Groovadelphia, organissimo's first CD since 2005's This Is The Place, finds the band deftly refining and expanding its signature sound while extending the tradition of the organ-based trio. Featuring eight original songs and one penned by drummer Randy Marsh's father, acclaimed tenor saxophonist Arno Marsh, this new CD opens with the title track, Groovadelphia," a tribute to organissimo's home away from home" on the East Coast. The mood stays traditional with the spicy samba of Seor Buffet" followed by the slippery blues shuffle of Third Right On The Left."
Just as things get comfortable, however, organissimo shifts direction with the lilting ballad Traces," showcasing Joe Gloss' delicate touch on acoustic guitar. Jim Alfredson adds layers of subtle colors with a combination of organ and synthesizer. The journey then leads to Danco De Alma," the centerpiece of the record that begins with a duet of guitar and Fender Rhodes. Randy then enters on drums, drawing on his deep well of Latin rhythms to support a sinuous bass line and circular chords. organissimo's tight ensemble interplay has never sounded stronger, as guitar and organ solos emerge and recede at will, blurring the line between composition and improvisation. The song ends with an intense flourish of guitar, Moog synthesizer, Hammond organ, and drums.
Solo organ introduces the next track, the poignant If Not Now, When?" a beautiful jazz-gospel testament. Bleecker" returns to the funky side of town just before we get a taste of home with My Sweet Potato Pie." The album ends with Rhodesia" a solo improvisation by Alfredson.
Original photographic imagery by artist Jim Colando gives the CD a distinctive, textured look to match the sounds within. Groovadelphia is by far the best organissimo album yet and a testament to the solidity and expressiveness of the members.
organissimo was formed in November 2000 and has released two previous CDs. The trio's debut album, Waiting For The Boogaloo Sisters... featuring Ron Blake, won a 2003 WYCE Jammie Award for Best Jazz Album and was named one of the Best Of 2003 by Jim Wilke's syndicated radio program Jazz After Hours. In 2005, organissimo released This Is The Place, another WYCE Jammie Award winner for Best Jazz Album and Album of the Year that was nominated for a Detroit Music Award and named one of the Best Of 2005 by: Jim Wilke, WHRV in Virginia Beach, WBEZ in Chicago, WVIA-FM in Pittston PA, WBLV Blue Lake Public Radio, WLNZ in Lansing, WEMU in Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti, KXJS in Sacramento, WYCE in Grand Rapids, WGMC Jazz 90.1 in Rochester NY, Real Detroit Weekly Magazine, the Detroit Metro Times, and the Lansing City Pulse.
organissimo has performed in clubs across the US including historic Baker's Keyboard Lounge in Detroit; The Green Mill in Chicago; Chris' Jazz Caf and the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Art After Five series in Philadelphia; Kenny's Castaways in New York City; The Skybar in Boston; and The Jewish Mother in Virginia Beach. The trio has also appeared at the Syracuse Jazz Festival, the Detroit International Jazz Festival, the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Clearwater Jazz Holiday, and the Tel-Aviv International Jazz Festival among other events.
Praise for Groovadelphia
...it's a beautiful record... Everything's so knit together, musically...and every track has several levels (at least) working at once -- hooks (or near hooks), rhythmic, timbral and harmonic subtleties, etc. [Jim is] a genius at registration... Joe is so damn hip but always in there, never flashy, and Randy is always thinking and feeling and sensing, always right." ~ Larry Kart, Author, Jazz Critic & Former DownBeat Contributor
Groovadelphia is a 56-minute plus fireworks display of funky spontaneity..." ~ Lansing State Journal
The vibe is magnetic. Head bopping is not a choice in this matter. The music makes it mandatory." ~ Walter Kolosky, jazz.com
Organist JIM ALFREDSON comes from a musical family. His father earned a living as a professional musician for many years and encouraged Jim's talents from a very young age. Some of Jim's earliest memories include pulling on the drawbars of his father's Hammond B3 at the age of four. Jim began writing his own songs on a Yamaha organ when he was eight. A score of synthesizers and multi-track machines followed until he came full circle at 16 and began again lusting after the sound of the Hammond organ. Jim has immersed himself in the study of this mighty keyboard ever since and is dedicated to uncovering new directions in which to extend the instrument's illustrious tradition. He is also the organist and musical director of the award-winning R&B band Root Doctor.
JOE GLOSS picked up a guitar at the age of eight to learn bluegrass and never looked back. His musical curiosity took him through many genres before finally settling on jazz in the early 1990s. Joe is known for his melodic, thoughtful phrasing and almost zen-like calm on stage. His diverse musical background makes him adept in almost any style but he found his true musical voice studying jazz and classical guitar. Joe's strengths, including his beautiful harmonic sense and exquisite tunes, are the perfect compliment for the rest of the group and help lead organissimo in new directions. In addition to his work with organissimo, Joe teaches jazz guitar at Michigan State University.
RANDY MARSH is known throughout Michigan as the drummer of choice." He has a long and distinguished resume yet has never rested on his well-earned laurels. With organissimo, Randy has found another outlet for his experience, his boundless creativity and his positive spirit. He too comes from a musical family: His father, Arno Marsh, played tenor in Woody Herman's Thundering Herd, the Stan Kenton Big Band, the Lionel Hampton Big Band, Maynard Ferguson's big band, and with Buddy Rich and Sammy Davis Jr. among many, many others, and after over 50 years is still a mainstay of the Las Vegas big band scene. But Randy credits his mother, Grand Rapids jazz singer Mary Lou Marsh, for giving him a deep love of music and especially jazz. Randy has been drumming for almost 40 years and shows no sign of slowing down. He's at the peak of his prowess playing with organissimo, bringing fire and intensity as well as his trademark sense of humor to the mix. Like his hero Art Blakey, as a drummer Randy truly is one of kind."