This is Ben Sidran's first Hammond B3 organ project. It's an instrument he has played for forty years, and occasionally (as on his recent radio-friendly CD Nick's Bump) featured on recordings. But CIEN NOCHES - the title refers to the fact that over a period of ten years he performed one hundred nights at Madrid's famed Cafe Central - is the first time he has paid direct tribute to the instrument and the club scene it spawned.
The album includes the original songs "Get It Yourself", an acerbic commentary on the rock and roll industry, and "Cave Dancing", an extended parable of jazz and the roots of religion. In addition, it features two Bob Dylan classics, "Gotta Serve Somebody" and "Subterranean Homesick Blues" along with saxophonist Bob Rockwell's "Drinkin' and Thinkin", an obvious party favorite.
Thanks to the 1970s and '80s soul jazz movement and its 21st century counterpart, acid jazz, the Hammond B-3 organ has shown a remarkable ability to survive and adapt to changing musical trends – all without changing its swirling, pulsing tone one little bit. The Hammond Street anthology from Acid Jazz mixes in tracks from a couple of veteran B-3 players like Jimmy McGriff and Reuben Wilson with tracks from newer combos, and even though these newer groups cover songs like Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," what is immediately obvious here is how much a B-3 sounds like a B-3 no matter what kind of clothes you drape over it. Highlights include the hard-charging "Itchy Feet" by the Past Present Organisation (which opens the disc), the ragged and energy-overloaded "Clubtown" by the Trashmonkeys, McGriff's "Ain't It Funky" (which indeed it is), and Wilson's "Sugar," a classic piece of soul jazz.
The organ can often take a back seat in the pecking order of great Jazz instruments but underappreciate it at your peril. The likes of Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff, Booker T and Ray Charles, to name but a few, made the instrument their own while crafting jazz cuts of dazzling brilliance.
Reissue features the latest DSD remastering and HR cutting. Also features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD players). An excellent piece of early soul-jazz, 1960's Talk That Talk isn't as bop-oriented as Shirley Scott's albums with Stanley Turrentine from the same period, as flashy and ornate as the albums Jimmy Smith was starting to make with Creed Taylor and Lalo Schifrin, or as funky and blues-based as the best of Jimmy McGriff or "Brother" Jack McDuff. Smith's playing on this album is low-key almost to the point of being conservative, deeply soulful without resorting to what would soon become tired funk clichés.
Contacted by phone at his home just south of San Francisco, Chester Thompson is quick in his response to a question about a record he made in three hours on a Sunday afternoon fifty years ago, Powerhouse. 'I was a young man, and it was an opportunity to show people that I could play a Hammond B-3 organ.' Little did Thompson know then that he was showing people who would place him on an unexpected career path into the whirlwind of pop music.
So many of the jazz great are now gone, a fact that no one would dispute but that really hits home after listening to a masterpiece such as this reissue of Charles Mingus' Mingus Moves. Not only have we lost the impetuous bassist and composer, but also drummer Dannie Richmond, tenor titan George Adams and the extraordinary pianist Don Pullen. The latter three men, in particular, were taken way before their times and one longs for the incendiary magic that the Pullen-Adams group (the seeds of which are planted here) conjured for a brief spell in the '80s.
The Mastercuts label's great Classic Jazz-Funk series kicked off in 1991, and like the remainder of volumes released in its wake throughout the '90s, the first volume more or less concentrates on the '70s end of jazz-funk, as opposed to the form's beginnings during the '60s. Jazz artists were incorporating more potent and often easily danceable backbeats and were also allowing for the R&B of the time to infiltrate their sound, causing purists to shriek in horror at the break from tradition and – just as importantly – the crossover appeal.
Jack McDuff and Joey DeFrancesco personify the Jazz Organ Renaissance that is sweeping the world in this incredible recording for Concord. Organists have paired up before in recording studios but never in such a historical effort. Unlike Jack and Joey’s last double organ session which was live, this recording offered more artistic control. Concord wisely permitted Jack to put together the charts and gave Joey the bass duties to lessen the load. This album was recorded in New York City, NY, on December 11 & 12, 1995.