The organ trio format is so ensconced in the minds of soul-jazz fans that hearing this album, which puts Richard "Groove" Holmes' funky Hammond B3 in the context of a larger group, sounds odd and over-produced at first. Putting Holmes' bottom-heavy instrument against a guitar-bass-drums trio and then adding Teddy Edwards' tenor saxophone on top to take most of the melody lines sounds on paper like it should be a thick, muddy mess, but thankfully, Holmes' sidemen are up to the task at hand and steer clear of over-playing. The great Paul Chambers, one of the best bassists of the post-bop generation, mostly leaves the bottom to Holmes' left hand, leaving himself free to add intriguing little accents and filigrees to the rhythm, and guitarist Pat Martino wisely avoids the temptation to do much more than comp unobtrusively and take the occasional brief solo. Billy Higgins, of course, is one of the great drummers of his time and plays solidly throughout. The original "Groove's Blue Groove" is a particular highlight, but the entire album is worthy.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason