January 1, 2007
Deep Blue Organ Trio
Goin’ To Town
Proof that blues can be urbane as well as urban and that perception is as valuable an attribute as perspiration for an organ trio, Goin’ To Town artfully showcases three veteran players.
Recorded at a local club at which it plays weekly, Chicago’s Deep Blue Organ Trio (DBOT) confirms that woodshedding helps create a memorable CD. Low-key and casual, the six-track program features unfettered ballads and blues, the shortest of which is about eight minutes. Languid where many bands are overwrought, and moderato where some are staccato, DBOT skirts background sounds a couple of times, but the members’ hair-trigger timing and sympathetic interaction pull them back from the brink.
Associated with funky players such as organist Charles Earland, guitarist Bobby Broom, who excels at double-timed arpeggios, was part of Sonny Rollins’ combo for years. Drummer Greg Rockingham, who was also in Earland’s group, favors a sophisticated, unspectacular backbeat. At points he ratchets up the tempo stealthily doubling a rock-solid groove without disruption. Similarly, Chris Foreman may have backed jazz-blues players like saxophonist Hank Crawford, but his delicate touch emphasizes finesse over funk. Not that the blues is ever far away, as when he throws jittery licks Jerome Kern never imagined into “The Way You Look Tonight” without masking either the rhythm or the melody.
Even handedly playing A.C. Jobim and Earth, Wind & Fire numbers with equal aplomb the three score most solidly on “No Hype Blues”, melding loping organ runs, steady guitar comping and punctuating drum beats.
— Ken Waxman
— For CODA Issue 330