MOST 16-year old guys are looking at borrowing the keys to the family ride to go to the mall and hang out with friends. 16-year old organ phenom Kevin Coelho is the new shooter is the world of driving the B3 organ along side a lineage of major talent including the likes of Jimmy Smith, Dr. Lonnie Smith and Jimmy McGriff to name but a few.
Considering Coelho is a protege of B3 master Tony Monaco it is of little wonder this debut release is firing on all cylinders. Funkengruven – The Joy Of Driving A B3 includes Coelho killing some Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Otis Redding covers and a couple of Coelho originals showing off his prodigious chops and confirming he is in fact the real deal and future of the B3.
Coelho works the trio format with the flair and preceision of a seasoned veteran. The trio is rounded out with Reggie Jackson on drums and Derek Dicenzo on guitar who also gig with Tony Monaco so credibility for such a young talent is not remotely an issue here.
Coelho’s own funk infused arrangements of the Otis Redding classic Dock of the Bay” and Herbie Hancock’s “Cantaloupe Island” are inventive and more fun than one B3 player should be allowed to have without a license! The Coelho original “McJimmy” pays homage to the soul soaring gospel groove of his idol Jimmy McGriff. The title track “Funkengruven” is an odd metered blues riff that is infused with swing and shows off Coelho’s natural gift for groove. The harmonic variations are done with style, flair but never self indulgent.
Funkengruven – The Joy Of Driving A B3 is built around the dynamics of the B3 coupled with the soul and energy of a razor sharp trio. While age is but a number ( says the 50 year old critic who can’t even remembre being 16 ) Coelho is indeed an old soul trapped in the body of a young prodigee.
Discovered and produced by Tony Monaco and having studied with luminaries including Taylor Eigsti, Larry Goldings and The Heath Brothers it is obvious Coelho’s switch from his classical piano training to jazz organ was the right move!
Funkengruven – The Joy Of Driving A B3 is a perfect introduction to a rising star and easily slides into a potential sleeper of the year slot! An amazing debut filled with potential Kevin Coelho is indeed a name to remember!
Tracks: Funkengruven; Cantaloupe Island; Take A Stand; Chagalu; Dock Of The Bay: McJimmy; Donna Lee; Tangerine; Play It Back; What’s New.