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Kyle Asche organ trio, Five Down Blues, Cellar Live ***

Five Down Blues won't change your life but it certainly brightens the day chiefly among a number of pleasures in its favour for a chance to hear George Fludas the drummer here. I know him from his work with Monty Alexander hearing him live in …

Published: 18 Jul 2021. Updated: 5 days.

Five Down Blues won't change your life but it certainly brightens the day chiefly among a number of pleasures in its favour for a chance to hear George Fludas the drummer here. I know him from his work with Monty Alexander hearing him live in Ronnie Scott's for instance going back to 2004 if memory serves me correctly. And he shines and is a swinging presence throughout this guitar-organ-drums record. Here with, new to me, Hammond organist Pete Benson who resembles Joey DeFrancesco's approach somewhat although he is less flamboyant a player and leader-guitarist Kyle Asche, a classic stylist with a poised touch and essential command of phrase. Worth a listen but if you have to choose opt for Nigel Price's Road Song in terms of recent releases and a fairly close comparison in terms of approach as a zestier pick. And yet Fludas' touch is persuasive within the elegant sound especially if you like say the touch of Pedro Segundo because both fine drummers have a lot in common and it's a fascinating listen. A record that does not set out to be challenging, an observation not a criticism! Asche comes into his own in the characterful version of Ray Evans and Jay Livingston's 'Never Let Me Go' introduced to the canon by Nat King Cole in the latter half of the 1950s that Monty himself did a fine version of included on 1979's In Tokyo. SG

Kyle Asche photo: Cellar Live/Bandcamp

Tags: jazz

Joe Alterman, 'The Upside of Down', Ropeadope ****

If I were to play Joe Alterman's 'The Upside of Down,' a live recording from New York jazz club Birdland, on the radio, I'd certainly reach next for Billy Taylor's 'I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free'. It would be a natural fit. And then …

Published: 18 Jul 2021. Updated: 5 days.

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If I were to play Joe Alterman's 'The Upside of Down,' a live recording from New York jazz club Birdland, on the radio, I'd certainly reach next for Billy Taylor's 'I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free'. It would be a natural fit. And then what? Oh go on then Ramsey Lewis time. Now we're sucking diesel!

Different tune, different era, but crucially all share the same upbeat spirit and positivity that remains ageless and time travels skippingly along. And make room too why not for some James Williams in the above mix and a special vintage kept in the jazz cellars courtesy of the Magical Trio 1 for that extra bit of 1980s elegance.

There is serious. And then there is serious fun. Alterman is from Atlanta and is a natural communicator and is unafraid to dazzle head-to-tail from riff to tease a groove through and out of his trio. There is lots of piano personality on display. Bassist Nathaniel Schroeder and drummer Marlon Patton bask in the dazzling reflected sunshine emanating from the keys. The full album, which also includes treatments of 'Pure Imagination' and 'Days of Wine and Roses' is officially released in mid-August. Joe Alterman, top