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Mike LeDonne & Vincent Herring Quartet Live at BIMHUIS Amsterdam

Read "Mike LeDonne & Vincent Herring Quartet Live at BIMHUIS Amsterdam" reviewed by BIMHUIS

Superior groove jazz by the well-established Hammond B3-organist Mike LeDonne and saxophonist Vincent Herring. Mike LeDonne has made his mark alongside jazz giants such as Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman and Sonny Rollins. Alto saxophonist Vincent Herring came up in Horace Silver's band and is regarded as one of the most important successors of Charlie Parker and Julian “Cannonball" Adderley. Following his jazz guitar studies in the US, Martien Oster has played with outstanding performers such as Larry Coryell ...

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Mike LeDonne Groover Quartet: That Feelin'

Read "That Feelin'" reviewed by Jack Bowers

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.

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Mike LeDonne: AwwlRight!

Read "AwwlRight!" reviewed by Jack Bowers

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 ...

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Mike LeDonne: I Love Music

Read "I Love Music" reviewed by Jack Bowers

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 ...

INTERVIEWS

Mike LeDonne: Where There’s Smoke

Read "Mike LeDonne:  Where There’s Smoke" reviewed by Bob Kenselaar

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 ...

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Mike LeDonne: Keep the Faith

Read "Keep the Faith" reviewed by Jack Bowers

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 ...

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Mike LeDonne: The Groover

Read "The Groover" reviewed by Jack Bowers

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 ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Mike LeDonne: The Groover

Read "Mike LeDonne: The Groover" reviewed by Sean Coughlin

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.

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Mike LeDonne: FiveLive

Read "FiveLive" reviewed by Jack Bowers

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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Mike LeDonne: FiveLive

Read "FiveLive" reviewed by Graham L. Flanagan

Man, where the heck was I on Oct. 19th-20th 2007? I can't recall offhand my exact whereabouts, but it doesn't matter because I certainly wasn't present at the popular Upper West Side jazz haunt Smoke to experience the excellent sets that resulted in pianist Mike LeDonne's new live release FiveLive. LeDonne, who holds down a weekly gig at Smoke as the leader of a Hammond B-3 organ-driven groove session, delivers an extremely satisfying and eclectic hard bop experience ...

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Mike LeDonne: On Fire

Read "On Fire" reviewed by CJ Shearn

The organ combo, a time-tested format, can stick to your ribs like a good meal. Organist Mike LeDonne, tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, guitarist Peter Bernstein and drummer Joe Farnsworth together are a tight working band, displaying all the qualities that make this formation classic and still relevant on their second Savant release, On Fire. LeDonne, best known for his stint in the late Milt Jackson's group as its pianist/musical director, has spent the past several years making ...

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Mike LeDonne: Bags Groove (A Tribute to Milt Jackson)

Read "Bags Groove (A Tribute to Milt Jackson)" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Bags...in all his glory...

Intermediate-sized jazz bands have always been interesting. Miles Davis' 1949 Birth of the Cool Nonette set the stage for all “little-big" bands. Pianist Mike LeDonne's tribute to Milt Jackson, Bags Groove, is performed in this same vein. Ledonne assembles a swinging little octet that effectively takes Jackson's better known compositions and pieces associated with him on a little highway driving. Everything is urbane and intelligent here, much in the same spirit of the great vibraphonist himself. ...


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