Monday, February 21, 2022

Delvon Lamarr Trio - Cold As Weiss (Colemine Records, 2022)

Calling themselves purveyors of "feel good music" the Delvon Lamarr Trio with the leader on organ, Jimmy James on guitar and Dan Weiss on drums plays a meat and potatoes brand of instrumental rhythm and blues and soul jazz that must go down a storm live, and works pretty well on record, too. "Pull Your Pants Up" is the uptempo, fun and funky beginning track, anchored by a crisp backbeat, and featuring occasional swells of organ and drum fills with shards of guitar. There is a nice short yet memorable organ theme woven through the piece that serves as an opening earworm. Flashy and funky guitar struts on "Don't Worry 'Bout What I Do," getting dirty, nicely framed by organ and drum support. The guitarist focuses on stretching out with a cool sounding solo that is thick and evil with organ washes and drum thwacks riding point. "I Wanna Be Where You Are" has a danceable and light melody from the organ and percussion, something that us easy and accessible like a seventies pop tune, but played way up high on the organ. The theme is short and snappy and the drummer settles into a simple driving beat as the organ solos off the theme returning to it regularly. The guitarist mines a dark bluesy vein of guitar in the territory of John Lee Hooker, on "Big TT's Blues" giving the music a heavy vibe, riding the beat rigidly, before the organ breaks out a very classic jazz organ style solo with sustains weaving in and around the stoic beat, stretching out for a long and dynamic feature. James plays the deep blues during his feature, he's well studied and has a organic tone that works very well, and knows what to do with it. "Get Da Steppin'" builds low and grinding organ notes, leading into a funky midtempo tune, where guitar and drums lock in for a fine foundation as Lamarr takes the organ for a spin, creating a really nice sound, plumbing the depths of what the Hammond B3 has to offer driving it like a fine roadster. A slow jam quietstorm ballad, "Uncertainty," lets the organ play out and sustain over a sleek guitar theme sounding like late period Grant Green. The musicians develop stratified layers with the organ playing pillow like clouds of sound floating on top, while the guitar handles some melodic variation and the drums keep a supple yet inobtrusive beat. "Keep On Keepin' On" has an interesting melody that takes the entire trio into account, with choppy and scratchy guitar, a shuffle beat and stop and go organ. The group sounds like they are trying out the theme for some Mod related TV show yet to be made. Lamarr takes flight and chooses a classic organ tone to make his voice heard, and he does it very well, playing a classy and well integrated solo. The final track of the album, "This Is Who I Is," shows guitarist James breaking out the pedals to get freaky alongside some greasy organ and a strong backbeat from Weiss. Organ chords and heavy beat demand forward motion, but are willing to meet the guitarist halfway, then James kicks in and really goes for it, pedals and all, pushing his instrument hard and leaving the organ and drums behind for a bit before remembering he's in a band and cycling back into the group for the payoff. This was a fun and enjoyable album, the group is quite talented and is able to meld everything from greasy Memphis R and B to deep blues and soul jazz and do it with wit and style. Cold As Weiss -

Send comments to Tim.