Once upon a time, jazz joints were happening all around Newark. Sparky J's. The Front Room. The Key Club. The Cadillac Club. And groups with an organist shook the earth. Jack McDuff. Jimmy McGriff. Lou Donaldson with Lonnie Smith. Charles Earland, The Mighty Burner.
Charlie Apicella is a guitarist very much in the spirit of another groovemaster, Grant Green. And his group Iron City continues the organ-ic spirit of Brick City with their fifth album. Celebrating their tenth anniversary. And the album’s title, One Night Only, is actually celebrating their upcoming 2,000th gig! Radam Schwartz, long-time organ maestro on the Jersey scene, plays the Hammond B-3. Alan Korzin plays drums. And as organ groups often featured, they’re joined by a robust tenor saxophonist, Gene Ghee. Plus a special guest: alto saxophonist Sonny Fortune on a Hank Mobley classic, "Lookin' East."
All of the tunes are a tribute to the definitively soulful Jack McDuff. They revisit one of McDuff’s greatest hits, "Dink's Blues," one of the highlights of McDuff’s 1963 Newark-recorded album on Prestige, "Live." McDuff’s quartet back then was the gold standard of soul-jazz: Red Holloway on tenor sax, Joe Dukes on drums, and an up-and-coming guitarist, George Benson.
Iron City also, like Brother Jack back then, digs deeply into tunes across the spectrum of jazz and blues. Tommy Flanagan’s "Minor Mishap" from the Prestige masterpiece The Cats. T-Bone Walker’s show-stopper "Woman You Must Be Crazy." A Jimmy Mundy swinger, "Sleeping Susan." A Bob Marley reggae, "Is This Love." A bluesful twist on Chick Corea's "Spain." And as a finale, a jump back to Pops, Lil Hardin Armstrong’s "Struttin’ with Some Barbecue."
1) Spain Blues
2) Lookin' East
3) Song Of The Soul
4) Minor Mishap
5) Is This Love
6) Dink's Blues
7) Sleeping Susan
8) Woman You Must Be Crazy (on your way blues)
9) Struttin' With Some Barbecue