In his informative sleeve notes, Nigel Price reveals that all the tunes on this album are in some way a tribute to a past or current jazz hero. He also admits that his current group is heavily influenced by the Larry Goldings, Peter Bernstein and Bill Stewart trio, which he rates as one of the most important bands in the history of improvised music.
Night Flight starts out as a contrafact of Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage but rapidly transmutes into a virtuosic tour de force dominated by Price’s dazzling guitar lines which are matched by Ross Stanley’s fleet-footed Hammond B3 soloing.
Of the four non-original numbers, You Don’t Know Me is characterised by an irresistible foot-tapping 4/4 beat driven by Joel Barford’s snare drum and a greasy swinging organ. But the trio can play ballads sensitively too, such as Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most, embellished by Price’s deployment of octaves, glissandi and sheer imagination.
This praise also rings true even on a hackneyed standard such as Falling In Love With Love, where Price injects new life into the old workhorse. Kid Gloves, a paean to Pat Martino, does justice to the late guitar master with some jaw-dropping lightning-fast single-note forays.
Price never ceases to amaze and delight with his playing, compositions and arrangements and his organ trio is absolutely on fire here. Never content with just one format, Price is also to be heard in duo and quartet contexts, often sharing the stand with fellow guitarists such as Alban Claret, as recently showcased on the album Entente Cordiale (Elsden Music, 2023).
This is an outstanding set and a compulsory purchase for anyone into guitar-led organ trios. Incidentally, the album’s title was spontaneously coined by Barford following a rapturous encore at one of the trio’s many successful gigs.
Hey, Shirley; Morning Star; Night Flight; You Don’t Know Me; Stryke One; Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most; Falling In Love With Love; Kid Gloves; Sweet (65.46)
Price (elg); Ross Stanley (org); Joel Barford (d). Guildford, July 2023.
Nervy Nigel Records NERVYCD004