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organissimo at Trios in South Bend 3-1-08

Lansing-based Organ jazz trio Organissimo recently brought their fun, funky, and fired-up jazz grooves to the Trio's stage and a crowded house of appreciative listerners. Following in the footsteps of pioneers such as Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff, Charles Earland, Richard Groove Holmes, and Jimmy McGriff, this group is carrying the organ jazz torch into the new millienium. While not as over-the-top intense as contemporaries Soulive and Medeski, Martin, and Wood, Organissimo still offered a fresh and contemporary approach to the jazz tradition. Polished musicianship and eclectic compositions made for an entertaining night of unpredictable music. The group fluidly covered a range of jazz styles including funky soul jazz, driving hard bop, spicy Latin jazz, and even a beautiful gospel number. The diversity of the music presented was testament to the wetsuit tightness of the group.

Organissimo is comprised of three dynamic members. Jim Alfredson anchors the group with a striking command of the timeless Hammond B3 organ. His driving yet subtle approach to simultaneous bass lines, chords, and melodies is truly impressive. Randy Marsh handles the drum kit with the precision of a jaz scientist, and can drop a drum solo that will leave you astounded. Joe Gloss plays it cool on the guitar with a polished and breezy approach. Together the three played three sets at Trios and kept the place grooving all night long.

The scene at Trios was as impressive as the band. This club is really starting to live up to its great potential. The hybrid bar/restaurant layout is great and even from a restaurant booth in the opposite corner from the stage the band sounded and looked great. An eclectic mix of patrons contributed to the festive atmosphere, as did the creatively prepared tasty food. If Trios continues to book bands as good as Organissimo, the combination of vibe, music, people, and cuisine will be unbeatable.

~ Sean Conlon