Pure Hammond gold…
Jared Gold – Reemergence – Strikezone Records 8817 – 51:19 ****:
(Jared Gold – Hammond B3 organ; Dave Stryker – guitar; Billy Hart – drums; Jeremy Pelt – trumpet (#1, 3, 5)
It’s been awhile since Jared Gold’s last CD (on Posi Tone Records), but Gold has kept plenty busy as a first choice organ sideman in New York City. His talents have also been recognized as he was recently voted as the Top Rising Star on organ in the annual Downbeat magazine poll.
For his initial release on the new Strikezone label, Gold has assembled a great trio with guitarist Dave Stryker (who runs the label), and veteran drummer, Billy Hart. Jeremy Pelt (who seems to be a busy man himself—we just reviewed his new Cannonball Adderley tribute with Jim Snidero), guests on three tracks here.
As expected, this CD shines, and will appeal to Hammond B3 aficionados. It’s a mix of standards (two Gershwin tunes), blues, gospel, a Beatles tune, as well as an original from both Gold and Stryker. What is unmistakable is the groove set by Gold and Stryker, and the strong presence of Billy Hart, as usual. There are no issues with fidelity and each member has plenty of room to stretch out. The addition of Pelt’s trumpet on three tracks expands the sonic landscape. A sax or trumpet addition to a Hammond trio always is welcome.
The title track is a 14 bar blues. It sets the bar high for what is to come. Gold’s Hammond attack is much more open and exploratory than the typical Hammond fare, and explores the full range of what a Hammond can provide. Jared brings to mind Larry Young in this manner. Stryker’s guitar work here, and throughout the session, is both tasty and concise. No histrionics, just a jazz guitar pro at work.
Gershwin’s standard, “It Ain’t Necessarily So” follows. It’s a feature for Stryker, yet provides some Hammond inquisitiveness opportunities for Jared. The theme is easily recognizable, yet the trio goes off in new directions. “Lookin’ for Another Pure Love” from Stevie Wonder, is funky, and would be in the wheelhouse for organ masters like Jimmy Smith, Groove Holmes, and Charles Earland. Pelt is aided by a strong foundation set by Gold.
“She’s Leaving Home” from the Beatles is given a ballad treatment by the trio. It is both poignant and elegant, with Jared gently but insistent in restating the theme. “One for John A.” is a tribute to the recently deceased jazz guitar master, John Abercrombie. Gold played with Abercrombie on a regular basis. The unison ensemble playing here is striking, and Pelt’s trumpet solo is first rate. Another blues, “Blues Connotation” from Ornette Coleman follows.
“Sweet Sweet Spirit” with a classic church gospel vibe, brought Shirley Scott to mind. Dave Stryker’s blues cred is on full display, and this rendition will be loved by old school Hammond B3 lovers. “Nomad” from Stryker concludes the CD, and every member of the trio gets extended feature time, with Billy Hart propelling the energy.
All in all, this is a CD that will be loved by Hammond fans, and highlights Gold’s talents as both a creative organist as well as arranger. His talents have matured and hopefully we’ll see more exploratory efforts from Jared well into the future.
It Ain’t Necessarily So
Lookin’ for Another Pure Love
She’s Leaving Home
One for John A.
How Long Has This Been Going On
Sweet Sweet Spirit