Benjie Porecki

Servin' It Up

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Whatever happened to young organ sensation Joey DeFrancesco? While we ponder that question, Benjie Porecki is glad to fulfill our desire for an aggressive approach to the Hammond B-3 by Servin' It Up with equal parts blues, funk, and jazz. He frames his wide range of tempos -- from the slowly simmering "Last Train to Aalter" to the fiery Booker T type explosion "Chicken Neck Wilson" with two versions of the title track; "Breakfast" rolls along like a train steaming quickly through the blazing sunrise, while "Dinner" is slower, more contemplative, but still drenched in colorful blues. Porecki, however, would be a lone voice crying into the musical wilderness without the blistering support of electric guitarist Alex Schultz, whose striking solos and harmonic sparks keep Porecki on his toes. Schultz's modulations are intriguing, too, as he zips along on "Last Train to Aalter" from a sharp Wes Montgomery cool to the higher strains of surf guitar. As strong an organist as he is, Porecki has another weapon he has no trouble flashing: he's equally adept at acoustic piano-led trio numbers on which he limits the B-3 to a harmony role. He also gives new bluesy, improvisational life to well-worn standards like "Sunny," "Boogie on Reggae Woman" and "Bridge over Troubled Water."

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