Brian Charette

Learning to Count

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Hammond organist Brian Charette has a light touch compared to many of the jazz giants who played the instrument, yet one of the benefits is that he has developed a sound that is distinctively his own. For this studio session, Charette is joined by rising alto saxophonist Mike DiRubbo and drummer Jochen Ruckert, focusing mostly on his originals. The peppy "Air on a Sunny String" is a pulsing opener, displaying the leader's light touch in his breezy solo. "Hungarian Bolero" has an ominous, brooding air, with Ruckert's sensitive percussion providing the perfect backdrop. "Flippin' the Bird" is an easygoing bop vehicle, while "Learning to Count" is a blistering workout for the trio with DiRubbo's vigorous solo powered by Charette and Ruckert. The organist's buoyant midtempo setting of Wayne Shorter's "Juju" and his breezy, lighthearted take of John Lewis' "Milestones" bring new life to these venerable jazz favorites. The only lackluster track is Charette's interpretation of rocker Steve Winwood's "Empty Pages," a dated, repetitious number that resists the best efforts of the leader and DiRubbo to inject some life into it.

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