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Album Review

This is drummer Israel's third recording as a leader. He uses his Organic trio and quartet to showcase music written by Chicago natives, himself included. Guitarist Marvin Sewell and organist Larry Goldings contribute, as does saxophonist Joe Lovano, who shows up on three tracks. The music ranges from modern mainstream, instrumental blues or pop, to a zinger or two not necessarily thought of as organ combo material. Sewell is generally a joy to hear, as underdocumented as he is. His soulful inflections recall several guitarists, yet he retains his own identity. He offers down-home lines during Johnny Griffin's slow and bluesy "Nice & Easy," and during the more simmering "Battery Blues" by Julian Priester. Unfortunately, he fluffs the tricky melody of Grant Green's "Green's," but his good intentions remain. Goldings' corn-fed, natural sound on organ is a bit buried, more reticent than usual, but he's a good foil. For example, Donny Hathaway's "Valdez in the Country" implies samba patterns while Israel's brushes and Sewell's guitar weave their way in and Goldings works around them. This defines the trio best, and makes for a great interpretation. Israel wrote three of the ten selections, also being a native of Chicago. "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow" is an interesting combination of sounds, from the slinky beat of "Fever," to the intimate guitar melody reminiscent of Green's "It Ain't Necessarily So," and the harmonic inferences of "Killer Joe." Lovano is on tenor for Clifford Jordan's "Down Through the Years," evoking the soul and swing of the Windy City from a Clevelander's perspective. On the energetic six by eight Israel composition "Picket Fences" — a sneaky, dynamic number with the leader wailing on a drum intro — the band further coalesces. Israel's "Triology" swings in midtempo, allowing the drummer more than just some of the spotlight. However, Jack DeJohnette's light funk-inflected "Indigo Dreamscapes," and a version of Earth, Wind & Fire's "That's the Way of the World" with Lovano on soprano sax is eminently skippable. Sewell is the chestnut here: he understands economy and adds considerably to this recording. Israel himself is quite formidable, and the concept is one others can pick up and expound from. An album that collects the songs of Chicago's jazzmen is an idea that deserves more mining. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Chicago, Yoron Israel
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  • 9,90 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Hard Bop
  • Released: 16 March 1999

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