Friday, March 05, 2010

Peter Bernstein Trio - Live at Smoke DVD (Mel Bay, 2005)

The longstanding trio of Peter Bernstein on guitar, Larry Goldings on organ and Bill Stewart on drums recorded this DVD at the New York City jazz club Smoke during the summer of 2004. This group takes a different approach to the standard organ trio format eschewing the "grits 'n' gravy" approach of earlier master like Jimmy Smith and Brother Jack McDuff and taking a subtle, dynamic approach. Their repertoire is made up of standards and originals, a nice mix of music running the gamut from "Puttin' on the Ritz" and "Spring is Here" to a moody and atmospheric cover of Ahmad Jamal's "Night Mist Blues." Quirky originals like Bernstein's "Jive Coffee" and "Bobblehead" feature the leaders strong blue tinged soloing over washes of organ and shifting percussive pulse. The film is pretty much straight ahead, with a few camera angles and occasional split shots. This keeps the action squarely on the musicians as it should be while still giving the feel of being in a small cozy jazz club. Fans of straight-ahead jazz or subtle organ grooves will find a lot to enjoy here, it is fine music played in a subtle and thoughtful manner. Live at Smoke - amazon.com

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