Nothing says "jazz" like an organ trio, and nothing sounds "cooler." I mean dark sunglasses, tight black suit and skinny dark tie cool, maybe a cigarette dangling, like on some of those old Wes Montgomery album covers on Riverside.
Chicago-based guitarist Kyle Asche fits very well into the Wes Montgomery sound, though the look has been updated -- suits have a more modern cut, with some color, and the ties are wider, and the cigarettes (thankfully) are nowhere to be seen. These are young guys -- Asche is 26 -- but they've absorbed the Montgomery/Grant Green organ trio sound and given it a modern twist, with some gritty sax work growling up from under the guitar/organ solos on four of the eight tunes.
Asche penned six of the tunes on The Hook Up, some fine compositions that pay homage to the tradition. The group also covers Irving Berlin's "The Best Thing for You" and Burt Bacharach's "Alfie," the latter opening with an extended Asche solo, the group joining him a minute and half in, with the whisper of Pete Benson's B-3 and the soft hiss of Todd Howell's brushes on skin. It seems an unlkely vehicle for the organ trio, but they make the song theirs, and it's a nice change of pace from the bluesier tone of most of the rest of the recording.
Tenor saxophonist Scott Burns joins the trio on four tunes, mixing up the group sound on a nicely-paced set, one played with a lot of soul, passion and an updated "coolness."