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Mel Brown B-3 Organ Group - 16th Anniversary Show Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 (2014)

10-02-2016, 22:32
Jazz | Soul

Title: 16th Anniversary Show Vol. 1 & Vol. 2
Year Of Release: 2014
Label: Shoug Records
Genre: Jazz: Soul Jazz
Quality: 320 kbps
Total Time: 113:39
Total Size: 239 MB

Vol. 1:
01. Ticket To Ride (Live) ( 5:31)
02. Lilly Bean (Live) ( 6:13)
03. Let It Be (Live) ( 5:45)
04. Breezin' (Live) ( 5:47)
05. Moondance (Live) ( 5:05)
06. Shotgun - Billie Jean (Live) ( 4:49)
07. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' (Live) ( 5:36)
08. Five Dollah Blues (Live) (Feat. Thara Memory) (10:13)

Mel Brown B-3 Organ Group - 16th Anniversary Show Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 (2014)

Vol. 2:
01. Hip Shaker (Live) (8:27)
02. Spooky (Live) (5:08)
03. House Of The Rising Sun (Live) (7:48)
04. More Today Than Yesterday (Live) (6:59)
05. Dan's Slow Jam (Live) (4:22)
06. Mac Tough (Live) (5:48)
07. Love Won't Let Me Wait (Live) (6:25)
08. Blues For J (Live) (Feat. Thara Memory) (9:35)

“If this band played in New York City, they’d be a sensation!” These are words from legendary jazz guitarist George Benson, describing Portland’s long running soul-jazz outfit, the Mel Brown B3 Organ Group.

In 1997, the group began their long-running weekly perfor- mance at Jimmy Mak’s, Portland’s premier jazz club. When Jimmy Mak’s moved locations in 2006, the band followed and have now been performing as the house band for more than 16 years.

The band plays fiery soul-jazz, but the fire lies less in the style of music they choose to play, and more in the hearts of the talent who play it. Drummer Mel Brown heard Louis Pain’s scorching Hammond B3, and during a meeting with Jimmy Mak, they hand-picked the rest of the original members: long-time trumpeter and educator, Thara Memory; guitarist Dan Faehlne; and the saxophonist Renato Caranto.

Since the early days, Curtis Craft has come on board as percussionist and Dan Balmer replaced Faehnle on guitar. This torching new jazz band took the up-and-coming Pearl district by storm, and they became a sensation!

The double-disc anniversary collection presents Thara Mem- ory as a special guest on these live Jimmy Mak’s performances. On “Ticket to Ride,” Memory gives a hilarious vocal performance, capturing his sass on “Five Dollah Blues,” a song about his trouble with women. Poor Thara, it’s a little over ten full minutes of trouble.

The rest of the album is mostly fiery soul-jazz covers of rock songs from the ‘60s through the ‘80s. They nail Van Morrison’s “Moondance,” (Google the original if you don’t remember, you definitely know it). They also cover Michael Jackson’s “Billy Jean,” and two John Lennon/Paul McCartney songs, “Let it Be,” and a fiery version of “Ticket to Ride,” which opens the record. It’s fun and lighthearted, with tight playing.

The second volume focuses less on rock songs, and, al- though it still burns, it’s a little more like a constant simmer than a raging fire. The track that you’ll probably put on repeat is “Spooky,” a funky tune with Craft adding another layer on his percussion and Caranto’s saxophone up front and center. “Blues for J” is so straight-ahead it sounds like it’s on an out-of-print Prestige vinyl from the 60s.

These two records were both recorded during two Jimmy Mak’s performances at the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014. Both records burn, but “Ticket to Ride” is more focused on remakes of pop songs. Clearly in these last 16 years, these guys have mastered their crafts and hopefully will continue to be the house band at Jimmy Mak’s for another sixteen.

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