CD Review | Larry Goldings – Peter Bernstein – Bill Stewart, Toy Tunes

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The jazz world has seen many great organ trios over the years however Larry Golding’s trio with Peter Bernstein and Bill Stewart is not only one of the most innovative but also one of the most prolific. Next week see’s the release of their 12th Album titled “Toy Tunes”, the second for their current label Pirouet Records.

Toy Tunes, is the follow up release to “Ramshackle Serenade” released in 2014 to critical acclaim, and once again see’s trio great form. The album contains a mix of original compositions mixed with treatments of a number of standards including “I’m In The Mood For Love”, Carla Bley’s “And Now the Queen” and the title track, Wayne Shorter’s “Toy Tune”.

Larry Goldings when speaking about the trio said “Our approach has never been dictated by the ‘organ trio’ format but rather by our individual personalities, our broad range of musical interests, our desire to be highly interactive, and to grow together as musicians.” This could not be further from the truth as the trio explore many styles on the album from the more straight ahead readings of “I’m In The Mood For Love” and closing track Calm to the abstract of Carla Bley’s “And Now the Queen”.

The Album opens with a Goldings original “Fagan” referencing Steely Dan’s co-leader Donald Fagan and introduces the album well. The track with is staccato motif and straight eight feel is a strong opener without giving to much away as to what is coming. Larry stated the the music of Donald Fagan “introduced me to a whole new world of harmony and song structure” and this can be heard in this track.

I especially liked the lilting 6/8 feel of Bernstein’s “Lullaby For B” that Peter wrote for his oldest son and back beat groove of Bill Stewart’s “Don’t Ever Call Me Again”. Highlight of the album in my mind is treatment of Wayne Shorter’s “Toy Tune’. While not deviating all that far from the original Shorter recording both Bernstien and Goldings lay down impressive solo’s. Goldings says that improvising on Wayne Shorter’s pieces “is akin to playing with a Rubik’s Cube” and if this is the case on this recording he certainly was able to get all the squares lined up.

The performances on the album are excellent throughout as is the recording quality. Toy Tune is not only a welcome addition to the trios discography but a welcome addition to any Hammond fan or for that matter jazz lovers in general.

Larry Goldings, Hammond Organ | Peter Bernstein, Guitar | Bill Stewart, Drums

Track Listing:
1. Fagen | 2. Don’t Ever Call Me Again | 3. Lullaby for B | 4. I’m in the Mood for Love | 5. And Now the Queen | 6. Toy Tune | 7. Calm | 8. Maybe

Label: Pirouet Records

Buy the Album at Amazon | iTunes

European Tour Dates 2018

20 May – London, UK – Pizza Express Jazz Club
21 May – London, UK – Pizza Express Jazz Club
22 May – Dorking, UK – Watermill Jazz Club
23 May – Stockholm, SE – Fasching
25 May – Gothenburg, SE – Nefertiti
26 May – Oslo, NO – Herr Nilsen
27 May – Bergen, NO – Natjazz Festival
30 May – Rotterdam, NL – Lantaren
31 May – Amsterdam, NL – Bimhuis
01 Jun – Hamburg, DE – Elbfestival
02 Jun – Hilden, DE – Hildener Jazztage
04 Jun – Wien, AT – Porgy & Bess

Photo credit and (c) info: all rights go to original recording artist/owner/photographer(s).

YT Video:  Pirouet Records

Last modified: July 16, 2018