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Lucas de Mulder, Towner Galaher and Anthony E. Nelson Jr: Organ Trios Redux


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It's fair to say that the organ trio is one of the most durable instrumental concepts in the jazz milieu. It's equally reasonable to state it's one of the most malleable as well: apart from the indispensable Hammond B3 keyboard, accompanying sounds customarily come from a guitar or saxophone. Early practitioners of the concept such as organists Jimmy McGriff and Jimmy Smith—as well as guitarist Grant Green—went on to become icons of jazz through their explorations of this very lineup and for good reason: their altogether wondrous ability to inject their own inimitable personalities into their music via their respective instruments kept fresh a purposely limited framework and thereby rendered their most memorable work in this context worthy of wide emulation.

Lucas de Mulder & The New Mastersounds
Feel The Spirit
Color Red

Titled in homage to jazz icon Grant Green this is nevertheless not an organ trio effort in the strict sense of the word—there are eight other players besides Madrid-based guitarist de Mulder—but the prominence of organist Joe Tatton (of the New Mastersounds, like drummer Simon Allen and producer Eddie Roberts) make it sound like one. The recurring keyboard flourishes set out in fine relief the precision of DeMulder's fretboard work: his lines have the warm glow that reminds of Jim Hall and Joe Pass. Too many of the dozen tracks unfortunately adhere to the same mid-tempo cadence, but Gabriel Mervine's trumpet brings a change of pace to the proceedings on "Several Times," while the reggae-vamp upon which "Warm Nights" is built serves the same purpose, ultimately allowing the dozen cuts to sound seamless rather than repetitive.

Towner Galaher Organ Trio
Rhythm Royale Records

The Towner Galaher Organ Trio threatens to succumb to the predictable at virtually every turn here, but the threesome avoids the monotonous through their collective taste combined with a shared joy in what they're playing. Even as the changes of organist Lonnie Gasperini's "One For McGriff" approach the prosaic, the panache of the author, along with that of bandleader/drummer Galaher and guitarist Marvin Horne, injects the progression with verve aplenty. Another similar instance is the arrangement and performance of Lou Donaldson's "Alligator Boogaloo"—even as any listener, jazz aficionado or otherwise, might suspect exactly how the cut will conclude, the resolution sounds utterly perfect when it comes, just one of multiple similarly-gratifying instances over the course of the 15 tracks.

Anthony E. Nelson Jr.
Swinging Sunset
Musicstand Records

Like the Galaher Trio's Live, saxophonist Anthony Nelson Jr.'s effort veers dangerously close to the purely predictable, so much so it almost sounds corny in the early going on "Canadian Sunset." The ultra-smooth lines the leader elicits from his horn also add to the somnolent effect, at least at first, that is until the synchrony of this threesome becomes apparent. For example, listen to the snap in Kyle Koehler's Hammond B3 that meshes with the kick in Cecil Brooks III's drums. In the end, all three instrumentalists' parts invariably become of a piece on cuts like the standard "These Foolish Things" or the bandleader's "Last Call (For Gryce)." Consequently, like the picturesque image of the title (and that of "On A Misty Night"), this becomes one extended series of surprises.

Tracks and Personnel

Feel The Spirit

Tracks: Ginger Beat; Come Out At Night; Several Times; Go Ahead; Hot Barrio; Keep Walking; Feel The Spirit; Fruit Salad; Warm Nights; Say Goodbye; Redbone; Underground Dance.

Personnel: Lucas de Multer: guitar; Nate Edgar: electric guitar; Eddie Roberts: guitar; Joe Tatton: organ; Chris Spies: organ; Gabriel Mervine: trumpet; Simon Allen: drums; Alajandro Castano: drums; Jeremy Salken: drums


Tracks: One For McGriff; Fever; Willow Weep For Me; Hot Barbecue; Norleans; Love Man; Keep Talkin'; Alligator Boogaloo; Lonnie's Funk; I'm Walkin'; North Beach Blues; Little Bit Of This, Little Bit of That; Mellow Mood; One For McGriff (alternate take).

Personnel: Marvin Horne: guitar; Lonnie Gasperini: Hammond B3 organ; Towner Galaher: drums.

Swinging Sunset

Tracks: Canadian Sunset; One More Once; Girl Talk; Uno Mas Por Roberto; These Foolish Things; Minor Chant; Mildew; Why Did I Choose You; One a Misty Night; Three Little Words; Walk With Me.

Personnel: Anthony E. Nelson, Jr.: tenor saxophone; Kyle Koehler: Hammond B3 organ; Cecil Brooks III: drums.

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