Mike Allemana

Organ Trio

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AllMusic Review by

Chicago guitarist Allemana and equal partner/organist Dan Trudell have learned their lessons well from Wes Montgomery and Jimmy Smith. This eight-song set bubbles with overt or subtle excitement, fueled by the precision tuned drumming of Mike Schlick. This program sports a nice balance between Allemana's originals, standards, and some post-bop gems, all played with heart, conviction, and good feelings. Of the pieces penned by the leader, you get the funky, groovy, guitar-led breakout tune "Goin' to the Truck," the steady swinging jam tune "Give Me Something Good to Eat," and the midnight slow ballad "Debora." Well-known songs include "Pure Imagination" where the introductory organ buzzes like an electric fence, then settles into soft and tender guitar musings, Trudell burning red hot in the bridge. The cowboy klip klop of "Wagon Wheels" merges into easy, bluesy swing. The most interesting choices here are rarely offered, like the modernistic swingers by J.J. Johnson ("Kelo") and Bobby Hutcherson's "Herzog" where Trudell goes further out on his solo. A 5/4 guitar ostinato sets up Montgomery's "Full House," as definitive a tune for this group as they have, reflecting their background and influences. This is a fine date on an obscure label, one to seek. Recommended.