Vince Seneri

Street Talk

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Although he's not the household word his idol Jimmy Smith or the DeFrancescos are, Vince Seneri is determined to carry on the great tradition of the organ by playing what the album cover bills as "the new Hammond B-3." He achieves this brilliantly with a mix of classics (Thelonious Monk's hypnotic, easy swinging "Straight, No Chaser," a strutting "Walkin' My Baby Back Home") and a handful of originals that are even more explosive and engaging -- particularly the fiery "Organ Boogaloo," featuring punchy sax harmony and accents by David "Fathead " Newman. Two compelling tributes show Seneri's range of influences. The funky, wild, and swaying "Unchain My Heart" is fashioned after Ray Charles, with the organist trading fours with Newman as Buddy Williams pops on the drums. His original "Steamrollin'" is a seductive ballad that pays homage to the cool subtleties and immense harmonic genius of Smith. Because the disc is designed as a showcase for the B-3, it may not have been the best idea to launch the opening number (a brisk Latin rendering of "Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise") with a melody line by guest flutist Dave Valentin -- but within a minute or so, when Seneri chimes in with his first solo, we're off to the races. Valentin adds an expert Latin touch on two other numbers as well. Another guest of note is Bob DeVos, whose electric guitar crackles both as a harmonic and lead vehicle.

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