I Love Music

The Groover Quartet, resident on Tuesdays at Smoke in New York city, that’s B3 organist Mike LeDonne, with retro tenorist Eric Alexander, the classy modern mainstream guitar stylist Peter Bernstein, and hard driving straightahead drummer Joe Farnsworth, in a studio set recorded in New Jersey in July last year, here with their latest record. Playing together for some 14 years their band rapport is unassailable opening fairly casually with a ‘Blues for Gene’ (Gene as in Harris, a Milt Jackson swinger from 1980s record Soul Route).
A mellow affair with plenty of room for the soloists to stretch their legs on a soul and hard bop-stuffed selection of tunes there are a couple of Stevie Wonder songs here (‘I Love Every Little Thing About You’ from Music of My Mind, and ‘Do I Do’ from Stevie Wonder’s Original Musicquarium I) to jostle with the Huff/Gamble title track associated with the O’Jays here rendered like ‘Impressions’. Broadway song ‘Put on a Happy Face’, ‘Blues for Ball’ from McCoy Tyner’s Supertrios album where the quartet go up a gear and Alexander shows his mastery of his instrument, and not forgetting War’s ‘The World Is a Ghetto’ complete what’s on offer. Fun and joyous without making too many demands on the listener, the Groovers are probably even better live, and this affectionate organ quartet album would make you get over to Harlem right away to hear them live on some enchanted evening. SG

Released on 30 June