Sunday, February 08, 2015
Sax Gordon: In the Wee Small Hours - DownBeat
In the Wee Small Hours
Wild Bill Moore, Arnett Cobb, Illinois Jacquet - these are just a few of the honkers that saxophonist Sax Gordon Beadle pays tribute to on this organ trio outing recorded at the foot of the Alps in Bruino, Italy. Beadle honed his intricately manicured chops on the American blues circuit, picking up no shortage of flash, fire and fist pumps. By comparison, this recording is a modest swing through some worn-out standards, keeping the pyrotechnics to a minimum and the melody to the fore.
The album opens with "The Glory of Love," a tune that has lived a thousand lives from Benny Goodman to Otis Redding. Beadle starts reserved but gradually builds with help from the rest of the trio into a bombastic swinger. The Sinatra weeper that serves as the title track slows way down with drummer Alessandro Minetto gingerly working his brushes, while "Whatever Lola Wants" features organist Alberto Marsico in full snake-charmer mode, combining his drawbars for an old-school sound. "Big Top Blues," Beadle's writing contribution, is an uptempo workout that gives Minetto a few moments to skitter across his snare in the spotlight. This album could've benefitted a lot more from Beadle's stage craft. His fat notes ring with a true r&b education, but they never surpass the spirits he is trying to invoke.
Sax Gordon @ DownBeat