Thursday, April 3, 2014

Gene Ludwig - Pat Martino Young Guns HighNote 2014

Young Guns
One of the finest live organ trios ever absolute must!
Brent Black /
Recordings are mere snapshots in time. To lay the title of best live organ trio is a bit presumptuous but occasionally the blatantly obvious can not be ignored. Young Guns documents a trio with a furious swing and lyrical intensity, a soulful jam if ever there was one. Pat Martino cut his harmonic teeth gigging with organ trios back in the mid 60's. While this particular trio only lasted two years, they are the stuff legends are made of and Young Guns is a classic.
Young Guns is a blistering live set recorded in Lexington, Kentucky and might best be described as what happens when all the stars are in perfect alignment. Martino and organist Gene Ludwig work hand in glove with a soulful groove that drummer Randy Gelispie seems to feed off of while taking the concept of in the pocket to the next level. Highlights would include a blistering riff on the John Coltrane classic "Mr. P.C." followed by yet another burner in "Close Your Eyes." The real treat of this archival discovery is the previously unreleased "Colossus." The trio smokes this Martino tunes with an unbridled intensity seldom heard in this particular setting.
Young Guns does have some dialed down moments where a smoldering soulful and soul filled quality takes center stage but it is the "burners" that transforms this trio into something special. Both Ludwig and Martino were considered the hot ticket at that time. Two incredible leaders pushed by the rhythmic finesse of Randy Gelispie set a bar for the organ trio others have not come close to. This is one of those rare desert island type discs that no library should be without!
Tracks: Who Can I Turn to?; Mr. P.C.; Sam Sack; Watch What Happens; Close Your Eyes; Road Song; Colossus.