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Dave Siebels: With the Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band

No matter how he spells his organization’s name, Gordon Goodwin always delivers. His big phat phranchise has managed to outsell the many Los Angeles-area rehearsal bands that, ironically, include some of Goodwin’s sidemen. Good marketing? To some extent. Truth is: Goodwin caters to younger listeners saturating his charts with a fusion of jazz, rock and funk . His competition does, too; Goodwin’s charts are simply more aggressive.

Added to that funky jazz, his latest album turns to a sound most big bands shun: the Hammond-B3 organ. Dave Siebels, who also arranged four tracks here, eschews the down-and-dirty blues funk of his idol, Jimmy Smith, creating more pianistic, single-note improvisations: like the rousing opener, “The Coupe,” his original line, “Da Blues:” and “The Eleventh Hour.”

Solo highlights are plentiful: trombonist Andy Martin, “Da Blues; nominal leader, tenorist Goodwin, “I Wish,” the clever head by Stevie Wonder that sounds like a walking bass line; guitarist Grant Geissman, “Girl Talk;” flutist Sal Lozano, Siebels, on Lalo Schifrin’s “The Cat; and the spirited exchange between tenorist Ed Smart and trumpeter Roy Wiegand on “Sort of Like a Samba.” Siebels shows how full-bodied a montuno sounds on organ.

Most memorable solo occurs on the only ballad.”I Love You Even More Again.” Trumpeter Wiegand plays, without embellishments, Siebels’ dedication to his wife Sue, demonstrating how effective a straight melody can be, providing the horn is well-played and the tune is gorgeous.

Originally Published