2. Air Play
7. The Snake
Jeff Palmer - Hammond B3 Organ, bass pedals
Devin Garramone - Alto sax
John Fisher - Drums
Organ trios often include a saxophone to spice things up, but it is usually a tenor sax. This organ trio uses an alto-saxist, Devin Garramone, whose ability to reach the higher registers of the instrument reminds me of Ron Aspery, the altoist in Back Door, a short-lived British trio of the 1970s. In fact the interplay which made Back Door so memorable is also a feature of this organ trio. When there are only three of you, interplay and empathy are essential to give the group cohesion. And this trio's jazz-fusion style is similar to Back Door, with strong drums backing up the jazzy organ and sax.
Organist Jeff Palmer, who wrote all the tunes on this album, generally keeps rather subdued here, at least in comparison with some of the more extrovert Hammond B3 exponents. He tends to leave the top line to Garramone - who often ascends into shrieks - or harmonises prettily with him.
There is a certain tendency to sameness in the album, most likely because of the persistent funk drumming but also because many of the numbers are mid-tempo funk burners. A jazz standard played in simple four-four would have made a change. Yet there are plenty of outstandingly individual passages, frequently provided by Devin's sax, which can seem on the edge of avant-garde wildness. However, on a slow number like Destiny, Garramone can moderate his power to be soulfully emotional.
The title-track was recorded live (at least, judging from the enthusiastic applause at the end) and has a swirling, serpentine feel - but then so has Dialog and (unsurprisingly) The Snake. Relentless is a moody but effective solo for the Hammond organ.
Despite the tendencies towards sameness, this is a listenable album, given added spice by the skittish alto sax.