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Jazz Articles


Mike LeDonne Groover Quartet: That Feelin'

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Mike LeDonne's splendid Groover Quartet has earned a cozy groove for itself, somewhere between fresh from the oven and the halcyon days of organ combos led by Jimmy Smith, Charles Earland, Jimmy McGriff, Groove Holmes, Shirley Scott, Don Patterson and others. While embracing their essential groundwork on the one hand, LeDonne moves steadily forward with the other, lending a more contemporary voice to what has been a popular staple of the jazz repertoire for well over half a century.


Mike LeDonne: AwwlRight!

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On AwwlRight!, his eighth outing at the Hammond B3 for Savant Records, pianist-turned-organist Mike LeDonne uses the same personnel and prescription that have worked so well for him in the past, guiding his sure-handed Groover Quartet through its paces in a series of bracing tunes that are all but guaranteed to quicken the mind and enliven the soul of anyone who admires and appreciates robust and well-designed contemporary jazz. LeDonne's cozy ensemble blends collectively with an almost ...


Mike LeDonne: I Love Music

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The uncommonly talented Mike LeDonne continues his transition from piano to Hammond B3, if that is what one may call it, with yet another superb album, the suitably named I Love Music. And while using the organ throughout is a good idea, it is but the first of two, as whenever LeDonne schedules a recording session he's almost sure to invite his friend and colleague, the stellar tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, a decision that is bound to please almost any ...


Mike LeDonne: Where There’s Smoke

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Mike LeDonne has more than made his mark in jazz over the years, on both piano and organ. One of the New York jazz scene's premier instrumentalists, he's long been a favorite of fellow musicians. “He is incredible," said the late Oscar Peterson, who once described how he would rush to hear LeDonne play every night on a jazz-cruise gig that featured both musicians on the bill. First known mainly for his piano work, LeDonne has increased his profile as ...


Mike LeDonne: Keep the Faith

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Connecticut-born / New York-based Mike LeDonne, who divides his time these days between piano and organ, has begun to record more frequently on the Hammond B3, especially with his suitably named Groover Quartet which, according to Owen Cordle's liner notes to Keep the Faith, has been together now for more than a decade. And that's a good thing, as these gentlemen certainly know how to groove, and do so with abandon on an album recorded roughly a year after the ...


Mike LeDonne: The Groover

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So who knew that Mike LeDonne is actually a Jazz organist cleverly disguised as a pianist? Well, for starters, the folks who've been coming to see him perform regularly at Smoke, the New York City nightclub where he's been the house organist for more than a decade. As it turns out, LeDonne's not a garden-variety organist but an earnest Groover in the image of his main role model, the late Charles Earland. It's no accident that LeDonne has enlarged his ...


Mike LeDonne: The Groover

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Mike LeDonne The Groover Savant Records 2010

What kind of music “grooves" exactly? Look no further. Hammond B3 organist Mike LeDonne teams with a group of accomplished musicians to put together an album that simply grooves hard all the way to the final chord. Reminiscent of Jimmy Smith and Charles Earland, LeDonne plays with conviction and soulfulness on an album that sounds more like a jam session than a studio release.


Mike LeDonne: FiveLive

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How suitable that FiveLive should have been recorded at the New York City nightspot Smoke, as pianist Mike LeDonne's fiery quintet smokes from fore and aft and port to starboard throughout this pleasurable concert date. Of course, it's hard not to burn with trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander manning the front line while long-term teammates bassist John Webber and drummer Joe Farnsworth provide the rhythmic power that drives the engine.

LeDonne, as splendid a composer as he ...

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