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Letter to St. Paul
  • Artist: Java Men
  • Label: CD Baby
  • UPC: 634479379260
  • Item #: SRD937926
  • Genre: Jazz
  • Release Date: 9/5/2006
  • Rank: 1000000000
CD 
List Price: $14.98
Price: $12.56
You Save: $2.42 (16%)

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Description

Letter to St. Paul on CD

Since the turn of the decade, organ combos have made a bit of a comeback. So, maybe the time has come for the Java Men, a group hailing out of Louisville, Kentucky. But, they are an organ combo with a difference. Rather than aping the groovin'-on-a-hot-summer-night sweaty prototype, they play a breezy, energetic variant on it. Todd Hildreth does not rely on the clichés set down by Jimmy Smith, Groove Holmes and Johnny Hammond. Thankfully, there's not an endless trill over a walking bassline in sight. Hildreth tends to play his instrument with a straight, vibrato-less tone, reeling off spiralling, Coltrane-ish lines. He also explores the unique, sonic properties that a Hammond can provide. Craig Wagner's guitar is similarly unaffected. His solos develop from clean, single-line runs into dense chordal patches with a strong rhythmic crunch. There's also a bit of country twang to his tone, most notable on 'Jimmy the Spock'. Ray Rizzo's drumming holds it together, going from a cool swing to a strong funky backbeat. The music runs the gamut from the tricky and tuneful ('The Only Peace I Know'/'Cellophane Mary') to the mysterious ('The Color Of A Mirror' which bears a bizarre resemblance to late-period Tom Waits) to the absurd ('Gaddzooks', which crosses a dancing, juju flavor with a drunken mariachi chorus). Throughout, there's an exuberance to this music that makes it well worth investigating. Robert Iannapollo - Cadence 1/97 (p. 101)