Making his transition from the academy to the "streets, pianist/organist/composer/arranger Matthias Bublath has released a trio/quartet album boasting a motley mix of sounds and skills. Simmered and steeped in soulful grooviness, tracks like "Jazzy Jazz, "Preachin,' "Stacy, and "Pain Relief owe a debt to the church, blues, and funk roots of African-American improvisational music, greatly aided and abetted by drummer Simon Lott's crackling dry snare and just-behind-the-beat backbone, played in-the-pocket with relaxed authority. The trio cuts (with Nathan Peck on bass) include a serious take on "A Girl From Ipanema (a risky business given the tune's overplayed history, but pulled off with panache here), rendered in rich reharmonizations and muscular solos.
The second half of the CD is Bublath's Hammond B3 quartet, "feet -uring the organist standing in for the stand-up bassist, walking (literally) his own lines; check out his footwork on "Bublath's Idea. With the addition of Takuya Kuroda on trumpet and Tim Collins on vibes, cuts like "Beltissimo and "Young Lion add additional layers and funk-tionality to Bublath's catchy tunes. This is feel-good, think-deep party music, a strong start for a young lion stalking the jazz dream.
Jazzy Jazz; Preachin'; The Girl From Ipanema; Stacy; Pain Relief; Reverend Scott; Bublath's Idea; Beltissimo; Young Lion; Decision.
Matthias Bublath: piano & Hammond B3 organ; Simon Lott: drums; Nathan Peck: bass; Takuya Kuroda: trumpet; Tim Collins: vibes.
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