Reuben Wilson: Organ Blues

One of the bluesiest of the organ elders still active on the scene, Reuben Wilson lays out an earthy program of groovers on Organ Blues (Jazzateria 20309-2; 56:25). With Bernard Purdie providing the rock-steady backbeat, Grant Green Jr. echoing some of his daddy’s hip guitar lines and Melvin Butler adding soulful tenor sax, Wilson wails with real-deal authority on the shuffle “Blues for McDuff,” on the slow blues “After Hours” and on a midtempo rendition of the Percy Mayfield classic “Please Send Me Someone to Love.” His “Old Time Shuffle Blues” is strictly old school-an ebullient, good-time groove paced by Purdie’s inimitable shuffle beat-and he gets knee-deep in the funk on Jimmy Smith’s “Back at the Chicken Shack.” There’s more upbeat toe-tappin’ on his version of the R&B classic “Honey Dripper,” then Wilson and company conjure up a late-night atmosphere on their sensual reading of “Willow Weep for Me.” The collection closes on an up note with a bouncing, jaunty shuffle take on James Cox’s “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out,” featuring some of Wilson’s most dynamic testifying on the B-3. After 40 years of doin’ it to death, Wilson still conveys an infectious spirit of joy in his playing, which is in great supply on Organ Blues.