Vince Seneri

The Prince's Groove

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For Vince Seneri's fifth CD, he's adding on to the tried and true organ-guitar-drums format, and the pluses change from track to track. Trumpeter Randy Brecker, not acknowledged for playing soul-jazz, injects his bop and neo-bop flavored licks to several tracks, and flute player Dave Valentin, known for his work in the Latin-jazz field, contributes his always high level, atmospheric, quickwitted lines. Guitarist Paul Bollenback, best known for his organ combo work with Joey DeFrancesco, is in essence comfortable in any modern jazz context, and is playing quite well as always. Two-fisted drummer Buddy Williams can swing, play fast bop, hard funk, straight blues, or anything else you throw at him. Seneri is playing the contemporary Hammond B-3 organ, which has a bit smoother sound than the old ones. But more so, his style is sophisticated, lighter, less demonstrative, and not as dirty or greasy as the masters that preceded him. The tracks with contributions by Randy Brecker include the opener "Renegade Man," an incessant shuffle where the trumpeter and organist lead out together while Bollenback lays out a steady two-chord groove, the light and lithe title track, with trumpet and guitar or organ trading phrases, chattering back and forth, or as Seneri and Brecker do on the solid swinger "The Stinger" and the hard bopper "Overdrive." Valentin fronts the mambo version of "Sway" aka "Quien Sera," and the easy samba favored "Passion Dance," which is Seneri's tune and not a cover of the McCoy Tyner evergreen. A fleet Bollenback charges up the hard bopper "Dearly Beloved" which cuts the organ loose, while conga player Gary Fritz fills the cracks as Ray Barretto did on many a similar type tune. Houston Person plays his signature sloth infused legato tenor sax on the lovely ballad "The Nearness of You," while "Walkin'" has the horns laying out, and Seneri plays in his most relaxed and refined mood. This very good music deserves a larger audience, as most organists do because they generally do not tour with the bulky keyboard. When they do appear in your town, and those such as Seneri release a CD, it's a treat.

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