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Reviewers: Don Mather, Tony Augarde, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby




High Note HCD 7155



1. Spoken Introduction By Cecil Brooks III
2. You Can't Hide Love
3. Spoken Introduction By Don Braden
4. Looking For Her
5. She's On Her Way
6. Where There's Smoke
7. Brighter Days
8. Moving In
9. The Closer I Get To You
10 The Vail Jumpers
11. Feel Like Makin' Love
Don Braden – Tenor sax
Kyle Koehler – Organ
Cecil Brooks III – Drums

The organ trio is a well-established format in jazz, normally with a guitarist or saxophonist joining the Hammond organ and drums. Such trios are popular because they usually deliver exciting, groovy music – and Don Braden’s trio is no exception. The punch of Kyle Koehler’s Hammond is accentuated by Don Braden’s powerful tenor-sax: a rich, forceful sound. Drummer Cecil Brooks III adds to the dynamism of this session, recorded last year at Cecil’s own club in New Jersey.

Sample the powerful playing on Where There’s Smoke – a truly smokin’ performance, leading to a fiery drum solo from Brooks. The opener, You Can’t Hide Love, is equally effective, with no-nonsense blowing from Braden. This doesn’t mean that the trio can’t relax. They take it easier for She’s On Her Way, a tender tune written by Braden for his daughter before she was born. And the trio lies back and enjoys Feel Like Makin’ Love, where the organ underpins the tune with a glorious walking bassline. Don Braden even plays a couple of tracks completely solo: Looking For Her (a sort of prelude to She’s On Her Way) and Moving In, a rhapsodic exploration of the saxophone’s capabilities.

Organ trios can become monotonous when they keep to the same level of intensity throughout a session, but this trio knows how to vary tempos and moods to create a thoroughly satisfying CD.

Tony Augarde


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