Trudy Pitts

Legends of Acid Jazz

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Anyone who likes the B-3 Hammond organ soul-jazz style and doesn't mind a bit of pop-lounge spice occasionally stirred into the sauce should check out this compilation. It combines Pitts' first two LPs, Introducing the Fabulous Trudy Pitts and These Blues of Mine (both from 1967) on one CD. Introducing is a strong debut, divided between covers of pretty mainstream standards ("The Spanish Flea," "It Was a Very Good Year," "Matchmaker, Matchmaker") and gutsier straight soul-jazz, including four originals by Bill Carney, whose "Organology" is a highlight for its nervous, bopping edge. The languorous swells of the opening number "Steppin' in Minor" make you think you're in for a set of swank lounge-jazz, but the pace quickly picks up, and Pitts really catches fire on "Take Five," jamming a lot of notes into her improvisation without sounding self-indulgent. Pat Martino's guitar is graceful and sensitive throughout, and the trio of Pitts, Martino, and Carney is embellished by Abdu Johnson on conga. These Blues of Mine employed the same kind of approach as her debut. Better than expected soul-jazz interpretations of contemporary rock and pop songs ("House of the Rising Sun," "Eleanor Rigby," "A Whiter Shade of Pale," the theme from Man and a Woman) stand alongside jazz originals from drummer Bill Carney, with Pitts herself contributing "Count Nine." Pat Martino is again along to provide fine guitar accompaniment, with Pitts occasionally adding soul-pop vocals (as on "Eleanor Rigby"). It works best when they cut to straight, burning soul-jazz groovers, though, as on Pitts' moody "Count Nine," executed in a challenging 9/12 rhythm. This CD is billed to " Trudy Pitts with Pat Martino," although Pitts had sole billing on the original LPs.

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