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Gary Versace: Reminiscence

Until you get to the funky, boogaloo-inflected third track, “Thelonious” (yes, the Monk tune), you might not even realize this is an organ-trio date, in the style of Jimmy Smith’s classic Blue Note sessions. Organist Gary Versace’s is a far cry from the driving, muscular approach to the Hammond B3 of Smith and his fellow soul-jazz organists of that era. For one thing, his concept is more group-oriented; this album is as much a showcase for the guitar of Vic Juris as for the B3. It’s also a showcase for versatility (notable in drummer Adam Nussbaum’s wide stylistic range) and for the compositions of modern jazz pianists, eight of whom are represented, plus Versace’s two originals, both dedications to others: “For Bill” (Evans) and “For McCoy” (Tyner).

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