Brian Charette

Music for Organ Sextette

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Organ-led record dates often fall into predictability, but that's not the case with this collection of originals featuring the Brian Charette Sextette. Rather than tackle old warhorses or put a heavy emphasis on soul and funk, Charette brought in new material and chose four reed players with whom he had worked over the years (Jay Collins, Mike DiRubbo, Joel Frahm, and John Ellis), in addition to drummer Jochen Rueckert. "Computer God" is a driving post-bop work that alternates between its engaging riff and focus on each of the individual reed soloists, with the leader taking the final solo. "Fugue for Kathleen Anne" is an intricate feature for the four reed players, leading into the more complex "Ex Girlfriend Variations," the latter a mix of beauty, dissonance, and tension. "Risk" represents Charette's playful side; its sudden shifts between several moods and styles never lose the listener, with the blues at its core. "The Elvira Pacifier" is a comical reggae work, punctuated by Collins' breezy flute, DiRubbo's spirited alto sax, Ellis' whimsical bass clarinet, and Frahm's sassy tenor. His loping "Prayer for an Agnostic" kicks off with Charette's gospel-like organ, with the choir-like reeds providing a brief interlude to lead into their individual features. "Tambourine," the funkiest song of the session, wraps the date with energy that leaves the listener wanting more.