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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



CHARLIE APICELLA &
IRON CITY

The Business

CArlo Music CAR 233

 

 


1. The Business
2. 64 Cadillac
3. Donny Brook
4. Ironicity
5. Can't Help Falling in Love
6. Cantaloupe Woman
7.Blue String
8. The Shaw Shuffle
9. Stanley's Time

Charlie Apicella - Guitar
Dave Mattock - Organ
Alan Korzin - Drums
Stephen Riley - Tenor sax
Mayra Casales - Congas, percussion

 

Iron City gets the best of both worlds. Most organ groups consist of organ, guitar and drums or organ, sax and drums. However, this group embraces both kinds of line-up, adding a percussionist for extra measure. The reult is funky music of the kind that makes you want to tap (or even stamp) your feet. The leader's guitar harmonises groovily with the tenor sax, propelled by the Hammond organ, drums and percussion. There's nothing particularly original about the style, but the players perform the music with assured enthusiasm. And the rhythmic propulsion is probably down to the quintet having everything that helps to move a band along: guitar, the Hammond organ (with its pedals), drums and percussion.

This album was recorded on 11 May and released on 1 June. The speed may be explained by the fact that Charlie Apicella issued the CD through his own CArlo Music, which organises concerts as well as record albums. In fact the sound is remarkably good: clear and well-balanced. The CD was produced by Charlie's mentor, guitarist Dave Stryker. Apicella cites Grant Green and Wes Montgomery as his musical idols, and he often slips into sounding like Montgomery, which is no bad thing. He also plays a Grant Green composition: the jazz-rocking Donny Brook. The other three of the first four tunes are Apicella originals: all with a funky beat, though Mr Cadillac has a touch of bossa nova about it.

Can't Help Falling in Love changes the mood with a slow ballad, played with sensitivity by the group, especially by Apicella with thoughtful support from Mattock. Cantaloupe Woman takes us back to funk, while Blue String has an infectious shuffle rhythm and The Shaw Shuffle is a boogaloo. The album ends with a Stanley Turrentine tune: Stanley's Time, opening just with saxophone and percussion - both cooking with gas.

All five musicians are excellent and fuse comfortably together. This is not a profound or epoch-making album but it is very enjoyable just the same.

Tony Augarde
www.augardebooks.co.uk



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