Groove, groove, groove. That's what keyboardist Jeremy
Baum does best. He builds simple, tight, clean, funky pockets around catchy, bluesy riffs.
"Lost River Jams" on Flying Yak Records (FY10002) captures the classic organ trio
sound and distinctively updates it with a potpourri of blues, jazz, R&B, latin, and a
touch of dissonance. Jeremy first made a name for himself accompanying such notables as Richie
Havens, Ronnie Earl, and The Band. For most of this album, the trio includes the tasty,
subtle, jazz-flavored guitar playing of Chris Vitarello and the precise,
Latin-inflected drumming of Ernesto "Ernie" Colon. Additional players consist of
Tony Velez on guitar, blues powerhouse Bill Perry on guitar, Malcolm Gold on bass, and
Buddy Allen on tenor sax.
KISS (keep it simple, stupid). The old maxim works well here. Like the jazz records
of the '60s, each tune (most are written by Jeremy) starts with the head and
quickly descends into tasty soloing.
"Take a Walk" feels like The Meter's "Cissy Strut". A great album kickoff.
"Liberty Street," written by Tony Velez, marries a
classic Latin beat with an octave-driven guitar melody played by the composer.
"Oasis Jam," a simple R&B breakdown, features a tasty organ romp and
some deep, jazz-inflected soloing by Chris V.
"Goin' Home" stands out. This simmering, R&B
ballad, with a down-home gospel melody, spotlights Jeremy on the piano and on-fire guitar by Chris.
"Stoopid," a mid-tempo funk workout, builds on a simple bass riff.
And now for the requisite "JB Shuffle" featuring Buddy Allen on tenor sax.
"Bill Showed Up," one of two cuts with blues great Bill Perry,
features an unusual melody built on a Latin-tinged groove. Fiery guitar playing
by both Bill and Chris V.
The reworked B.B. King chestnut, "Rock Me Baby," defines
the album. Given an updated chord progression, Bill Perry delivers a supercharged
vocal and guitar performance.
"Taphouse Groove" pays tribute to a local blues club
in Bedford Hills, NY. Built on a lick very similar to "Satin Doll,"
the arrangement shines with its many stops and spaces.
"Autumn Leaves" dons the "Tequila" arrangement.
So unique and different at first, I didn't even recognize this standard. It's transformed into
a beautiful, driving Latin-jazz vehicle for some powerful blowing. Outstanding drumming
The traditional "Amazing Grace" climaxes
with a stunning, blues-driven Chris V guitar solo. Amazing.
Overall, a very tasty record indeed. In an age in which clothes and plastic surgery
count more than musical ability, this CD harks back to a more innocent time.