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THIS IS THE PLACE - Chicago Jazz Magazine

Published November 2005

This is the Place is the second album from Lansing, MI based organissimo. It's a standard organ trio format of organ, guitar and drums, but what they're willing to do with it is hardly standard fare.

It starts off on an interesting note. While this band is more than willing to play funk like any organ trio should, it's willing to do it quietly, sneakily getting feet to start tapping instead of hitting you over the head with one chord vamps meant strictly for the dance floor. It's also willing to switch gears fairly regularly, keeping the listener engaged with dynamic shifts, subtle tempo changes and interesting harmonic ideas thrown into the stew as well.

What that all amounts to is an organ trio that refuses to play by the rules. While the influences are all worn right on the sleeve, with Jimmy Smith's wails, Don Patterson's comping and Jack McDuff's penchant for funk coming through loud and clear, they're mixed up enough to keep the customer coming back for more.

This is the Place rewards subsequent listens with tight originals, smart choices in cover material and even an excellent harmonica solo by drummer Randy Marsh on a tribute to the late Ray Charles, Brother Ray.

organissimo is starting to make inroads in Chicago, having just played Martyr's and they're coming back to the HotHouse in November. Sitting somewhere inbetween the rollicking and sweaty swing of Jimmy Smith and the bare-bones funk of Medeski Martin and Wood, these guys have a little something to offer all fans of organ jazz. This is the Place is where it's at.

-- Paul Abella