Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Landsberger and Morello Do Some Cooking with "Hammond Eggs"

The organ trio has been resurging for a while now. If you add a tenor sax to the guitar, organ and drums combination you get the trio plus one, which is resurging no less. Of course just because it is back in fashion does not mean that everything released is equally worthy of acclaim. Formulas that starting getting stale in the later sixties are no less stale today. And if the group doesn't cook, the point of the undertaking could be lost.

I am happy to say that all that is not true with Jermaine Landsberger and Paulo Morello's Hammond Eggs (In & Out 77087-2).

Jermaine plays the Hammond B3 without resorting to much in the way of the Jimmie Smith licks that became so central to the idiom for a time (and still are in some circles). Paulo Morello plays the electric guitar with a nod to the traditional mainstream guitarists that have played in this idiom--but he doesn't cop their licks either. Peter Weniger plays a solid contemporary mainstream tenor; drummer Dejan Terzic runs the gamut successfully from flat-out swing to New Orleans marching funk.

They do a couple of standards, but mostly there are successfully wrought originals, blowing vehicles with some nice angles to keep things interesting. There are for example some very hip lines overtop a "Giant Steps" progression on the number entitled "Gypsy Steps".

Landsberger has most certainly learned from listening to early-mid Larry Young and Charles Earland, or at least his playing is modern in that sense. And with the band in great shape, doing some hip originals, this is a very attractive recording indeed.

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