American jazz styles have been travelling all over the world and getting absorbed by local musicians for close to a century now. Therefore there's nothing unusual about a soul-jazz organ trio coming out of Denmark, but the Sermon Organ Combo have a lot more going on than just playing recycled Jimmy Smith licks.
This trio draws from many different sources. You can hear traces of New Orleans, the Caribbean, Africa, Memphis and other places on this disc which is only available as a vinyl album or download. "Millimeterdemokrati" splices together bubbling, funky organ, twangy Steve Cropper-like soul guitar and choppy, tumbling drums. "Congo Car Chase" is a faster, more uptown style of funk with leader Bergur Nielsen biting off swirling guitar riffs around Lasse Funch Sorensen's in-the-groove drumming.
"Mogadishu" and "Kapelmonster" are two instances of the combo playing sweet, chicken-scratch funk. On the former there is an African tinge to Nielsen's guitar playing while on the latter, he adds greasy slide guitar that pushes the track into the realm of an Allman Brothers Band or Gov't Mule cut. "Blues Of Buddy Thompkins" stretches the trio's sound into the pop exotica of the Sixties, with Nielsen picking out what could be the theme to a vintage spy movie over cascading organ and knocking percussion.
"Hootenanny" is a fun hybrid with martial drum rolls, creeping organ fills and slow slide guitar out of Santo and Johnny's "Sleepwalk" bookending a slab of fast-tempoed classic organ jazz with Rasmus Stenholm really wailing. "Hogwash Shuffle" is the relaxed bluesy shuffle its title suggests and "Dear" ends the album with a ballad featuring solemn organ and slowly picked guitar.
The Sermon Organ Combo plays fun music that mixes together a lot of different styles. They can be incorrigibly funky, lay down fast jazz romps or recreate vintage pop with the right amount of tongue-in-cheek humor. If they ever made it into the jam band circuit, they would get a lot of people's attention.
Mogadishu; Millimeterdemokrati; Congo Car Chase; Blues of Buddy Thompkins;
Hootenanny; Hogwash Shuffle; Kapelmonster; Dear.
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