Uptrio

Uplifting

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Certainly few would think that a jazz organ combo would hail from Sao Paulo, Brazil, but that is where the UpTrio calls home. A native of New Orleans, organist Charlie Demming leads this bluesy, grooving, and swinging triad, teamed with fellow residents of tropical South America in guitarist Daniel Andreotti and drummer Thiago Pinheiro. They play a set of all-original music, sharing composition duties, and balancing their instrumentation with no signals of any one instrument dominating. Though Andreotti plays most of the lead lines, it's in tandem with Demming's soulful comping and the steady drumming of Pinheiro with no traces of samba or bossa nova. The band is a bit cliché in the two-note, light, and breezy groove similar to "Song for My Father" of "Loser's Green Card," and Andreotti's slightly tart, stinging sound is unmistakably based off that of Grant Green, as heard during the enjoyable melody of "Alika Is in Love." The introductory track, "Candybar" mixes up clockwork beats with funky boogaloo, recalling the Detroit sound of Bill Heid or Lyman Woodard, with a Bobby Broom-cum-Wes Montgomery melody, and establishes the group concept perfectly. Bop is also a big part of the trio's inner soul, as represented by the really good swinger "The Sun Makes You Smile," a less fervent "Boppin' Around," or the weirdly titled, four-minute quickie "Einstein's Fried Cat." There's a certain elegance to the band, less gritty, more polished on the completely relaxed and simple "Parisian Breeze" or the light funk of "Luana's Bones," but the sprightly waltz "Walda" gives UpTrio more food for thought as to the unique identity they are striving for. Perhaps "Out of Rush" is their most challenged track, moving from 6/8 time in a swaying, cute groove that has a universal appeal to both chitlin' circuit and mainstream jazz listeners. Upon further recordings, it will be interesting to see if this group chooses to advance a progressive aesthetic à la Larry Young, or goes the route of liner note author Larry Goldings into an even more contemporary direction.

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