Vince Ector Organatomy Trio+ – Live at the Side Door
Veteran jazz drummer and composer Vince Ector leads his jazz organ trio plus one in a live set recorded in January 2020 at Connecticut’s popular jazz venue, the Side Door Jazz Club in Old Lyme, CT. Vince Ector Organatomy Trio+ – Live at the Side Door is the follow-up to Ector’s 2019 Theme For Ms. P. Ector is a torch bearer for the organ centric Philadelphia jazz tradition, carried on most popularly by the recently passed Joey DeFrancesco who, prior to his passing, encouraged Ector to share this live recording with the world. This burning live set features Ector alongside organ great Pat Bianchi (who often leads his own trios), fiery guitarist Paul Bollenback, and the emerging talented saxophonist Justin Jones, who replaced regular saxophonist Bruce Williams, who was recovering from a recent surgery at the time.
The set includes both Ector originals and staples that have long been part of the Philly organ tradition. The band is on fire from the outset with Ector’s call-and-response hard bop “South Philly Groove,” establishing the soulful sounds that would endure throughout the set. Each member solos with Bollenbach delivering an especially jaw-dropping turn. While the opener promoted group interplay and several unison sequences, Ector ignites the following dynamic tune, Don Patterson’s “Sister Ruth,” which points more specifically to the two main soloists – Jones and Bianchi. We get a needed break from the furious momentum in “The Courtship” as Jones emotes a lush, tender melody, supported steadily by organ trio.
Ector’s then orchestrates a pulsating arrangement of Dizzy Gillespie’s oft covered “Con Alma”, striking a an even balance between vigorous ensemble work while allowing his three bandmates to craft expressive, energetic solos with Bianchi’s a major highlight, along with his solo on the closer, two of his highest peaks in the entire set. “Love Won’t Let Me Wait” is a melodic mid-tempo number that builds in intensity with turns from the organist and guitarist, who plugs into an even higher gear on Ector’s “Renewal Revisited.” Bollenbach opens with wah-wah effects on Ector’s “Dex Blues” before ceding to Bianchi and then laying down a wall rattling blues-rock like solo. Refusing to surrender any ground, Ector takes the intro and goes on to propel the quartet into soulful triple meter explorations, and following one of Bollenbach’s more deliberate solos, Bianchi launches a roof-raising organ explosion on the Bacharach/David closer, “Wives and Lovers.”
It’s easy to see why the late DeFrancesco gave this recording his highest endorsement. This is live music at its raging best. Crank it up and bask in its uplift.
- Jim Hynes