Sheryl Bailey – A Meeting Of Minds – Cellar Live

Sheryl Bailey – A Meeting Of Minds – Cellar Live CL070113, 62:53 ****:

(Sheryl Bailey – guitar; Ron Oswanski – Hammond B-3 organ; Ian Froman – drums)

Is there anything more ubiquitous than a jazz organ trio? What once seemed to be a musical graveyard for such combos is now the latest go to combination due in no small part to the stylish interplay among the likes of guitarist Sheryl Bailey and B-3 organist Ron Oswanski as developed on the Cellar Live release A Meeting Of The Minds.

While these talented performers may not be top of minds of jazz aficionados, they are nevertheless an impressive trio which is groove-minded and in command of the genre. As for this session all the compositions, save one, were written by Bailey. The exception, “Cactus”, was written by the irrepressible Cory Weeds and it is one of the highlights of the album. Taken at an up-tempo pace, it has a structure that allows the tension to build giving Bailey plenty of space to show her assertive style with Oswanski’s organ showing a power-house voice.

As for her own compositions, not everyone is a highlight but there are enough goodies to satisfy most listeners. Starting with the title track “A Meeting Of Minds” which is a nice swinger with Bailey working the fret board to demonstrate she is an effortless soloist. For a change of pace the bossa nova ballad “Broken Glass” is a subtle invention with Oswanski  offering a soulful solo on the organ in addition to Bailey’s elegant guitar, all held together by some smart drumming from Ian Froman. The band clearly has the temperament to deliver subtle colors. Finally the closing track “Last Night” is a romp with a solid locomotion as all the band comes together to deliver the goods thereby showing their cohesiveness.

This is a straight-forward and demanding band that is grounded in rhythmic expression.

TrackList : All Talk; Good News; One For VJ; Unity; Cactus; An Unexpected Turn; 5-1; Cheap Jersey Gas; A Meeting Of Minds; Broken Glass; The Lioness; Last Night

—Pierre Giroux

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