All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

139

Deep Blue Organ Trio: Wonderful!

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Chicago's Deep Blue Organ Trio mines one of popular soul artist Stevie Wonder's most fertile creative periods—the late sixties through the early seventies—on Wonderful!. The organ trio format is known for its unvarnished soulfulness, and the group's reverent treatment of these familiar hits gives a breezy lift to Wonder's always engaging and ebullient melodies.

Before about 1960 there was rhythm and blues in the record bins, which meant music made by anyone with an African heritage, be it the rough-hewn bluesman Robert Johnson or the smooth crooner Johnny Mathis. Then, in 1959, along came Berry Gordy with his Tamla and Motown Record labels—and soul music was born.

Berry, via the music produced at his labels, was responsible in large part for the 1960s' soul music explosion and its crossover to white audiences, with artists like Smoky Robinson and the Miracles, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Supremes, and one of the most successful of the crossovers, Stevie Wonder, who put out dozens of charting singles and several classic albums, including Talking Book (Motown, 1972) and Songs in the Key of Life (Motown, 1976).

A Hammond B3 organ, guitar and drums is a pared-down way to express music, especially Wonder's often highly produced sounds. But it is a refreshing way to listen to Wonder's songs, a way that emphasizes the purity of his catchy melodies. On "Jesus Children of America," from one of Wonder's handful of masterpieces, Innervisons (Motown, 1973), organist Chris Foreman drives the tune forward on a cold gusty wind, with drummer Greg Rockingham supplying an undercurrent of cymbal splashes, punctuated by snare drum pops. Guitarist Bobby Broom's lines are sharp and piquant, slicing through the wash of the B3.

"My Cheri Amour," the title track of Wonder's 1969 album, and one of his most popular and recognizable tunes, get a ruminative treatment, laidback and relaxed, with Broom comping beautifully behind Foreman. "Golden Lady," another huge Wonder hit from Innervisions, has a feeling of yearning, with Broom and Foreman trading the lead in front of turbulent drums.

Wonder's music has always been well-crafted and tightly-arranged. The Deep Blue Organ Trio works with the same tight, flawless, soulful approach to music making, and they have crafted a fittingly Wonderful! tribute to living legend.

Track Listing: Tell Me Something Good; If You Really Love Me; Jesus Children of America; My Cheri Amour; Golden Lady; You Haven't Done Nothin'; It ain't No Use; As; You've Got it Bad Girl.

Personnel: Chris Foreman: Hammond B3 organ; Bobby Broom: guitar; Greg Rockingham: drums.

Title: Wonderful! | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Origin Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Call Me a Cab

Call Me a Cab

Bobby Broom
Upper West Side Story

Blues For Modern Man

Blues For Modern Man

Bobby Broom
Song and Dance

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Megaphone
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
My Shining Hour

My Shining Hour

Origin Records
2014

buy
Upper Westside Story

Upper Westside Story

Origin Records
2012

buy
Plays for Monk

Plays for Monk

Origin Records
2009

buy
The Way I Play

The Way I Play

Origin Records
2008

buy

Related Articles

Read Dirt...And More Dirt CD/LP/Track Review
Dirt...And More Dirt
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 22, 2018
Read Brother Raymond CD/LP/Track Review
Brother Raymond
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2018
Read Frescalalto CD/LP/Track Review
Frescalalto
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 22, 2018
Read Motion CD/LP/Track Review
Motion
by Geannine Reid
Published: May 22, 2018
Read El Duende CD/LP/Track Review
El Duende
by Chris Mosey
Published: May 22, 2018
Read Walk The Walk CD/LP/Track Review
Walk The Walk
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 21, 2018
Read "Another Time: The Hilversum Concert" CD/LP/Track Review Another Time: The Hilversum Concert
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 3, 2017
Read "Collection Three: Spells (2014-2015)" CD/LP/Track Review Collection Three: Spells (2014-2015)
by Jim Olin
Published: October 11, 2017
Read "VISIONS: Coast to Coast Connection" CD/LP/Track Review VISIONS: Coast to Coast Connection
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 11, 2018
Read "D'Agala" CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 22, 2018
Read "Far From Over" CD/LP/Track Review Far From Over
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 13, 2017
Read "Improcreations" CD/LP/Track Review Improcreations
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 2, 2018