One of the best-kept secrets of the burgeoning revivalist movement involving the Hammond B3 organ has been the unusual, but consistently underrated efforts of Barbara Dennerlein. A native of Germany, the organist's career began almost 20 years ago and since then she has labored quietly while releasing a distinguished set of albums for Enja and most recently Verve. Outhipped is Dennerlein's third outing for Verve and its marked by some unusually sophisticated writing, not to mention a large (12 in all) and rotating cast of front-rank musicians.
What makes Dennerlein's work so accomplished is a great degree of variation in moods and tempos. This is not your typical organ grinder affair filled with a string of blues-drenched tunes that all tend to sound the same after awhile. Any hint of this myth is immediately dispelled by the exploratory "Mabuse," which opens with a fervent barrage of collective improvisation. The yarn then unfolds with alternating sections of funk and straight ahead swing, marked by Dennerlein's cascading runs and guitarist Mitch Watkins' Hendrix-influenced lines.
Even when Dennerlein steps on familiar terrain, like a version of Mick Jagger's "Satisfaction," which was first covered by Jimmy Smith back in the '60s, the results are anything but customary. Sporting a New Orleans "second line" groove punctuated by Ray Anderson's tuba, "Satisfaction" gets funked-up in a way that surely the Stones never originally intended or imagined. Far from the usual retro revival fare, Outhipped hits on a sagacious mix, as substantial as it is accessible.
Track Listing: Outhipped, Frog Dance, Odd Blues, Bloody Mary, Sweet Poison, Black and White, Mabuse, Strange Passion, Farewell To Old Friends, Satisfaction, In the Mud, Jammin' (75:25)
Personnel: Barbara Dennerlein- Hammond B3 organ, Don Alias- percussion, James Genus- bass, Jeff "Tain" Watts- drums, Ray Anderson- trombone & tuba, Darren Barrett- trumpet, Alex Sipiagin- flugelhorn, Craig Handy- tenor & baritone saxophones, Antonio Hart- soprano & alto saxophones, Steve Slagle- flutes, Steve Nelson- vibes, Ada Dyer & Andre Smith- vocals (track 11 only)
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.