Lester Bowie: The Organizer

This CD was produced by the AACM in 1991 and features trumpeter Bowie with trombonist Steve Turre, tenorman James Carter, organist Amina Claudine Myers and percussionists Don Moye and Philip Wilson. It’s as accessible as Bowie’s music gets, containing standards and funk music. The session’s pretty loose, with simple arrangements being employed. The inspiration for this music could’ve been the old Jimmy Smith Blue Note jam sessions, but the Smith stuff, with guys like Tina Brooks, George Coleman and Lee Morgan, was better and fresher: the ground Bowie covers has been well trodden. His solo work has a strong Miles Davis influence; it’s sloppy but melodically inventive. Turre’s a good technician but he sure doesn’t challenge himself here. Carter’s work is coming out of a funky bag; it’s reminiscent of the playing of Gene Ammons and Stanley Turrentine. Myers performs vigorously but is a derivative stylist.