Hammond organ with an all-star band – Pure bliss…
Jim Alfredson – Family Business – Posi-Tone #PR 8243 – 57:08 – *****
(Jim Alfredson – Hammond organ, clavinet; Will Bernard – guitar; Michael Dease – trombone ; Diego Rivera – tenor sax; Alex Sipiagin – trumpet, flugelhorn; EJ Strickland – drums; Kevin “Bujo” percussion)
Aficionados of the Hammond organ are a loyal but discerning bunch. If you add to the mix, a tenor saxophone they begin to perk up and take notice. Add another horn or two, and even more antennas will rise. A tasty guitarist can close the deal. Now we’re talking (and grooving…)
Marc Free, the owner of Posi-Tone Records, knows how to mix and match his roster to back up his recording leader. On the new CD from Hammond artist, Jim Alfredson, Marc has pulled out all the stops. The CD is titled, Family Business, and with a “family” like this Hammond freaks should be in high funk heaven.
Noted Hammond gods, Jimmy Smith, Dr. Lonnie Smith, or the recently departed Joey DeFrancesco, seldom were backed with a group so talented as the all-star group that back Alfredson. They are a mix of veterans and up-and comers, each proficient on their instrument, and have led sessions of their own. BUT if you combine them with quality material, and a top notch Hammond organist, you have an opportunity to recreate the vibe that a Hammond, plus horns release can bring- think the best of 1960s Blue Note and OJC, Hammond B-3 sessions. It’s that good, and such a treat, fifty plus years later to relive the magic.
It’s a rarity to find a CD without a weak track. As a reviewer, we normally highlight the stronger tunes, happy to report on the strengths we find. With Jim’s release it is ALL good. There are nine tracks, with seven originals from Jim. No filler, nothing to skip over if you are in a hurry. Set aside an hour for this CD. You will have a smile on your face and a sore foot from tapping.
Beginning with Lonnie Smith’s “Peepin'” and straight thru to Alfredson’s “Easy Breezy,” it’s all special. Whether it be the dream front line of trombonist, Michael Dease; trumpeter, Alex Sipiagin; and tenor saxist, Diego Rivera; or Will Bernard’s bluesy guitar- the blend is just right. Driven by EJ Strickland’s drums, the group blends soul jazz and hard bop motifs with a masterful touch. Solo space is provided freely, and Alfredson’s organ supplies the requisite “grease.”
Acoustics are spot on, with kudos going out to producer, Marc Free, and engineer, Nick O’Toole, who handle all of the Posi-Tone releases. This is a solid Five Star release and an absolute “must purchase” for Hammond with horns, fans. It will not disappoint, and a stone pleasure to recommend…
Jim Alfredson – Family Business
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