Matthew Kaminski – Taking My Time – Chicken Coop Records CCP 7014, 75:04 ***1/2:
(Matthew Kaminski, Hammond B3 Organ with Leslie 21 System Speaker; E.J. Hughes, tenor saxophone; Micah Cadwell, guitar; Charles Loehle, guitar; Charlie Robinson, guitar; Justin Chesarek, drums; Mike Hinton, drums; Emrah Kotan, drums.)
There appears to be a surge of Hammond B3 in the new jazz community. There players have passion for instrument technique and music academics. Matthew Kaminski is a rising star on the scene. With two college degrees in music, individual study with no less than Wynton Marsalis, Eddie Gomez, Bob Reynolds and Scott Giddens, he brings an intelligence and theoretical approach to his music. Kaminski teaches as well, and for fun is the organist for the Atlanta Braves Baseball Club.
Taking My Time, the debut release on Chicken Coop Records is an auspicious one. The album stretches beyond the typical funk grooves of the modern B3 efforts, embracing a traditional jazzy feel. From the straight ahead boogie feel of Lou Donaldson’s “Hot Dog”, to the bop intonation of the original composition, “Flip the Lid”, the sound, usually arranged for quartet, takes on an interactive combo structure. On the 12-bar, “Sweatin’, by Richard “Groove” Holmes, E.J. Hughes offers a scintillating tenor saxophone solo. The track also provides a great solo by Charles Loehle on guitar. Kaminski’s organ technique is fluid and varies from a slow, lower register on “Taking My Time”, to an unbridled jazzy cadence on “Karolina”
There are some surprises including a slow Bossa Nova rendition of the Brian Wilson classic, “Caroline, No”.
Continuing the time honored association with Broadway, there are two rousing versions of Richard Rodgers songs, “It Might As Well Be Spring”, and “Where or When” reworked from their slower, ballad tempos. These numbers take on a live performance quality with Kaminski delivering spirited leads aided by the dexterity of Micah Cadwell on guitar, and the crisp drumming of Justin Chesarek . “Mazzy”, another original composition adds an ethereal quality to the number, while “Moonlight in Vermont” is a slow, lush change of pace, with a solo by Robinson, followed by a velvety organ solo.
Throughout the album, the Hammond B3 and the Leslie 21 System Speaker provide a resonance that envelops the recordings. It should be interesting to see what is next for this artist.
TrackList: Hot Dog; Taking My Time; Flip The Lid; Sweatin’; Caroline, No; It Might As Well Be Spring; Figures; Mazzy; Where or When; Moonlight in Vermont; Karolina.
— Robbie Gerson