Barbara Dennerlein

Take Off!

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German organist Barbara Dennerlein gained a lot of attention when she signed with Verve in the mid-'90s. This set shows that her sound is very different from the usual dominant influence on her instrument, Jimmy Smith. Much of the music is quite funky, with Dennerlein demonstrating that she can riff as passionately as anyone and come up with continually fresh ideas over fairly simple structures. There is more variety than expected on the program, including a straightforward version of the bebop standard "Hot House" and some moody ballads. Dennerlein is joined by a particularly strong supporting cast that includes trumpeter Roy Hargrove, trombonist Ray Anderson, Mike Sim on saxes, and guitarist Mitch Watkins. This is an excellent effort that is easily recommended to jazz/funk collectors.

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