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Larry Goldings Trio: Sweet Science

Change is in the air in the jazz organ scene. With the rise of organists such as Larry Goldings, John Medeski and Sam Yahel, alternatives to the funky Philadelphia organ sound have become available. The new sound is spacey, more techno-oriented and more modal.

This album is a case in point, as Goldings, guitarist Peter Bernstein and drummer Bill Stewart perform originals such as the title cut, “Asimov,” “Lookout,” “Chorale” and “Come in and Pray.” These make use of ensemble textures, organ stops, melodic intervals and rhythmic space all geared more toward abstraction than earthiness. Even the group’s blusier performances (e.g., “Solid Jack” and “Gnomesville”) deviate from straightahead. “This Guy’s in Love With You” and “Spring Is Here,” the album’s two standards, fit into the program nicely. The former offers a lounge jazz break from the heavier fare, and the latter shows the trio’s ability to combine refracted melodic angles and laid-back swing.

This is the trio’s fifth album, and it demonstrates the advantages of a steady group. Instead of competitive soloing, there is a sense of continuity as the spotlight changes from member to member. Goldings, Bernstein and Stewart have charted a welcome, clear course into the cooler, more contemplative yet still grooving organ trio sound.

Originally Published