Vince Seneri,
The Prince's Groove
(Prince, 2007)

In the hands of a few masters, the Hammond B3 organ has moved out of the place where we generally anticipate its use -- playing fills in the background of R&B songs -- and has become a lead jazz instrument. Guys like Jimmy Smith, Wild Bill Davis and Jesse Crawford pioneered its use in jazz, and a new generation of players has taken up its use. Vince "The Prince" Seneri is one of these musicians.

Seneri's music leans more toward light jazz. It is tuneful and melodic, tightly arranged and well played by a band that includes the likes of Randy Brecker on trumpet, Paul Bollenback on guitar, Houston Pereson on tenor sax and Buddy Williams, supplemented by two percussionists, on drums.

The CD kicks off with "Renegade Man," a bouncy blues original featuring Brecker, and is followed by Johnny Mercer and Jerome Kern's "Dearly Beloved," which is done up as a blowing session.

Seneri displays a wide range; he's at home with the blues, standards and Latin sounds, and he shows that the Hammond B3 does not have to serve its traditional roles as either a a piece of the background or as the sole lead instrument. It's also at home in a small jazz ensemble.

review by
Michael Scott Cain

18 October 2008

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