Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Kombo: Cookin’ Out

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Kombo is a breath of fresh air in contemporary jazz, and its Hammond B-3, Rhodes and Wurlitzer wall of sound is as welcome on the airwaves as a dry martini, baby. On its second CD, Cookin’ Out, Kombo digs further into the past with festive interpretations and mighty originals of soul-infused jazz and R&B. Co-leaders Ron Pedley (keyboards) and Jon Pondel (guitars) obviously are having fun with their tight and tasty tunes. (Early contemporary-jazz fans may remember L.A.-based Uncle Festive, Pedley and Pondel’s creation of more than a decade ago. That band knew how to have fun, too, and is still favored by many.)

The fun covers include War’s “Low Rider,” Laura Nyro’s “Stoned Soul Picnic,” which features Sharon Hendrix’s clear, sultry vocals, and the medley “Use Me/Green Eyed Lady,” which takes the Bill Withers and Sugarloaf songs and mixes together the dominant melodies of both at the same time.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.