Pleasant Company Expected
Never Speak Your Name
Love and Youth and Spring
Robert Kennedy (Hammond B3 organ)
Mason Razavi (guitar)
Cody Rhodes (drums)
Recorded November 2014, Ruminator Audio, San Francisco, CA [57:08]
Robert Kennedy’s Hammond B3 trio, where he is supported by guitarist Mason Razavi and drummer Cody Rhodes, plays straight-ahead music with convincing
authority. It’s Kennedy’s debut album as a trio leader and he’s sounds in thoroughly communicative form throughout.
is a toe-tapping opener with a Larry Goldings vibe to it and in Pleasant Company Expected we can hear that this is a real trio, in which both
other musicians play their part – Razavi takes a taut solo – to generate a fine, strong ensemble sound and character. This waltz also alerts one to the
variety that the group finds in what can be a somewhat predictable groove. Root Bound is a giveaway title that immediately opens up a git-on-down
ethos with Kennedy managing to extract a fine range and colour from the trusty B3 and, supported by Rhodes, Razavi embarks on a take-off solo. To slow
things down there’s a slow-drag Radio Blues that succeeds in delineating its character finely, and leads on to Upper Market. This, like
all the other eight tracks, is a Kennedy composition and here, as throughout, he shows a real penchant and skill for crafting groovy, snappy numbers.
Rhodes gets out a shuffle rhythm on Big Shoes and a mordant walking bass vibe ensues, followed by good solos. Some of Razavi’s most up-tempo and
teasing playing come in the slow-fast Never Speak Your Name, with its series of changeable moods and fine trades. The unusual, intense and rather
Iberian-Latino Lambadame ends a really enjoyable and swinging disc that augurs well for more Kennedy trio projects.