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Ramshackle Serenade: The Hammond Organ, Guitar, and Drums on the Wings of Swing

Till Bronner
Organist Larry Goldings, Guitarist Peter Bernstein, and drummer Bill Stewart

Larry Goldings, Peter Bernstein, and Bill Stewart's Ramshackle Serenade is a great album title for this splendid trio, the supplest and sharpest-tuned organ/guitar/drum trio making music today.

Their endurance as a unit—they’ve been recording together for many years and share more than a dozen recordings—has never been more pronounced or sophisticated.

“Roach,” a soulful original by Goldings has a late-night luster, all deep grooves and peppered with Stewart’s dazzling beats. Bernstein’s full, rounded notes romance the melody of Jobim’s classic "Luiza" and lifts his superb original “Simple As That” to joyful heights.

Most of the music in this winning set takes flight on the wings of swing. The trio consistently morphs groove with grace notes and tasty licks, balancing the nostalgic (a sprightly “Sweet and Lovely”) with the innovative (“Useless Metaphor” has a crisp, modern edge).

The band goes out on a high note with an unanticipated tribute, playing Horace Silver’s classic “Peace.” Though Mr. Silver passed six months after the album was recorded, Goldings, Bernstein and Stewart give us a meaningful version that’s insightful and altogether reverential.

Listen to the band perform at the Village Vanguard in NYC:


This article is from the September 2014 edition of ICON Magazine, the only publication in the Greater Delaware Valley and beyond solely devoted to coverage of music, fine and performing arts, pop culture, and entertainment. More Information.