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Reuben Wilson: Organ Donor

Dance music’s “every-instrument-as-a-rhythm-instrument” aesthetic can be adapted to pretty much any instrument. Sixty-plus-year-old B-3 man Reuben Wilson’s pungent keyboard jabs are so distinctive, in fact, that their sound is more familiar in some circles than the man behind them. If you have heard Us3, Nas or a Tribe Called Quest, there’s a good chance you have heard a sample (literally) of Wilson’s style. Organ Donor (Jazzateria JZZD 20298-2, 48:27) is a full, disc-long dose. On tunes like the James Brown-influenced funkster “Orange Peel” through the sly blues “Now’s the Time” through a breezy take on pop tunes like “Trouble Man” and “Groovin’,” economy is the name of Wilson’s game. He’ll cut loose with a run here and there, but there’s little of the frenetic fury of a, say, Jimmy Smith. Besides, sometimes the nastiest down-lowest grooves are the ones that let you fill in the blanks.

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