175

Deep Blue Organ Trio: Wonderful!

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
When it came time for the SFJAZZ Collective to choose a composer to honor in their eighth season, they surprised a lot of people when they went with the one and only Stevie Wonder. While some likely view this decision as a statement that, after covering Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock and Horace Silver, the revered jazz composer well had run dry, those with a keen ear and a strong pulse know better. The group was making a statement that Wonder's body of work is up there with the best of them, regardless of stylistic tags, and it would seem that the Deep Blue Organ Trio feels the same way.

For its fourth album—and second on the Origin label—this tight, Chicago-based outfit tackles nine songs written or co-written by Wonder. The focus is on material from the early '70s, when Wonder was dominating the music world, but skips over the usual suspects like "Sir Duke," "Superstition" and "Higher Ground" in favor of other tunes which, while equally popular in some cases, aren't nearly as overplayed.

This trio is a paragon of taste and style, avoiding exhibitionism in favor of a more soulful worldview, and this particular outlook serves the music well at every turn. Organist Chris Foreman carries out the melodic duties more often than not, and he provides uncluttered accompaniment for guitarist Bobby Broom's solos. His own solos are straightforward and, while he can really cook, he's not the type of player to resort to Joey DeFrancesco-style pyrotechnics. Broom, best known for his work with Sonny Rollins, has a clean, full-bodied sound and his solos are blues-laced beauties which epitomize class. He can provide some seriously soulful support when the music calls for it ("You Haven't Done Nothin'"), but he also stands out as the premier soloist in the group ("Jesus Children Of America"). Drummer Greg Rockingham avoids flash in favor of feel, and he sets up each song with the perfect groove. He provides a waltzing tom and hi-hat beat on "Golden Lady," delivers driving swing on "Jesus Children Of America," and slips some grease into the mix on the Rufus-associated "Tell Me Something Good."

These three men have been making music together under the Deep Blue Organ Trio moniker for eleven years and they've developed a deep connection with one another during that time. This well-conceived Steve Wonder tribute should go a long way in getting them the attention they so clearly deserve.

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

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

A Deeper Blue

A Deeper Blue

Deep Blue Organ Trio
Folk Music

Interviews
Album Reviews
Film Reviews
Extended Analysis
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Wonderful!

Wonderful!

Origin Records
2012

buy
Wonderful!

Wonderful!

Origin Records
2011

buy
Folk Music

Folk Music

Origin Records
2007

buy
Deep Blue Organ Trio: Deep Blue Bruise

Deep Blue Organ Trio:...

Delmark Records
2005

buy
Deep Blue Bruise

Deep Blue Bruise

Delmark Records
2004

buy

Related Articles

Read Confluence Album Reviews
Confluence
By Dan McClenaghan
July 16, 2019
Read Movimenti Album Reviews
Movimenti
By Geno Thackara
July 16, 2019
Read A New Home Album Reviews
A New Home
By Mark Corroto
July 16, 2019
Read Autocannibalism Album Reviews
Autocannibalism
By John Eyles
July 16, 2019
Read Blume Album Reviews
Blume
By Chris May
July 15, 2019
Read About The Moment Album Reviews
About The Moment
By Geno Thackara
July 15, 2019
Read Källtorp Sessions, Volume One Album Reviews
Källtorp Sessions, Volume One
By Mark Corroto
July 15, 2019