Philly drummer Tom Cohen leads the modern incarnation of the jazz organ trio across three different configurations on My Take, for extended versions of jazz classics from Gigi Gryce, Benny Golson, Wayne Shorter, Sonny Stitt, and Vincent Youmans. Featured are master organist and fellow Philadelphian Joey DeFrancesco, tenor giants Tim Warfield and Ralph Bowen, and a guitar-organ tandem of Philadelphians – organist Dave Postmontier and guitarist Steve Giordano.
Warfield and DeFrancesco join the leader on the surging Gryce tune “Minority.” His colleagues Postmontier and Giordano follow with a lighter, contrasting, but effervescently melodic Golson classic, “Along Came Betty,” perhaps, along with “Stablemates” Golson’s most covered tune. Giordano’s guitar solo is especially impressive with its clean picking, bent strings, rapid runs, and unexpected directions as Postmontier comps and Cohen supplies the pulsating underpinning. Warfield and DeFrancesco return for Youmans’ “Without a Song” with its more deliberate pace, Warfield pulling all he can from the tenor’s lower registers as DeFrancesco chords and delivers the occasional surprising accent before delivering his own sweeping, soaring statement and then fires off exchanges with the leader before Warfield restates the theme.
The Bowen-DeFrancesco team render Sonny Stitt’s “Eternal Triangle’’ and the seldom covered Wayne Shorter’s “Lost.” The former bursts out of the gate with Bowen on fire and his trio mates swinging hard. As Bowen retreats, DeFrancesco seemingly touches every note of the Hammond B3, while Cohen’s beats push him into even higher gears. “Lost,” as per the title, shifts into some mysterious territory with Bowen blowing clusters of notes while DeFrancesco inventively comps, and Cohen steers them through the changes, building toward an exciting roof-raising climax.
This is a highly energetic date in straight-ahead mode, not so much in the soul-jazz mode of most jazz organ trios but equally soulful, burning and uplifting just the same.
More About Tom Cohen
Cohen has been a fixture in the Philadelphia jazz scene since the mid-70s, known for his versatility across styles ranging from Brazilian to fusion and the kind of hard bop and post-bop heard on this recording. Apart from his many session appearances, his dates as a leader include Tom Cohen Trio with Ron Thomas and Mike Richmond; Diggin’ In, Digging Out with Chris Potter, The Guitar Trio Project with Ben Monder, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Jef Lee Johnson, Paul Bollenback and others: and Joyride with Benito Gonzalez and Tim Reis.
- Jim Hynes
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