) plays the leading
role in the success of the recording session. This is only a handful of the
great tunes that are still waiting to be rediscovered in the back catalogue of
Alfred Lion's glorious brainchild: Out of
the Night, the blues with altered chords that ends the twenty-six years'
old Joe Henderson's first recording as leader (Page One, 1963) provides an exhaustive example of all this. The
same goes for Backup, a track from a great (but underrated) record such as Into Somethin' (1964), one of the
sharpest concoctions of the great (but underrated) Larry Young, assisted by Sam
Rivers, Grant Green and Elvin Jones: a true all-star band, if any. And what
about Duke Pearson's ESP? A memorable
track from a memorable record such as Wahoo
(1964), one of the most striking examples of progressive arranging for a
hard-bop sextet (with no small thanks to Donald Byrd and Joe Henderson).
moment, please. Joe Henderson's name has already popped up a couple of times
here, and will come out again. It is not by sheer chance. As the years go by,
listeners and musicians join each other in acknowledging his influence, his
innovative strength. Henderson's stature
is so remarkable that a critical reassessment of the saxophone pantheon of the
last decades is long overdue. Anyhow, while the critics sleep, the jazz
audience knows better.
our notes, then. And hats off to the producer, Mr Sergio Veschi, who has played
a not so small part in picking up the musicians for the date and, still more
important, in selecting the right front line combination for each tune. To an unchangeable
organ-drums backbone, every track has a different line-up: trios with guitar or
accordion, quartets with trumpet and tenor sax or guitar and tenor sax, quintets
with trumpet, guitar AND tenor sax. Every single permutation was explored, and
the whole recording session has greatly benefited from that.
strategic planning can be successful in jazz without a first-rate congregation
of performers, such as the ones responsible of the happy results of Organ Grooves. About
there's not much more left to say: after his incredible debut of few years ago,
once again aptly supported by Red Record, the young trumpet player has
brilliantly succeeded in avoiding the typical "enfant prodige" trap. The road
Fabrizio chose for himself was bumpier, of course, but far more rewarding, as
an instrumentalist and as a creative artist.
always had a soft spot for
Stefano D'Anna's sound. Here's a player who would
deserve a greater attention by everyone involved in jazz, at every level:
listeners, critics and producers alike. Stefano is a fastidious improviser, one
who has set high standards for himself and who has absorbed many different
saxophone voices of the past, at the same time never losing his own
individuality. And just like Stefano, Sandro Gibellini too should set himself
free from what can only look like a natural case of bashfulness. He is a great
guitar player, and should be appreciated as such. It would be too easy to see
this record as a confirmation of his qualities.
Manzi is both the engine of Organ Grooves
and its soul. His performance is an essential part of the success of the
record, what with him being an unstoppable drummer well supplied with a never
ending assortment of rhythmic solutions ready to be picked up by the featured
soloist. In any collective sport, Massimo's assists would be an invaluable
asset to any and every team.
not least, the Di Modugno dynasty. Vito, keyboard player, Hammond
specialist, electric bassist, gifted teacher: and as if it weren't enough, he
is also a skilful composer and a catalyst of positive vibrations. For him,
Organ Grooves will certainly be a starting point, a launching pad towards the
definitive acknowledgment of his many qualities. Vito is a jazzman who believes
in the tradition but, at the same time, he's not afraid to revisit it by the
light of today's conceptions. Pino, Vito's father, is an accordion player of
great experience, having been on the scene for more than thirty years. His
performances on record surprise the most, for jazz has not always been the main
language of his career as a musician. But he came out with flying colors, so
that Sergio Veschi, on the spur of the moment, decided to set up another session.
But we should not say more…
the old saying goes, Jazz Is Where You
Find It. Fact is, whenever you're looking for it, pleasant surprises are
waiting for you just around the corner.