Gene Segal: Hypnotic

Segal is based in Brooklyn, this is the guitarist’s debut recording. Eight of the ten tunes are in organ trio format with drummer Matt Kane and organist Sam Barsh; all tunes are originals. The other two tunes also have saxophones and trumpet. Only the under two minute long “Captain Chaos” and the appropriately titled “Blues Again” are played at fast tempo; and the group often seeks a groove base on the others which are not ballads. The more groove based tunes will remind listeners of a bassless MMW with Scofield, the ballad material is more reminiscent of Brad Skepik or John Abercrombie’s more recent organ trio recordings, and Segal is most expressive as a soloist at ballad tempo. On the groove oriented, medium tempo tunes Segal tends to use a much wetter tone, sometimes similar to a 60’s fuzz tone and sometimes more similar to the tone of Carlos Santana, and with mixed results.

The group shows their ability to create some variety, but do not excel throughout the range of what they have created, and the difference between the ballad material and the fuzz tone material may prove jarring to listeners. Segal and his colleagues have produced a competent debut recording and may eventually be able to produce something that is more consistently interesting.