JWQ Showcase 2017

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

USA: Dave Askren & Jeff Benedict-Come Together (feat. Joe Bagg & Paul Romaine)(2017)

Dave Askren & Jeff Benedict | Come Together (feat. Joe Bagg & Paul Romaine)

A collection of originals and funky arrangements of jazz standards, this CD is all groove, all the time. With Joe Bagg on Organ and Paul Romaine on Drums, this album is reminiscent of the great organ quartets of the 1960's and 70's.

Cheese Grits reflects my long-standing love for Stanley Turrentine, who was my inspiration for
this recording. I saw Stanley when I was in high school – he was playing in Denver at a club
called ͞Ebbets Field͟ and Paul Romaine and I weaseled our way in, even though we were under
age. I was blown away by his great sound and impeccable time. I later discovered the
recordings of Stanley with Shirley Scott and Jimmy Smith – and I fell in love with the sound of
Tenor Sax, Guitar and Organ. I have had the good fortune to play in some organ groups, but I
have always wanted to record with one. Come Together is Dave’s take on the Beatles’ classic.
He put it in 7/4, which made it a real challenge. We were worried that we wouldn’t be able to
pull it off in the studio – and we ended up getting it on the first take. Moment͛s Notice is also
Dave’s concept, and it is also in an odd meter. Paul and Joe really brought the groove alive on
this tune – we struggled with it until we stopped trying to be the Coltrane quartet and we laid it
back a bit – it locked right in with more of a ͞cool͟ feel to it. Hear This is an original by Dave,
and he based the tune on the standard I Hear a Rhapsody. It’s a nice laid-back funk groove with
a lot of space for everyone. On It is another original by Dave – an up-tempo groove. Pineapple
Head is a tune I wrote some years back. I had a huge crush on a beautiful girl I met in college
named Karen – one of the things I loved bout her was her unusually thick hair. Sometimes she
would tie it up on the top of her head to get it out of her way, and she looked like a Pineapple –
so she became ͞Pineapple Head.͟ I dug it out for this session because I knew Joe and Paul
would find a nice groove on it. Willow Weep For Me is based on The Blood, Sweat and Tears
version of God Bless the Child. BS&T was a huge influence on me. When I thought about doing a
recording with an organ group, I knew we would have to have a shuffle. Groove Merchant
reflects my love for the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra – I heard them in Denver in 1976
and I was never the same. I was fortunate to get to play a lot of their music in college (I had a
hip band director), and my favorite sax section soli was on Groove Merchant. As a nod to Thad, I
wrote a soli for guitar and saxophone. ͚Deed I Bu is Paul’s creation. It’s a tune that is based on a
particular groove that Paul’s African Grey Parrot ͞Bu͟ gets into from time to time. Paul likes to
say that it’s his ͞Bird Transcription.͟ The title stems from the fact that the tune is based on the
changes to ‘Deed I Do.’

- Jeff Benedict