Thursday, November 24, 2005

Kresten Osgood w/ Lonnie Smith and Michael Blake Hammond Rens

Here's something of an odd combination that works really well. Danish drummer Kresten Osgood is joined by downtown saxophonist and Jazz Composers Collective member Michael Blake and one of the quintessential grooving Hammond B-3 organ players, 'Doctor' Lonnie Smith for a lengthy set of music before a live audience. It's a testament to the players involved here that everything works so well despite their possibly divergent styles. Across the whole of this long (two maxed-out CD's) album of gutbucket organ jams, blues and ballads the players make their individual presences known while staying clearly focused on communicating with their colleagues on the stage.

The music on these CD's looks back on the glory days of the organ trio in the 1950's and 60's, where every urban center had one or more clubs that featured a stripped down trio of Hammond organ, saxophone and drums. This is very user-friendly music and many of the tunes stretch out for considerable lengths of time allowing for plentiful solos from everyone involved. Michael Blake stands out in particular, getting a very deep, dark, earthy tone on his tenor saxophone that he had not shown in some of his other projects. If you are fan of organ trios, or or freewheeling jam sessions, this is a set to keep an eye out for.

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