Thursday 23rd September 2010
REVIEW BY TRUDIE SQUIRES
THIS group left a clear message that straight-ahead, superbly executed jazz still has a great future in this world of change and constant experimentation with various jazz forms. Guitarist Nigel Price owed much to his mentor the great Wes Montgomery and likewise Pete Whittaker, his Hammond organist, had a style cast in a similar mould to that of Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff and the like. The two players were driven along by the restless, chattering percussion of skilled drummer Matt Home.
The trio's music was intense and glowing and Price made constant reference to Montgomery and other guitarists he admired, such as the recently lamented Herb Ellis. Thoughtful, intricate guitar lines were carried constantly on sweeping chords from Whittaker's Hammond, whose technical abilities were made more remarkable by the fact that his left hand was supplying a constant, growling bass line.
Montgomery's brother, Buddy, penned the opener, Bock To Bock, illustrating Price's awesome technique and effective block chording. Other highlights were an original 12-bar, Booze Blooze, where the two brilliant soloists traded eight bars breaks with Matt Home's lightening sharp responses. Wes Montgomery's Four On Six was taken at a blistering pace and another feature for Home's rapacious percussion. A gorgeous rendition of Angel Eyes let the group chill out; the Hammond's foot manuals crashing out church organ bass notes, which resonated throughout the whole building. Cleverly disguised versions of standards are one of the trio's current projects and Body And Soul, Love For Sale and Sunny Side Of The Street all received effective makeovers. Another Price original, Mozambique, was a shuffling 12-bar excursion into jazz-funk . . . a solid Q&A theme backed by a rattling snare and throbbing bottom line from the organ. Price's breath-taking guitar and Whittaker's exhilarating Hammond produced Blue Note style jazz in its purest form.