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April 1998

Various Artists
Kickin' the 3: The Best of Organ Trio Jazz
Shanachie

Finding where to spread the credit is easier on Shanachie's Kickin' The 3: The Best of Organ Trio Jazz (Shanachie 5034 73:43), a tasty sampler of organ-driven workouts. Given the theme, you can probably guess the players blindfolded: McGriff, Charles Earland, Jimmy Smith, Joey DeFranceso and Lonnie Smith all take groovy bows, as do Medeski Martin and Wood and Larry Young. As you might expect, a goodly part of the material swings with a straightahead blues vibe, like McGriff and Hank Crawford's "Red Top," Smith's "Blues For J," Brother Jack McDuff's "After Hours" and Smith's "Back at the Chicken Shack," rendered here by Will Boulware. Off the blues path though, there's Larry Young and Joey DeFranceso tackling Monk-Joey D. bops hard through "Evidence" while Young waxes elliptical on "Monk's Dream." MMW, meanwhile, head for the outer limits with their "Beeah."

Originally published in April 1998
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