Eric Scortia

Night on the Town

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Eric "Scorch" Scortia joined the Seattle-based Heads Up label with his soul-jazz/hard bop session A Night On the Town, which combined Texas jazz influences with the organ-combo sound of Philadelphia. Like Richard "Groove" Holmes, Jimmy McGriff, Charles Earland and countless other organists who played around Philly, Scortia has a sound based on the seminal Philly native Jimmy Smith. But there are enough Texas influences to set the album apart from the many Hammond B-3 dates recorded on the East Coast. In addition to providing four of his own songs, Scortia interprets Benny Golson's "Killer Joe" and the standard "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise," which is heard as a ballad. Some of his choices aren't obvious ones for a jazz player, including the Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby" and Roger Miller's 1965 country hit "King of the Road," both of which lend themselves to an improvisatory jazz setting rather nicely. Although not outstanding, this is a decent CD that B-3 lovers will enjoy.

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