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Greg Skaff: Soulmation

Read "Soulmation" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Guitarist Greg Skaff is all about the grease, grit, and grooves on Soulmation. It's a logical extension of his previous work--guitar-fronted organ group dates like East Harlem Skyline (Zoho Music, 2009) and 116th & Park (Zoho Music, 2012)--but it's a tad heavier, raunchier, and funkier than anything Skaff threw us on those records. His approach here is equal parts soul jazz, jam band, and unadulterated rock, nodding toward everybody from Grant Green to Lenny Kravitz to Jimi Hendrix.

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Greg Skaff: East Harlem Skyline

Read "East Harlem Skyline" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

The organ-led trio has long been a fascination for guitarist Greg Skaff--especially when a guitar is involved. So it follows that he borrows from the playbooks of guitarists like George Benson and Wes Montgomery, and organists like Jimmy Smith and Don Patterson.East Harlem Skyline brings Skaff together with Hammond B-3 organists George Colligan and George Laks, with Darryl Jones on electric bass and drummers Charley Drayton and E.J. Strickland. The collection includes six Skaff compositions and covers of ...

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Greg Skaff: Ellington Boulevard

Read "Ellington Boulevard" reviewed by John Kelman

Recording studios can be cold and uninviting places. Without the ambience of a live room and an eager audience, some artists are challenged to capture the fire and the energy that results from the feedback of a receptive group of listeners. As wonderful as many studio recordings are, they don't always succeed in portraying what the group is really about. Watching Hudson Music's video of The Peter Erskine Trio Live at Jazz Baltica versus any of the trio's ECM recordings ...

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Greg Skaff: Blues for Mr. T

Read "Blues for Mr. T" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

This year has seen an organ renaissance. Organ jazz had its genesis in Fred Longshaw, who performed with a reed organ on the 1925 Bessie Smith recording of "St. Louis Blues." Fats Waller was a pipe organ virtuoso. Count Basie introduced the organ into swing music, giving way to Wild Bill Davis, who predicted Jimmy Smith and soul jazz. And then there was Jimmy Smith and all who came after. Larry Young learned from Miles Davis and developed organ practice ...

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Greg Skaff: Blues For Mr. T

Read "Blues For Mr. T" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Greg Skaff’s second disc as a leader charts an impressive course between the familiar, agreeable parameters of soul-jazz and a more open ended, blowing-based approach. The guitarist, Hammond B-3 organist Mike LeDonne, and drummer Joe Farnsworth (all of whom frequently play in various bands at Smoke, a club in New York City that serves as a haven for straight-ahead bands and progressive funk ensembles) make up a bracing, rhythmically charged trio. Throughout a program of six appealing originals, plus tunes ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Greg Skaff: Blues for Mr. T

Read "Blues for Mr. T" reviewed by Elliott Simon

There seems to be an increased appetite among jazz fans of late for the inherent soulful funkiness of a Hammond B3 organ/guitar trio. With Manhattan's club Smoke holding B3 nights each Tuesday, this genre that peaked during the ‘60s and ‘70s is back in a big way. From the first cut on guitarist Greg Skaff's Blues for Mr. T, it is easy to see why as Skaff, Mike LeDonne (B3), and Joe Farnsworth (drums) bring that live feel right into ...


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