LP/Track Review Rebel Portraiture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 12, 2017
Read "Sunset" CD/LP/Track Review Sunset
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 1, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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