Adrienne Fenemor is a Kiwi who is US-based and recorded this hot little trio organ album of (mostly) originals stateside but is set to visit home in August to give a taste of it for a NZ Album Release Tour.
You’d be wise to get along if she’s playing near you. This is very easy on the ears. Fenemor has met and worked with heroes like Joey DeFrancesco and knows her way up and down and around those keys. She’s ably supported by a supple but never-in-the-way rhythm section as they cook up the 60s Organ Trio sound, and hint at some of George Benson’s earlier jazz work too.
The opening title track sets the scene – it’s sure to be a good time after that. Minor Mixup keeps things light and breezy with guitarist Peter Bernstein trading licks with and against Fenemor’s organ. He’s a great guitarist but never tries to walk away the star, tasteful leads and happy sit back, comping.
Drummer Willie Jones III has the goods too – having worked with a run of legends that includes Herbie Hancock, Hank Jones, Horace Silver, Arturo Sandoval and Roy Hargrove. So Fenemor’s keeping very fine company and her tunes are in good hands.
The closing take on Art Blakey’s Moanin’ isn’t quite my tempo but hey, that doesn’t at all make it bad.
Other times when they’re just taking tunes for a stroll round the block, as on Back At The Chicken Shack, the mix of Fendemor’s Booker T-esque keys and Bernstein’s Steve Crooper stabs is so effortless, so easy to roll along with – it’s the George Benson-esque Old Yeller bends from Bernstein and the lovely summer-lawn balladry of Lovers Embrace that provide the essential highlights for me. But nothing here is off, The Boss has a swing that’s reminiscent of Ginger Baker’s approach when playing with Bill Frisell, Sunday Sermon lays those big organ chords down, churchy. And Caribbean Day Dream has a great bounce and funk to it.
Looking forward to seeing how this plays out live – but for now just loving the album.