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May 2006

Gene Ludwig
Live in Las Vegas
Blues Leaf

Recorded at the Blue Note in Las Vegas, this album catches veteran organist Gene Ludwig in superb form. His sense of time is a lesson in swing. Momentum builds as he paces his lines over a steady groove. The performances feel good—food for the soul.

“Love for Sale” gets things off to a fast start. “Just Friends” cooks with a bounce. “Flamingo” and “Portrait of Jennie” are good for slow dancing. The gospel blues of “The Preacher” contains many hallelujah choruses. So it goes—straightahead, in the tradition.

Guitarist Joe Lano, drummer Tommy Check and guest percussionist Emedin Rivera assist the leader. Check’s crisp exchanges cap an uptempo “Well, You Needn’t.” Lano’s warm, mellow tone and lyrical, rhythmic solos complement the ensemble throughout the album. Another good one from a master.

Originally published in May 2006
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