1. One for Melvin
2. The Look of You
3. The Long and Winding Road
4. Flubby Dubby
5. Love Ballad
6. Stars Fell on Alabama
8. A Calypso Party
9. Get in the Country
Ron Jackson - Guitar
Kyle Koeler - Organ
Otis Brown III - Drums
Bruce Williams - Alto sax (tracks 3, 5)
Don Braden - Tenor sax (tracks 3. 5)
The organ trio is a venerable set-up which has produced some exciting jazz, especially when led by the likes of Jimmy Smith or Joey De Francesco. Here is an organ trio led by guitarist Ron Jenkins, who has played for everyone from Jimmy McGriff to Taj Mahal, for Benny Golson and Broadway shows. The album's style is mainly funk, which means that the musicians seem more intent on the beat than in melodic improvisation. The rhythms are certainly invigorating but the solos very often consist of repetitive riffs, leaning heavily on the same notes or rhythms.
Ron Jackson claims to be primarily a composer and arranger, and he wrote six of the nine tunes here. Yet the best tracks are such standards as the Beatles' The Long and Winding Road or George Benson's hit Love Ballad. Both these are enhanced by the participation of two saxophonists: altoist Bruce Williams and tenorist Don Braden. They contribute imaginative solos, revelling in the rich potential of the melodies, while Ron Jackson's originals tend towards sameness.
Too often, the beat is infectious but much of the content is disappointing. Jackson's measured solo in Stars Fell on Alabama shows that he can play with variety as well as feeling on a romantic ballad. The album was recorded live at drummer Cecil Brown III's club in New Jersey, and it benefits from the live atmosphere. Brown adds some neat drum breaks to The Look of You. Technofile is a bit different, being based on a drum loop. But this only makes the music more mechanistic.
This CD is apparently a reissue of a 2009 album. Ron Jackson is clearly a talented guitarist, as he studied at Berklee and teaches at several colleges and schools around New York, so it is a pity that he mainly restricts himself on this album to a limited range of jazz-funk.