Jeremy Baum – The EEL |Album Review

jeremybaumcdJeremy Baum – The EEL

Flying Yak Records

10 songs time-51:26

Good music is good music. What Jeremy Baum has created here is a musical wonderland. Divergent musical genres peek in and out and the end result is a delightful sonic stew. Jeremy’s main instrument is the Hammond B3 organ, followed by acoustic and electric pianos. Funky soul jazz is the jumping off point to which accents of New Orleans R&B, blues, cool jazz and other forms are added as seasoning.

The music has a definite sense of jazzy whimsy to it. Four cover versions of well know songs and one obscure cover plus five originals are given a very entertaining treatment. Seventeen year old wunderkind Myles Mancuso and Chris Vitarello of The Bruce Katz Band provide the guitar support. Horns and congas are also thrown into the mix of the largely instrumental proceedings and the trusty rhythm section never misses a move. All systems gel.

Jeremy didn’t attain his talent by accident, he paid his musical dues alongside the likes of Shemekia Copeland(six years in her band), Levon Helm, Sue Foley, Debbie Davies, Murali Coryell and others. This CD showcases the fruits of his labors.

A brief accordion interlude introduces Beck’s “The New Pollution”, then Jeremy’s trademark Hammond B3 sound leads the way joined by sax, flute and electric piano for a joyfully arranged ride. The original “Funky Monkey” evokes the memory of organ great Jimmy Smith as Myles Mancuso’s guitar explores the stratosphere.

“Three More Bottles” is a Grand piano excursion through the New Orleans sound with a nicely soulful vocal and harmonica supplied by Chris O’Leary. This tune easily deserves a place along side any classic Big Easy song. The vocal and piano just ooze gumbo. “Charlie Baum” is Jeremy’s tribute to Vince Guaraldi’s “Peanuts” sound tracks. His acoustic piano is the sole lead instrument as he struts his jazzy stuff in beautifully mellow style. Orlean’s “Dance With Me” is given a pretty faithful organ-based interpretation.

“Borracho” is a cover of an obscure 70’s West Coast band called Dyna-Might. It’s a lively organ romp fueled by a horn section. Myles Mancuso’s soaring guitar powers “Pacific Drive”. James Brown’s “Ain’t It Funky Now” is a guitar battle over the cool jazz organ.

“Purple Rain” receives the requisite melancholy reading via Chris Vitarello’s soulful guitar mastery and Jeremy’s organ and piano. Chris’ not-bending takes off into a life of its’ own. The title tune pulls out all the funky-jazz stops with Hammond B3, MiniKorg-700 and KorgR3 dogfighting with Myles Mancuso’s guitar.

This CD is well suited for your next backyard cookout on a lazy Sunday afternoon. This music just gets under my skin. I play it so much that I have an EEL on my back.

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