58

Brian Charette: Music for Organ Sextette

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
While there've been a few exceptions, many jazz organ-based recordings deliver the same old grind of not deviating too far from the Jimmy Smith or Charles Earland grease and grits format. But not in the case of Brian Charette's Music for Organ Sextette , a release that balances harmonically complex ideas with catchy melodies.

The Grammy nominated artist has worked with names from Chaka Khan to Joni Mitchell, is active in New York and has released a number of recordings, but what sets this release apart from the rest is Charette's open musicality and execution with a tight, reed-based sextet.

The first thing that's noticed is the organist's stylistic imprint —a Larry Young-like vibe that's tempered with technique and lyricism. Charette's playing not only swings but also contains a certain quirkiness that's very cool on "Computer Games," as it freely moves through a range of the B3's harmonics. Then there's the way the horns are arranged (flute, alto and tenor sax, and baritone), with brief solos dealt in good force by consummate reed players that include the likes of Joel Frahm.

Charette's writing leaves room for both humor and austerity in "Fugue for Katheleen Anne/Ex Girlfriend Variations," a piece with classical and swing elements, while "Prayer For An Agnostic" contains horns that testify with proud solos as the organ croons out a lovely hymnal flavored melody. Some reggae-skanking surfaces in "The Elvira Pacifier" but the crème-de-la- crème joint is "Mode For Sean Wayland." With a nod to another New York pianist, Australian expat Sean Wayland, it contains harmonic techniques from French composer/organist Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) and nasty reed playing à la Eric Dolphy from flautist Jay Collins and versatile saxophonist John Ellis on baritone.

There's also a nod to jam band groupies in "Tambourine," with some N'awlins street dancing thrown in for good measure, showing that Charette's unusual sextet can get the party started in a variety of ways. In the end, Music for Organ Sextette circumvents the norm and that's a very cool thing.

Track Listing: Computer God; Fugue for Katheleen Anne/Ex Girlfriend Variations; Risk; The Elvira Pacifier; Equal Opportunity; Prayer For An Agnostic; Late Night TV; French Birds; Mode For Sean Wayland; Tambourine.

Personnel: Brian Charette: organ; Jochen Rueckert: drums; Jay Collins: flute; Mike DiRubbo: alto saxophone; Joel Frahm: tenor saxophone; John Ellis: bass clarinet.

Title: Music for Organ Sextette | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: SteepleChase Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Yequm CD/LP/Track Review Yequm
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 24, 2017
Read Schlitten CD/LP/Track Review Schlitten
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 24, 2017
Read The Willisau Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Willisau Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: October 24, 2017
Read Together Apart CD/LP/Track Review Together Apart
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 24, 2017
Read Whispers on the Wind CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read "Crop Circles" CD/LP/Track Review Crop Circles
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "Autumn Tales" CD/LP/Track Review Autumn Tales
by Chris Mosey
Published: June 20, 2017
Read "Before The Silence" CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Grace" CD/LP/Track Review Grace
by James Nadal
Published: August 5, 2017
Read "Tom Haines Live" CD/LP/Track Review Tom Haines Live
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 15, 2017
Read "Wet Paint" CD/LP/Track Review Wet Paint
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 15, 2016

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT!  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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