Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Gerry Eastman Trio, Trust Me, with Greg Lewis and Taru Alexander


If there are less postings on this particular blog lately, it is not because guitar and bass players are any less important to me, it is simply a time thing. I am glad to be back today because I am happy to talk about an album that has my attention, guitarist Gerry Eastman's Trio and their CD Trust Me (self published). The organ trio with guitar, organ and drums has a long and lively history and often enough is a locus where swinging is the rule and there is plenty of space for all three players to wind it out like a great ball of twine unravelling.

That is certainly true of this CD and drummer Taru Alexander helps make sure that is so with some great driving drums that kick things forward continually and set up a time zone that Eastman and Lewis drop into and engage in with great and happy intensity.

The second crucial factor to this album's success is surely the set of originals Gerry Eastman has crafted for this date. They are melodically and harmonic advanced and ensure that all comes together in original and contemporary ways. That is no small feat.

The logical next consideration is the beautiful organ presence of Greg Lewis. I've covered some of his music, mostly on the Gapplegate Music Review pages, and I am ever glad to hear him carry on. Like the great legacy of Larry Young, he does not content himself with the sort of soulfulness that Jimmy Smith created and so many followed. Lewis does not lack soul of course, but he also has an advanced Modern harmonic and line weaving sense that does not rely on cliché and gives us a very inventive togetherness that is a real pleasure to hear.

And so he comps in ways that make sense and sets up Gerry to launch forward continually in progressive ways. And Greg solos beautifully as well!

Last but of course not at all least Gerry Eastman comes at us continually with original and worthy soloing. He is his own person on guitar which is saying a great deal given the heavy legacy of organ trio and beyond masters like Wes Montgomery, George Benson and Pat Martino. He has his own line-poetry going that fits with the changes of course but in his own way.

It is an album with everything going for it, It is quite a feather in Gerry Eastman's musical cap. It will appeal to anyone into some very Modern swinging, some smart soloing and a real kicker to boot. Highly recommended.