Sweet and Funky
18th & Vine
Akiko Tsuruga’s name may be unfamiliar to Hammond B3 aficionados, but her dynamite second CD just might change that. Since moving from Osaka, Japan, to New York in 2001, Tsuruga has developed a slamming, R&B-drenched style under the tutelage of organ master Dr. Lonnie Smith and drummer/singer Grady Tate. Her full-bodied organ sound carries on the classic soul-jazz tradition, dipping into cutesy sentiment on standards but also injecting a refreshing, youthful vigor in four hard-swinging originals. She’s the real deal.