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Telmo Fernandez / Phil Wilkinson / Caspar St Charles: The Soul Jazz Beat Vol. 2

Bruce Lindsay By

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The Telmo Fernández Organ Trio has already been on the soul jazz beat—as the title of The Soul Jazz Beat Vol. 2 makes clear. The Soul Jazz Beat Vol. 1 (Free Code Jazz Records, 2015) was delightful, Vol. 2 carries on in the same vein, this time giving each individual musician a name credit.

For this album, recorded in Barcelona in December 2015, guitarist Fernández and Hammond organist Phil Wilkinson are joined by a new drummer. Caspar St Charles takes over from Jose Luis Gómez and brings a looser, more subtle, approach to the music. More importantly, he fits into the trio just as well as his predecessor—for music like this, where the groove is key, that's crucial.

As to the music itself, it's the same mix of originals and classic tunes that graced The Soul Jazz Beat Vol. 1. Fernández and Wilkinson contribute two tunes each: covers range from Jack McDuff's "I Can't Get Satisfied" to Richard "Groove" Holmes' "Onsaya Joy" and Stevie Wonder's "Uptight."

The trio's mood is relaxed but positive, a seemingly effortless swing from all three players that brings a tap to the feet and a smile to the face pretty much straight away. "I Can't Get Satisfied" features a laid back but cheery (uncredited) vocal, but the album's accent is firmly on instrumentals. Roy Brooks' "The Free Slave" showcases the trio at its most restrained—not quite ballad-pace but a slower-than-average tempo, still wedded to an irresistible groove. Fernández' funky "Chicken Fingers," the cool flow of Wilkinson's "3 Pesos" and Leon Spencer's "The Scorpion" demonstrate the trio's tight, sympatico, style.

Track Listing: I Can’t Get Satisfied; Chicken Fingers; Onsaya Joy; The Free Slave; Son Of Ice Bag; Pot Pie; 3 Pesos; The Scorpion; Uptight; Vagabond Blues.

Personnel: Telmo Fernández: guitar; Phil Wilkinson: Hammond organ; Caspar St Charles: drums.

Title: The Soul Jazz Beat Vol. 2 | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Sweet Records

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