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CD REVIEW - NIGEL PRICE ORGAN TRIO
Nigel Price Organ Trio: Live
Nigel Price, guitar, Pete Whittaker,
Hammond organ, Matt Home, drums.
Jazzizit Records 2009
Nigel Price is fast emerging as one of the UK’s leading jazz guitarists, as this album testifies. His playing is a distinct throwback to the heyday of the prestigious Blue Note label, famed for recognising the talent and reputation of so many jazz artistes of which jazz guitar giants Wes Montgomery and Grant Green are but two.
In fact, Nigel Price makes no secret of the fact that Wes Montgomery was one of his greatest influences - a fact clear from his tone and phrasing throughout this CD. A number of the compositions are provided by Wes Montgomery.
This album catches him playing live, with Pete Whittaker on Hammond organ and Matt Home on drums. Both are good friends of Nigel and he attributes this to the high quality of jazz that the group produces.
On the sleeve note to this recording, highly-respected fellow guitarist, Jim Mullen, describes the Nigel Price Trio’s sound as ‘great chops, good taste, and a great sound…showing why he and his trio are way up there with the best..’ Certainly, Pete Whittaker’s Hammond adds significantly to the Blue Note sound permeating from every track.
The opening track is the sprightly Bock to Bock, a tribute to the Pacific jazz producer, Richard Bock, composed by Buddy Montgomery. Jingles, a Wes Montgomery composition, features vigorous exchanges between guitar and drums.
My Favourite Things is a fresh interpretation of a famous standard in which Pete Whittaker, in particular, shines with an outstandingly crisp, rhythmically melodic solo.
Other highlights include a Nigel Price composition Mozambique which has the distinct flavour of the blues about it, and SOS, a second Wes Montgomery tune in which Nigel proffers a solo of typical vigour and intensity.
It is difficult to select a favourite - the beautifully tender rendition of Angel Eyes is certainly a contender, while others may prefer the grandstanding Duke Ellington composition Cottontail which brings the set to a rousing finale.
Nigel Price slips effortlessly between the standards, as well as his own compositions and those of his fellow artistes. His vigorous swinging sound with its blues subtext is distinctive and easily recognisable. He is a formidable talent.
(See In Conversation with Nigel Price in the Interviews section)