Goin' to Town: Live at the Green Mill
Recorded live at the Green Mill in Chicago, this album is notable for the way this veteran trio builds each performance to a soulful, audience-reaching climax. There are no tricks here, just solid, old-school grooves, hearts in the right place and focused solo construction with a sense of direction. The Deep Blue trio of organist Chris Foreman, guitarist Bobby Broom and drummer Greg Rockingham has been playing weekly at the Green Mill since 2003.
The album includes six performances, with three clocking in at more than 12 minutes apiece. Yet these tracks—the standards “Once I Loved,” “The Way You Look Tonight” and “12th of Never”—never grow tiresome. The other tunes include Earth, Wind and Fire’s “Can’t Hide Love” and a couple of original blues. A DVD production of these performances is also available.
The group establishes an enticing rhythmic connection from the outset. As a soloist, Coleman takes a cue from the late Jimmy Smith; he’s a strong phraser who builds with rapid-fire lines, repeated licks, sweeping block chords and sanctified feeling. Broom, perhaps best known for his stints with Sonny Rollins, is more complex rhythmically and harmonically. He can be as fundamental as B.B. King, as smooth as George Benson and also taut and angular. Rockingham’s taste and drive remind you of the way drummer Grady Tate cooked with Smith on some of the latter’s Verve albums of yore. Recommended.