Guitarist Corey Christiansen began his stint at Origin Records in 2008 with a top notch organ jazz outing, Roll With It
. He followed that with an equally engaging disc featuring the same players, Outlaw Tractor
on the label in 2010. On these two dates, Christensen and his superb band worked the soul jazz groove typical of the B3 organ genre, featuring a breezy dynamic with superb displays of technique all around, and lots of room for the guitarist's inspired guitar ruminations to ride the waves of the tight rhythms.
Christensen's follow-up to his organ jazz CDs took another path. Lone Prairie
(Origin Records, 2013), proved perhaps an unexpected turn (for those getting interested in his organ jazz foray) into the traditional music of the American West, with a postmodern bent. He dives deeper with Factory Girl
It's sort of "Americana," in the Bill Frisell mode; but like Frisell, Christiansen has a personal vision with a fine focus, and an eye tuned straight into the 'now." Even the familiar "Shenandoah" shines with a new millennium shimmer. Zach Lapidus, reprising his keyboard roll from Lone Prairie
, is instrumental in buffering, subtly, the muted neon glow of the disc's sound.
The set features, along with the traditional, three tunes from Christiansen's pen that fit the mold. The opener, "She's Gone," is instantly engaging, a robust and patiently laid out melody weaving in and out of an intricate rhythm. "One's Promise," is as gentle as a lullaby, pastoral and pretty and soothing.
The overall "sound" of this album can't be overlooked. Bassist Jeremy Allen and drummer Matt Jorgensen, along with keyboardist/SuperCollider-weilder Zach Lapidus, and, occasionally, percolating percussionist Michael Spiro, lay the foundation -- rock solid but still intricate and virtuosic beyond the precursor music that Factory Girl
brings to mind: the reverberant twang of Duane Eddy, the echoing atmosphere of The Ventures' 1960 hit, "Walk Don't Run," the coolness of Dick Dale and the Deltones' "Miserloo" (1963)," the fluid group dynamic of Merle Haggard's late career band, The Chantay's epic "Pipeline" from 1963, any number of good time cowboy bands --- all of it dialed up, somewhat avant-style, into a new century.