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Nigel Price Organ Trio - Live! (2009)
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Nigel Price Organ Trio - Live! (2009)

12-03-2016, 22:40

Title: Live!
Year Of Release: 2009
Label: Jazzizit Records
Genre: Jazz: Guitar Jazz, Hammond Organ
Quality: 320 kbps
Total Time: 61:50
Total Size: 144 MB

1. Bock To Bock (8:58)
2. Jingles (7:50)
3. My Favourite Things (9:47)
4. Angel Eyes (7:34)
5. Mozambique (7:25)
6. S.O.S. (6:15)
7. When Sunny Gets Blue (7:33)
8. Cottontail (6:24)

A former soldier, guitarist Nigel Price is probably best known in musical circles for his work as a member of the long running JTQ led by organist James Taylor. Price has also played with a host of leading British names in the jazz field in settings ranging from mainstream to acid jazz and funk. He has a particular affinity for the Hammond organ trio and this unpretentious, swinging live recording features Price in his favourite musical context accompanied by organist Pete Whittaker and drummer Matt Home.

This album is the follow up to the trio’s 2005 offering “Fool’s Gold” and was recorded live during a tour of club venues in Spring 2009. The locations are the Milestones Jazz Club in Lowestoft, Dereham Jazz Society and the famous Bull’s Head in Barnes. Informative liner notes are provided by fellow guitarist Jim Mullen, a musician who also lead his own combo in the organ trio format.

Price has a particular fondness for the compositions of the late Wes Montgomery, a guitarist who frequently worked with organ trios and two of Wes’s tunes are featured here (“Jingles” and “S.O.S.”).However the programme kicks off with a tune by Wes’s brother Buddy Montgomery, “Bock To Bock”. A “minor key swinger” as Mullen describes it, this is a fine opener with Price’s lazily swinging guitar paced by Home’s metronomic drums. Whittaker colours in the spaces and also takes a fine solo himself, racing his Hammond from a whisper to a roar.

Brother Wes’s boppish classic “Jingles” fairly surges along with Price, as elsewhere playing some dazzling runs, Whittaker matches him with some fiery keyboard work and Home enjoys a series of exhilarating drum breaks.

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “My Favourite Things” has become a regular item in the jazz canon since John Coltrane liberated it from “The Sound Of Music.” The trio’s version begins languidly with Price leisurely stating the theme above Home’s gently propulsive brush work. The piece really takes off with Whittaker’s organ solo as Home switches to sticks before Price returns with a coruscating solo above Home’s crisp drumming and Whittaker’s organ growl. At one point there’s even the clanking of bottles to remind us that this is all being recorded live in a pub, The Bull’s Head at Barnes no less.

“Angel Eyes” by Earl Brent and Matt Dennis represents the gentler side of Price’s playing with quietly elegant chord based soloing above sympathetic brush work and restrained Hammond accompaniment. Whittaker’s rhapsodic Hammond breaks away mid tune before the trio end again in ballad mode.
Price’s “Mozambique” is the only original tune on the record. It’s full of clipped, funky rhythms and phrases, jazzy guitar runs and grooving Hammond. Both front line instrumentalists contribute fiery solos as Home drums up a storm behind them.

The energy levels are maintained on a breakneck version of Wes Montgomery’s “S.O.S.” with Home featuring alongside Price and Whittaker in a series of explosive drum breaks that are even more dazzling than before.

“When Sunny Gets Blue” by Jack Segal and Marvin Fisher is a lush ballad and a quicksilver version of Duke Ellington’s “cottontail” takes the album storming out. Price’s choppy chording and slippery bebop inspired lines impress on the Ellington piece with Whittaker replying in kind with some characteristically fiery Hammond as Home really rattles the tubs.

There’s nothing particularly new or surprising on on this album but then that isn’t the aim of Price and his colleagues. Quite simply they’re playing the music they love to play and, as Mullen observes, keeping the spirit of Wes Montgomery alive. Mullen also refers to the great organ combos of Jack McDuff and Jimmys Smith and McGriff.

All fans of this format will find much to enjoy here. This is unpretentious swinging fun played with skill and verve.

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