[JPL] drmike reviews Groovadelphia

MIKE MATHENY drmike at radioio.com
Fri Aug 29 01:04:50 EDT 2008

Organissimo's Groovadelphia...    the whole package

I have to admit that when I preview new music from a group anchored by
the jazz organ, I do so with great hope.. A hope that there will be
fresh creativity and diversity within the selections. So many times I
receive new 'burner' albums where each song, one after the other, sounds
like the same session.. then repeated in reverse. I am happy this week.
A new CD came into the radioIO studios from the organ based trio
'Organissimo'.  The album is called 'Groovadelphia'... and it destroys
all of the stereotypes.  

Organissimo is led by organist Jim Alfredson with Joe Gloss on guitar
and Randy Marsh playing drums and yes... harmonica! 'Groovadelphia' sure
passed my test. The most notable experience I had on first listen of the
CD revealed the variety from one song to the next. Once I finished the
preview it became obvious to me that a major strength of this entire
package lies in the manner that each song compliments the entire
package. It is evident that much thought went into the recording and
production of this album. 

Let me try to explain what you will experience when putting this CD in
your player. Of course there is the typical bop jam as we would expect..
'Third Right on the Left'. I especially enjoyed the organ solo on this
upbeat track. I couldn't keep my right hand still while listening. The
tune that immediately follows is 'Traces' with a mellow Latin feel. This
song has a spatial depth created by a complimenting dialogue between
Gloss on guitar and Alfredson on keys. The depth of expression from both
soloists captured and held my attention.  Gloss's performance on
'Traces' blended with the subtle organ support is absolutely perfect...
it is simply beautiful. The entire album moves about like this. It is
rich in contrasts and diversity with constant surprises. I had to pinch
myself on occasion to remember that all that I am hearing comes from
only three players.  

I am not usually partial to electronic effects and synthesis for jazz
production unless integrated with intelligence and taste. Sometimes
synthesized voices conflict with musical thought and can negatively date
the production. However, done correctly, the synthetically produced
sounds can be a huge draw for my personal enjoyment. I have often been
thrilled on the occasion when new voicings are used artistically such as
listening to track six..  'If Not Now, When?". The use of the Synth solo
in this track is fabulously integrated, providing a texture that fits. 

The deliberately funky 'Bleecker' and the fun 'My Sweet Potato Pie' with
Marsh on Harmonica battling it out with both Gloss and Alfredson are two
of my favorite songs from 'Groovadelphia'. We are going to have these
tracks and others from the CD out in front for weeks to come on radioIO
Real Jazz.. This is truly a magnificent collection of intelligent
arrangements and performance. Let me know what you think. Email
drmike at radioio.com  

Submitted by drmike/ Michael Matheny/ radioIO Real Jazz  www.radioio.com

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