Jared Gold/ Supersonic (Posi-Tone): Emphatically traditional, the keyboardist seems fiercely loyal to the sound of a guitar drums and Hammond B-3 organ trio as first conceived by Jimmy Smith. Yet Gold and company don’t sound static or academic anywhere on this CD, The Beatles: “In My Life” included. On the contrary, there’s a freshness in their playing, the sound of musicians discovering the the beauty and deceptive simplicity of a classy jazz sound. it’s gratifying to hear the contemporary likes of Lennon/McCartney compositions set in the context of jazz tradition, boldly rendered as a means of giving the musicians a workout.
David Ashkenazy/ Out With It (Posi-Tone): While the version “I Want You” here is an intense tour de force, David Ashkenazy and company jump right into action on this album with ad adventurous run through of Wayne Shorter’s “Children of the Night.” Covering Stephen Foster as well as Lennon/McCartney is further testament to an element of courage that permeates this entire effort. The inclusion of Beatles material lives up to its durability and flexibility as well as its mainstream fame, during instrumental arrangements develop their own character.
Listener’s Notes – From the CD Stack: Gold, DPOQ
The one album I queued up most often was organist Jared Gold’s Supersonic (Positone 2010). Gold — the musician, NOT the goth fashion designer— has played with Dan Pratt, Randy Napoleon, and Avi Rothbard, but many people will likely know Gold’s work from guitarist Mark Stryker’s excellent 2007 release, The Chaser. On Supersonic, Gold roots himself in the classic organ trio combo, with Ed Cherry on guitar and McClenty Hunter on drums. Every track on the album has its rewards: uptempo numbers are clever and funky, ballads are cool and soulful, and interplay between band members is balanced. I’m sure I’m not alone in my deep appreciation of the opening track, a brisk reworking of John Sebastian’s theme from Welcome Back, Kotter. With an opening like that, Supersonic grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go. A thoroughly groovy time.
Gold provides support in the second release from the Dan Pratt Organ Quartet, Toe The Line (Positone 2010) , a thoroughly confident second release from the saxophonist’s group, which is rounded out by trombonist Alan Ferber and drummer Mark Ferber. Powerful and precise, both Pratt and Alan Ferber carry every tune forward with a clear sense of working together, then playing off each other when the moment calls for it. Gold and Mark Ferber fill the remaining sonic space masterfully — no easy task given the challenging nature of Pratt’s compositions. The excellent playing aside, what is most remarkable about Toe The Line is the writing. Aside from the Ellington tune, “The Star Crossed Lovers,” every song is a Pratt composition. From the angular bebop opening of “Minor Procedure,” to the Monk-ish “Doppelganger,” to the whimsical “Uncle Underpants,” and to the souful, gorgeous “After,” Pratt has put together a range of songs that leaves little doubt as to the prowess of his songwriting skills. Toe The Line gets better each time you listen — on the strength of the songs.
Jazz Journal 63 No. 4,
It takes some moxie to start with a John Sebastian tune and then to programme something by Coldplay, who are to jazz favourites Radiohead what Dr Peppers is to moonshine whiskey, but Jared Gold is a confident young man and a thoroughly musical fellow who knows a strong melody when he hears it. The organist has been making a splash on the New York scene for a while now and his debut Posi-Tone CD ‘Solids And Stripes’ was one of last year’s standout organ-jazz records. Here, though, Gold doesn’t have the support of saxophonist Seamus Blake. He’s very much featured on his own, though with Ed Cherry in the line-up, there’s additional interest. The Sebastian song probably won’t ring too many bells or sound too many alarms and no sooner has it wheezed out than Gold’s own Makin’ Do lifts the rating higher still. He’s not yet a fully confident composer, with something of the tyro’s habit of messing with a simple idea in order to make it more complicated. That doesn’t necessarily work and an older and more experienced craftsman might have ironed out the extraneous detail on Times Are Hard On The Boulevard, Battle Of Tokorozawa and Home Again. In the absence of liner notes on the promo, I can’t tell you what the middle one signifies to Jared Gold, but the scrap in question was back in the 14th century, so it’s not particularly personal. I thought Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You bordered on schmaltz, but loved the Beatles tune and the sen- sitive Angel Eyes, and didn’t baulk at the Coldplay cover, which was done before I realised what it was. Gold’s good and will get better still. The bonus here is Cherry, whose own recording career seems not to have built on the high promise of his early 90s stuff on Groovin’ High, but who always delivers intelligently and with feeling. Posi-Tone is on a bit of a roll.
The ubiquitous NYC organist Jared Gold steps out as a leader and gets funky with guitarist Ed Cherry and drummer McClenty Hunter on this super-charged groove project. Highlights include a revved-up rendition of “Welcome Back” (theme song for the ’70s TV show Welcome Back, Kotter, rendered here as a James Brown-inspired throwdown), a soulful “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” the uptempo burner “Battle of Tokorazawa,” the gospel-soaked “Home Again” (with Cherry channeling Eric Gale) and a “Poinciana”-ish take on “Angel Eyes.”
Disc of the day: 12-01-10
Jared Gold: Supersonic (Posi-Tone Records)
Ah, when you are looking for a solid-as-a-rock way of cheering yourself up, an organ trio can always be relied on. Jazz’s happy pills!
This is a new one to me, but Jared Gold is a young Hammond B-3 man who clearly loves Larry Young and Jack McDuff but is also bringing his own groove to this big bit of furniture.
There are originals here but it’s the fun choice of originals that initially grab the attention. Like the band’s (Ed Cherry is on guitar and McClenty Hunter on drums) groove-drenched take on that blue-eyed, Ivy League ballad Can’t Take My Eyes Off You and the equally greasy reworking of the Beatles’ In My Life.
They get a lot more far out on the originals, like Battle of Tokorazawa, for example. And their version of Sparks has made me think completely differently about Coldplay.
Gold has a fairly broad organ sound with rich overtones of the mahogany variety, and Cherry’s rich chord tones in accompaniment often sound very close to a comping organ left-hand giving some nice interaction between the two instruments. Hunter keeps it all fairly steady.
As pleasure filled and high carb as one of New York’s finest burgers.
Jersey-based organist Jared Gold’s new CD packs plenty of musical bounty. Teaming with guitarist Ed Cherry and drummer McClenty Hunter, Gold — happily, a disciple of groundbreaking Newark organist Larry Young — deftly balances his affinity for choice-noted lines delivered with no-nonsense swing and his ideas that lean a little forward, which open up the proceedings a tad. On Gold’s percolating “Makin’ Do,” both of these aspects are handsomely displayed. The track also boasts Hunter’s crisp beat and Cherry’s enticing guitar. “Times are Hard on the Boulevard” reveals Gold’s considerable blues acumen, and he finds grit and gold in pop songs like John Sebastian’s “Welcome Back” and Lennon and McCartney’s “In My Life.”
— Zan Stewart
By George W. Harris
The studio used by Posi-tone must have some vintage Hammond B3 stuck in
the corner, because it seems everything put out on this label has this
great sounding organ lurking in the back or foreground. These two
releases are no exception.
Tom Harrell saxist Wayne Escoffery teams up with Gary Versace/B3, Avi Rothbard/g and Jason Brown/dr for a varied disc that goes from bluesy swing like
Ellington’s “I Got It Bad” to aggressive hard bop like Rothbard’s “No
Desert.” Escoffery’s gut a muscular sound on tenor, and he uses it
well, particularly on the gentler pieces like “You Know I Care.”
Versace’s B3 gets a nice workout on “Road To Eilat” while Rothbard’s
guitar is nice and sinewy on “Nu Soul.” The joyous funk of his “Easy
Now” shows that the leader likes to keep the back beat moving. Good
Jared Gold leads the way on the B3 with drummer McClenty Hunter and
Gillespie alumnus Ed Cherry on guitar for some good old fashioned
bluesy boogie. He gets the tubes warmed up quickly with some cooking
takes of a couple of ringers; “Welcome Back” (from the 70’s TV show)
and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” are filled with funky turns and spins,
while Coldplay’s “Sparks” and Gold’s own “Battle of Tokorazawa” push
the Hammond fans to its limit. A lovely reading of The Beatles’ “In My
Life” and a haunting “Angel Eyes” show why you can never go wrong with
the good old Hammond. Like Noah and the Ark, some things like the B3
trio are destined to be remembered for all time.
The organ trio, back in the day at the sharp end of sonic technology—electric organs! electric guitars! special effects!—sounds in 2009 the most dated of hard bop retentions. Compare Jimmy Smith’s Blue Note collection,A New Sound – A New Star, recorded in 1956, with many new millennial outings in the style, and try to find any substantial differences. The biggest change is that what once must have sounded thoroughly cutting edge now sounds revivalist, even quaint.
Modern organists have responded to the challenge of being simultaneously in the tradition and of this time in various ways. Groups like Medeski Martin Wood have hung on to the original ambience of the genre while topping it with layer upon layer of overdubbing, loops and digital effects. Marco Benevento—whose Invisible Baby (Hyena, 2008) and Me Not Me (Royal Potato Family, 2009) have yet to be recognized as the masterpieces of keyboard invention that they are—has opted instead to embrace the essentially kitsch, cheesy and overheated nature of the organ, bombard it with digital voodoo, lace it with hallucinogens and then multiply by eleven.
The option chosen by Jared Gold on Supersonic is simply to keep on trucking—not messing with the B3’s classic sound palette, going for a live sound, relying on sheer energy and improvisational élan to sound fresh. It’s a tough route, but Gold makes it. John Sebastian’s “Welcome Back” and Gold’s “Makin’ Do,” which open the disc, are fast, full-on mixes of funk and bop, the first screamingly urgent, the second a little mellower. Crewe & Gaudio’s evergreen ballad, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” which follows, is reminiscent of Jimmy Smith at his most rococo.
Gold’s “Times Are Hard On The Boulevard” and “Battle Of Tokorazawa” tread more singular ground—intense, jittery and chromatic. Gold’s solos are thrilling. On “Tokorazawa,” guitarist Ed Cherry—who, for most of the album, stays in classic Wes Montgomery and Grant Green modes—offers a sonically adventurous solo which is as beautiful as it is all too brief. “Joe’s Thing,” a slow blues, and “Home Again,” wistful with a touch of tunesmithPat Metheny in the top line, take the album out.
When it stays with the tradition, it’s convincing. When it strikes out somewhere Gold’s own, it’s compelling. It’s all solid stuff, but more of the latter would make for a really distinctive disc.