It’s not every day of the week we encounter an organ trio from Latvia, so this vinyl release becomes an immediate curio amongst the latest jazz releases. It should also be noted that leader Andersons plays the Hammond A100 rather than the famous B3, although with some tweaking, via a Leslie kit, the tone and options are similar.
When assessing this contemporary-sounding threesome, it has to be said that the results of their collaboration offer little in the way of innovation. They often resort to predictable rhythmic paths and clichés associated with the aftermath of the Jimmy Smith school. But that doesn’t mean fans of the genre won’t find something of note in the mix.
Andersons is convincing enough in all he delivers, Ozols offers modernistic excursions on his electric guitar and Buiķis cannot be faulted in his time keeping role. At the end of the day, it is a good bet most listeners would have wished for a little adventure along the way, nevertheless, any musicians performing around the Baltic states should be encouraged in all their endeavours.
Groove Station; Oak Tree; Peppermint; On The Beach; Homecoming: Lumberjack; Ishinomaki (38.32)
Atis Andersons (org); Āris Ozols (g); Andris Buiķis (d). Riga, Latvia. 3 & 4 August 2021.