Brian Ho's latest release is just that - Organic! A righteous groove you can use that like a handful of others does not come from the heart or the soul but find Ho's musical soul and hang a hard right and go deeper and you find that musical happy place that is the human experience and condition personified in musical form. The music moves with an extreme sense of lyrical purpose. This is musical nirvana, an incredible place where feeling and expression collide into an ensemble that is going beyond chemistry but that rare musical synergy of a formidable 4tet playing with the musical cohesion of one unified voice.
Between some first call talent and the musical level of consistency on display the obvious question is where in the wold have these guys been hiding out:? Original compositions are captivating and fresh, standards swing with a subtle perfection and even an Amy Winehouse cover taken "Back To The Future" is reinvented into something resembling a brand new spin on making old school new cool with the only issue being Ho is making new cool with a vibrant attitude. The ironic twist on the Winehouse tune "Rehab" is due to her tragic passing the tune transforms itself into more of a self made tribute but works nicely. "Tres Tritmo" opens this stellar offering with the band working in overdrive and never missing a beat. Hart's nuances on drums combined with the soulful Ho on organ starts an impressive showcase of sonic firepower and a 4tet that is a formidable force to be taken very seriously in what seems to be turning into the year of the B3! Ho's original "Beat Street: is an aptly named tune that embraces the unabashed joy and passion with which Ho's ensemble attacks their music. Covering the Horace Silver classic "Song For My Father" is a roll of the dice but once again this 4tet nails it from opening to close as they take no prisoners. An infectious groove that not only pays mad props to Silver but reinforces the chops this ensemble possesses as a jazz collective.
Guitarist Calvin Keys swings with clean single note lines and a slight blues infusion to give this 4tet just the right about of bite without getting to close to overkill. Oscar Pangilinan is a perfect lyrical fit on tenor and like the rest he has the innate ability to shift not only harmonics but attempt some creative liberties with dynamics that other players in similar ensembles would politely sidestep. Brian Ho is without a doubt one of the finest young organ phenoms to be working today. If an organ "trio" (despite this being a 4tet ) is what trips your musical trigger then Brian Ho and Organic is an absolute must.
A 5 Star master class on everything that works with a hot organ ensemble this is a must!
Tracks: Tres Ritmo; Beat Street; Song For My Father; Rehab; Artful Dodger; Restoring The Faith; In A Sentimental Mood; Reversi.
Personnel: Brian Ho: hammond organ; Calvin Keys: guitar; Oscar Pangilinan: tenor saxophone; Lorca Hart: drums.
A taste of Brian Ho from You Tube
Special Thanks to Michael Bloom Media Relations!