Since Jimmy Smith emerged in the ’50s, the organ has been the most overtly erotic jazz instrument. Nothing can get people shaking their asses like a Hammond B-3. Jared Gold understands this cultural history. He teases out Cannonball Adderley’s “Sermonette” with insinuating carnality. Brother Jack McDuff and Jimmy McGriff would approve of this groove. Gold transforms Michael Jackson’s elfin ballad, “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” into something nasty and greasy (and nice).
But Gold is not your typical B-3 party animal. On every tune, after laying down his funk bona fides, he keeps streaming content and delivers fresh ideas. His harmonic concepts are outside the organ genre as we have known it. “Fantified” is representative: Gold never stops burning (he could make a living with sheer speed) and never stops injecting interesting new details into the ascent of his spontaneous form.
The core trio contains guitarist Dave Stryker (with whom Gold’s hookup is longstanding and deep) and drummer Sylvia Cuenca. The +3 in JG3+3 are horns. Alto saxophonist Patrick Cornelius, baritone saxophonist Jason Marshall and trumpeter Tatum Greenblatt enable Gold to design colorful arrangements for the popular songs (“No Moon at All”) and jazz tunes (Wayne Shorter’s “Charcoal Blues”) he favors. The horn solos are consistently keen. Cornelius slants and veers sideways on “Fantified.” Greenblatt shoots out of Ray Bryant’s “Cubano Chant,” spattering flame.
The sextet is hot and tight, but a trio piece may be best. “Shower the People” is not an obvious choice for an organ combo. Gold takes it across a wide spectrum of emotion, starting with a quiet, thoughtful portrayal of James Taylor’s melody and ending with a wild, skittering celebration. People who listen may or may not shake their asses. They will surely feel showered with joy.