Fans of organ trios will be overjoyed by this sizzling debut release from Jersey City saxophonist/composer Bryan Beninghove. A bit of a throwback, in the very best sense, to the great organ recordings of the '50s and '60s, Beninghove pairs his earthy saxophone with some deliciously chewy Hammond B-3 and drums. His choice of sidemen on these instruments contributes greatly to the presentation as organist Kyle Koehler (Lou Donaldson, Bootsy Collins) brings a Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff influence and drummer Don Williams played with both those notables.
A music teacher and clinician and busy musician in numerous groups in the New York/New jersey scene, Beninghove shows a knack for writing tasty yet gritty tunes that recall the golden era of organ trios without sounding dated. Original songs like "Tape Side Up," "Hey Zeus," "Hear Me Now" and "Sam Spade" will have you bobbing your head like an idiot, while the burning cover of Wayne Shorter's "Adam Apple" will have you searching for a dance floor. Other covers include live rave ups on Frank Loesser's "I've Never Been In Love Before," and Green/Heyman's "Out of Nowhere." Other covers include a romantic and quite lovely version of "Everything Happens to Me" and a delightful live take on "My Secret Love," proving the songwriter has an ear for great tunes as well.
Beninghove solos beautifully and confidently in a fairly straightforward yet highly enjoyable manner, while his partners are equally at home in this genre. Koehler continues to make waves as one of the up-and-coming organists of this generation, while Williams has just the right touch in support. Overall the album is like stepping into the midst of a crowded smoky club, complete with neon lights and sticky floors. It's a club you'll want to visit again.