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Skip Heller Trio: Out of Time: The Skip Heller Trio Live in Philly

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“I own about three hundred albums that sound pretty much like this,” Skip Heller writes in the notes for Out of Time. It’s not the best way to plug a live guitar-organ-drums album, a genre whose quantities are a dime a dozen. But the guitarist and the material he chose for a return to his old Philadelphia stomping ground create the excitement of that instrumentation while virtually avoiding the chitlin-house shtick.

The selections include “Canadian Sunset,” “Li’l Darlin’,” “All the Way,” Johnny Mathis’ “It’s Not for Me to Say” and Burt Bacharach’s “Wives and Lovers,” which comes with a spoken disclaimer about its awful lyrics. Even with relatively laidback material, Heller’s bright tone and melodic sense keep the proceedings alive and flowing. Drummer John F. Kennedy, an old Philly friend, and organist Lucas Brown, who played with him only once prior, interact with Heller as if they’ve played together for years.

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