Monday, March 07, 2011

Dan Adler's Organ Trio Shines On "Back to the Bridge"

Israeli born guitarist Dan Adler has established himself on the New York scene where he has played and studied with saxophonists Steve Grossman and Bob Berg as well as such guitarists as Jack Wilkins, Pul Bollenback, Peter Bernstein and Rodeny Jones. His second recording, Back to The Bridge (Emdan Music) is an organ trio session with Joey DeFrancesco handling the keyboards, and DeFrancisco’s regular drummer Bryon Landham on drums. The result is a terrific, swinging recording that showcases Adler’s solid guitar playing backed by perhaps today’s most impressive organist.

The opening Adler original,
Gold and Silver, is dedicated to the great Horace Silver, and a brisk number that quickly displays Adler’s tone along with his fleet, precise and imaginative delivery followed by DeFrancesco taking over. Joe Bushkin’s Oh, Look At Me Now, a swing era hit associated with frank Sinatra, introduced by some unaccompanied guitar before DeFrancesco and then Landham join in behind Adler’s nicely articulated and developed solo. An unexpected pleasure is the organ trio rendition of Clifford Brown’s Joy Spring, with its alternating rhythms at the beginning before the trio gets off on a hot groove. The title track is an Adler original, and is, in his words, an attempt to mix a non-bebop head to some bebop solos and in any event a delightful musical trip.

It is suggested that Adler’s jazz waltz,
Good Old Days, harkens back to the relaxed feel of the Larry Young, Grant Green and Elvin Jones organ trio, and DeFrancesco’s funky playing precedes strong soloing from Adler. In his liner notes, Scott Yanow observes how Landham sets a tone with a New Orleans march groove, before Adler and DeFrancesco set a medium tempo swing groove. Adler plays homage to his homeland with a languid performance of the Israeli ballad, Yatsanu At (We Left Slowly), which spends a doleful mood. The calypso rhythm of Between Jobs, helps lighten the spirits, while I’ve Never Been In Love Before, is taken at a quicker tempo than usual with a especially adept and intriguing solo by Adler. This splendid session ends with Oscar Peterson’s blues, The Smudge, that ends this recording with more wonderful playing.

I have not heard Adler’s prior recording, but
Back To The Bridge, is a superb, straight-ahead organ trio marked by imaginative material and excellent playing from all involved that has worn well over repeated listening. Dan Adler’s website is

My review copy was provided by a publicist.

No comments: