Hammond B-3 organist Radam Schwartz has a ghost of a chance to convert you to being a part of the blues citizens with his latest album titled Blues Citizens.
Joining Schwartz on Blues Citizens are Bill Saxton on tenor sax, Bruce Williams on alto sax, Eric Johnson on guitar, Cecil Brooks III on drums and Kice on vocals.
Leading off the album is a song titled “Dem Philadelphia Organ Blues.” Schwartz pipes along on the organ and alto saxophonist Bruce Williams enjoys a fabulous solo. One specialty Schwartz plays on this track and throughout the album are his bass lines as there is no actual bassist.
Slowing down a touch, Schwartz delves into the Herbie Hancock catalogue with his rendition of “Driftin’.” Here we have Schwartz, moving along at a slow pace, brewing up something good. This is a Schwartz example of a soul-jazz take where he leans of Hancock and the original but Schwartz finds a way to make it his own.
The Erroll Garner nod is next with Schwartz playing the much covered “Misty.” It is nice to hear a Hammond B-3 organ version of this song. It is up tempo combined with soul and Schwartz almost makes it church like.
“I Don’t Stand a Ghost of a Chance” continues on the church like flavor with a fine solo by Bill Saxton. Drummer Cecil Brooks III also adds subtle drumming and keeps a low profile.
There is a lot of bluesy soul-jazz out there. Radam Schwartz could just put himself on the top of heap with Blues Citizens. Surrounding yourself with players who fully understand what you are trying to accomplish, especially with a sub-genre like Radam Schwartz is playing in and creating in is vital and these players understand it fully. While the sub-genre may be misty, it is pretty clear that Schwartz has it down.