Phil Haynes

Live Insurgency, Set 1

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On first glance, this might seem to be a typical soul-jazz organ group, with drummer Phil Haynes, organist Jeff Palmer and Paul Smoker (whose trumpet is in place of the usual tenor sax). There are a couple of swinging tunes (including the opening "Where's The Door?") and a lengthy exploration of "My Funny Valentine." However, the advanced improvising (particularly by the highly expressive Smoker), some tricky structures, and plenty of intuitive reactions make the music much more unpredictable than the usual 1960s organ ensemble. While Smoker's ideas are the most adventurous, Palmer mostly avoids the Jimmy Smith sound in favor of his own individual approach; although drummer/leader Haynes is mostly in a supportive role, he manages to keep the slightly dangerous music from becoming too relaxed. This is a set that rewards close listening, both paying tribute to the classic organ sound and escaping from mere imitation.

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