Dan Balmer

Don't Forget the Way Home

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Since the three musicians on this CD (guitarist Dan Balmer, organist George Mitchell and drummer Chris Lee) are somewhat obscure, it is unfortunate that there are no liner notes. The music is mostly a throwaback to the mid-'60s (although six of the ten songs are group originals). Organist Mitchell has a heavier sound than Jimmy Smith and his atmospheric chording and fluid pedal work make the absence of a bass unnoticeable. Balmer is the main soloist and, although he occasionally resembles Wes Montgomery (particularly on "The Song Is You"), his own style shines through on the newer pieces, especially during the two 6/4 waltzes "G-Bye Bolinas" and "Wings." Drummer Lee is excellent in support. Overall, this is an easy-listening and swinging jazz date from three players who deserve to be better known.

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