Reviewed: Jermaine Landsberger, Getting’ Blazed

April 27, 2009

Blazed

GERMAN-BORN PIANIST AND ORGANIST JERMAINE LANDSBERGER was raised in a Sinti gypsy family, where he was steeped in the music of Django Reinhardt and the Roma gypsies.

Originally a guitarist as well as a pianist, Landsberger ultimately focused on the latter, and more recently Hammond organ, on which he absolutely burns. The primary guitarist on this album is the Swedish jazzmaster Andreas Öberg, who plays with astonishing speed, accuracy, and taste, particularly on Pat Martino’s “Three Base Hit.” And that’s probably no accident, as Martino may have been looking over his shoulder while waiting to contribute tracks to three tunes himself. Martino plays an understated, lyrical solo on “Sno’ Peas,” adds rhythmically sophisticated comping and a brief but soulful solo to “Brazilian People,” and plays so poignantly on the slow ballad “Romance” that it would likely bring tears to the Tin Man’s eyes. Drummer Harvey Mason, bassist James Genus, and saxophonist Gary Meek also lend blazing chops to this swinging disc. Resonance.

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