One name on the Chicago jazz scene that's gotten a lot of recognition in the last couple of years is that of Kyle Asche. A superb guitarist with a nice tone and great command of his instrument, those of us in the know have seen his name float around for a while now. Now he has the chance to get his name out to a wider audience with a new album out on OA2 records called The Hook Up.
The Hook Up is an organ trio date with the fabulous Pete Benson (of Sabertooth fame, among many, many, many other projects) on B-3, and Todd Howell on drums. Scott Burns sits in on tenor on a few tunes as well.
As a former player in a B-3 trio, as well as an aficionado of great organ groups, I was looking forward to hearing this disc. I can gladly say I wasn't disappointed. While there's no burning funk or danceable grooves to speak of, it is a foot-tapping good time, to be sure.
While the ballads on the CD are lyrical and very well done, these guys clearly play their A-game on the up-tempo groovers. "For Those That Are There" is the highlight of the album, right in the pocket, with Asche sounding a bit like an early George Benson. Benson's comping behind him is fantastic, and the drum work is tastly throughout as well.
Like every good organ trio record, this one grooves nicely from start to finish. This is a great album for a long drive on a nice day, or a day around the house.
This isn't a mind blowing album, but most organ trio dates aren't. Instead, they're great listening, and that's what this album is all about.