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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf, Glyn Pursglove



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DAVE SIEBELS

with GORDON GOODWIN'S BIG PHAT BAND

PBGL Inc. 786052-8111-2

 

 

  1. The Coupe
  2. Not That There's Anything Wrong With That
  3. Da Blues
  4. Girl Talk
  5. I Wish
  6. The Gospel According To Hammond
  7. I Love You Even More Again
  8. The Cat
  9. Sort of Like a Samba
  10. The Eleventh Hour.

Dave Siebels - Hammond B3 organ
Gordon Goodwin - Piano, tenor sax
Rick Shaw, Michael George - Basses
Grant Geissman - Guitar
Bernie Dresel, Dave Spurr - Drums
Brad Dutz - Percussion
Wayne Bergeron, Dan Fornero, Pete De Siena, Dan Savant, Roy Wiegand - Trumpets
Andy Martin, Alex Iles, Charlie Morillas - Trombones
Craig Ware - Bass trombone
Eric Marienthal, Sal Lozano - Alto saxes
Brian Scanlon, Jeff Driskill - Tenor saxes
Jay Mason - Baritone sax

An album by a Hammond organist backed by a big band inevitably draws comparisons with those wonderful recordings that Jimmy Smith made with bands led by Oliver Nelson and Lalo Schifrin in the 1960s. The comparison is accentuated by the inclusion of The Cat, one of the tunes that Schifrin wrote and recorded with Jimmy Smith.

In this case, the comparisons are not odious, as Dave Siebels and Gordon Goodwin's assemblage of top Los Angeles players turn in excellent performances which are on a par with those Jimmy Smith classics. One expects some punchy music from such a collaboration and that is exactly what you get. Siebels and Goodwin share the arranging duties and manage to avoid too many big-band clichés.

In addition, the choice of tunes is inventively varied, including seven diverse originals by Siebels alongside the aforementioned The Cat, a nicely relaxed version of Neil Hefti's Girl Talk, and a noteworthy performance of Stevie Wonder's I Wish, which is one of the album's highspots.

Bandleader Gordon Goodwin contributes good tenor-sax solos to I Wish and The Eleventh Hour, while altoist Eric Marienthal is featured on Not That There's Anything Wrong With That and The Gospel According to Hammond. Sal Lozano takes a high-flying flute solo in The Cat. On three tracks the band is slimmed down to a small group, with Grant Geissman's guitar adding a lot to Girl Talk, Roy Wiegand's trumpet taking the poignant lead in I Love You Even More Again, and Dave Spurr's drums adding to the impetus of Sort of Like a Samba. Of course, organist Dave Siebels gets plenty of solo space. And the recording balance between organ and band is just right.

There seem to be a lot of Hammond organ albums around at the moment, but this is undoubtedly one of the best.


Tony Augarde



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