FAME Review: Craig Yaremko Organ Trio - CYO3
Craig Yaremko Organ Trio - CYO3


Craig Yaremko Organ Trio

OA2 Records - OA2 22105

Available from Craig Yaremko's Bandcamp page.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

It's not often you run across an organ trio composed of sax, drums, and the esteemed keyboard—usually the guitarists love to work with Hammonds—but CYO3 by the Craig Yaremko Organ Trio is exactly that richly mined side angle, and the sax mixture lends a different dimension to organ music, something Matt King, the ivories-tickler, works to advantage with a muscular will. I dig the organ, trad and modern, but am particularly enchanted with Brian Auger's work over decades. There's an élan there often missing in others…but not King, who works with tempo, coloration, and some way cool employments of unorthodox techniques to achieve to a flow uncommon to the instrument while stretching its palette.

There's a lot of Gerry Mulligan to Craig Yaremko's sax work, including the very Brubecky quote in the opener, Jitterbug Waltz, as he flies above King's work seamlessly. One hardly notices the takeovers when they occur. Then King doubles up behind him in duo quotes while drummer Jonathan Peretz keeps the background perky, adding just enough contrastive angularity to shift everything away from any least hint of over familiarity with expected directions. Don't take that Mulligan reference too seriously, though, as Yaremko, whom no less a talent than Jane Ira Bloom advised to tag team with the organ, is very much his own man, something resplendently evident everywhere in CY03. When he cuts loose, he cuts loose.

On the other hand, the balladic Strayhorn Isfahan treats listeners to some very round and very golden but quite somber notes slowly making their way through the chart as bandmates lay back and chill, lightly spicing the rhythm section but only to the extent of painting rills and slo-waves into the ebony proceedings, King providing a vividly night-lined ambiance, Paretz making sure no one rises above a moody reflective reminiscence. Simply Stated continues that a little further on in the repertoire while Sprung finds Yaremko switching to flute and bringing shades of Hubert Laws back to life in environmentalistic fashion. Hubert, who hasn't released a disc for a few years now, was a master of that sort of thing, and God knows there's precious little of this any more.

Track List:

  • Jitterbug Waltz (Grean / Manners / Waller)
  • Blue Fontaine (Craig Yaremko)
  • Bye-Ya (Thelonius Monk)
  • Little Sunflower (Freddie Hubbard)
  • Oil Slick (Craig Yaremko)
  • Isfahan (Billy Strayhorn)
  • Beach Blanket Bebop (Matt King)
  • Three's A Crowd (Matt King)
  • Simply Stated (Craig Yaremko)
  • Sprung (Craig Yaremko)
  • The Light (Craig Yaremko)

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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