Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Vince Seneri-The Prince's Groove-CD Review

As much as I love the renewed interest in the promence of the jazz organ, particularly the Hammond B3 I'd have to admit that organ recordings are running a dime-a-dozen these days. Just like piano trios there is a virtual glut of pedestrian session sprouting all over the place.
Don't get me wrong. with each new jazz recording I am in deep anticipation awaiting to hear something new and fresh.
I've got some favorites....give me a new Bill Heid disc, or a Radam Schwartz, Trudy Pitts and I certainly dug Sam Yahel's adventurous musings. Guys that make the few and far between recordings challenging and don't choke at the opportunity.
For a few year now I've come across the recordings of Vince Seneri and I've yet to be impressed. I've asked, what does he bring to the wide table of jazz organ history?
This is no slam nor put down for he is a fine organist. His newest release, 'The Prince's Groove' (PVR), leaves one wanting and the biggest hook are the heavyweight crew on board with him including Dave Valentine, Randy Brecker and Houston Person. And who can't have a jazz organ record without Houston Person?!!
Truth be told, this date suffers from a 'mass consumptive appeal syndrome', a malady of which strain burst forth from the infectious master himself Charles Earland. This is not a bad thing. Quite the contrary. It's just that its not remarkable nor distinctive and quite forgettable. Just because in these time of jazz organ enthusiatic groups and fan clubs blossoming all over the internet does that mean that every jazz organ recording is greeted a something special. Not here. Value is in the ear of the behearer.

Killer Jazz

In the late 70s I used to head out to a jazz haunt over on the west side. a place called, 'Kitty-O's on west North avenue. A non-discript run-of-the-mill tavern that hosted drummer Gerald Ried's quartet jam session every Sunday nite. Reid, whom I called one of the laziest drummers in the world could muster some great groups around him. He'd have the protean tenor saxist Chuck Woodfolk and bop master pianist Warren Dennis most of the time. And a young violinist/alto sax player right out of high school Tony Eaton was a regular. The AIDs virus would claim Eaton before he hit 30 years old.
Any number of saxophonists would sauter in the place including the wild pair of Alan Johnson and the incredible Floyd Lloyd Jackson. But none more fascinated than a rather diminutive fellow who went by the muslim name of Jamaljah Aliwoli. An alto sax man Aliwoli would have this crazy eyed glaze whenever playing his Bird-like phraseology. He'd often speak to me and never smiled. He seemed to after time drift off the jazz scene. And I'd often wondered what happened to him. This article provides a clue...

Monday, Apr. 11, 1988
American Notes CHICAGO
In the tough Englewood neighborhood of Chicago's South Side, Anne Claxton stands out for her bravery. The 44-year-old mother was returning to her home from a medical clinic when ex-Con Jamaljah Aliwoli opened fire on two rookie patrolmen who had stopped him for a traffic violation. Patrolman Daniel Duffy fell wounded, and Aliwoli shot wildly at the other officer, Gregory Matura. After wounding Matura, Aliwoli turned and began hunting for Duffy with his .357 Magnum. But Claxton dashed between them, hiding Duffy as the gunman went past. The gunman stared at her before heading straight toward a police ambush a few blocks away. The young housewife has taken the accolades in stride. Says she: "There is nothing heroic about saving the life of another human being when we are all human beings."

Find this article at:,9171,967142,00.html