Native New Yorker Jeremy Baum has his roots in the blues, having played
with his own blues band as well as working alongside Richie Havens and
Ronnie Earl. He has also worked as a session musician (including the Band),
but since 1997 has been fronting his own trio. Their debut "Lost River
Jams" has now been released on Flying Yak.
Baum plays a cut down Hammond B-2, and it is the familiar Hammond sound
that dominates the album. This all starts with the easy going relaxed
groove of "Take A Walk," which sets the mood for much of what is to follow.
Although rooted in the blues, the trio (organ, guitar and drums) also
incorporate other elements into their sound. On "Liberty Street," for
example, where the basic trio is augmented by Malcolm Gold (bass), they
successfully venture into Latin territory. This memorable tune has shades
of Santana about it in places.
After hinting at New Orleans funk on "Oasis Jam," the band get around to
more bluesy stuff on "Goin' Home." It is a slower number, with Chris
Vitarello's guitar much more to the fore, and baum doubling up on piano.
The bluesier influences shine through in other places too, on "JB Shuffle"
(with Buddy Allen on sax), "Rock Me Baby" where Bill Perry plays lead and
takes the vocals--Perry also appears to get a name check on "Bill Showed
Up". The strongest blues content comes through on the closing version of
"Amazing Grace," however. Like the other covers here, it is given the Baum
treatment, and Vitarello gives a particularly good account of himself on
this one to round things off.
If you are not a fan of the Hammond Organ sound, then you should steer
clear of "Lost River Jams." Those who love it (i.e. fans of the likes of
Jimmies Smith and McGriff, Jack McDuff and so on) will find "lost River
Jams" to their liking. The tightness of the trio, which allows them to just
go into the studio and make music, gives the music a free-flowing feel. It
all makes "Lost River Jams" a nice way to unwind at the end of the day.
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This review is copyright © 2003 by Gordon Baxter, and Blues On Stage at: www.mnblues.com, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.
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