The latest effort presented by the Deep Blue Organ Trio, Going To Town (available on CD and DVD from Delmark Records) encompasses diverse styles that transverse the genre of blues. A myriad of influences that register throughout are: bebop, swing, and jazz; and what unfolds to the ear is a stirring cacophony of sound. The Chicago based trio are seasoned professionals, and have toured individually with such notables as Sonny Rollins and Charles Earland. The venue, Chicago's Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, was ideal for the live unveiling of the six selections.
Deep Blue is composed of Bobby Broom (electric guitar), Chris Foreman (Hammond B3), and Greg Rockingham (percussion). Their true craftsmanship comes together in a uniformity that reflects the years (playing together since 1992, cemented the group in 2000) spent understanding the nuances of when to play off each other. This sentiment is reiterated in Broom's own musings: Embracing the importance of our chemistry was vital to the group's spirit. With it, there's something magical operating, in addition to the sum of the parts. Each individual shines; and the effects produced, in particularly Foreman's utilization of glissandi (the sliding of the hand across the keys), create an inordinate sound to each song's rendering.
The aforementioned technique, glissandi, figures prominently in the covering of the Fields and Kern's, "The Way You Look Tonight." An effective use of improvisations on this thirteen-minute performance, morphs the melody, in a manner that offers more substance to the standard's original framework. Moreover, in the tune "Lou," composed by Rockingham, the guitar solos reign throughout, creating licks that mimic the human voice; and the chord changes are spare„Ÿ delivering a subtle touch. The standard 12-bar blues structure of "Lou," is only the skeleton of the tune, the trio veers out of the traditional harmonic voicings, which demonstrates the complexities of the "experience" that is occurring in real-time, erecting the much needed layers (epidermis).
Going To Town is a remarkable compilation of songs that offer original compositions, as well as reinventions of familiar staples. One will have the urge to return, and listen for re-enactments of this live event again.