Kennedy's Organ Jazz
Bruce Von Stiers
Robert Kennedy studied under jazz pianist Bill Bell. He was a founding member of the jazz bands, Hip Pocket Jazz Quintet and Double Funk Crunch. Robert has played at Yoshi's and many other jazz clubs. He has helped bring the Hammond organ sound back into the mainstream jazz world.
Early in 2017 Robert released his second album. It features a Hammond organ jazz combo with Robert as its leader. The title of the album is Closer To Home.
Closer To Home was produced by Robert. It has ten songs and a play time of just over an hour. The album features a couple of original compositions and new arrangements of already established songs.
Leading the combo on the album is Robert on the Hammond B-3 organ. On guitar is Terrence Brewer and on drums is Cody Rhodes. Ben Torres plays tenor saxophone on seven of the ten songs. Cody has played with Mason Razavi and Christopher Owen's Curls. Terrence has played with Diana Krall and Gerald Albright among others. Ben is a member of the Pacific Mambo Orchestra.
Wild Bill is the first song and a nice way to introduce the album. Not only is there some great sax, the song has ultra-cool organ music. It has a definite head bopping beat.
Dat Dere is a classic that has been recorded by such greats as Rickie Lee Jones. It was first a hit for Oscar Brown, Jr. who co-wrote the song with Bobby Timmons. On this album, the listener is treated to a nice, organ laden instrumental rendition of the song.
Robert's Reflection is a slower, somewhat endearing ballad type of song. It has a lot of subtle sax and sedate organ. It is song that was written by Dan Frankowski.
The fourth song on the album is a composition that Robert wrote. Come On, Come In is light and easy, featuring the sax first, then some nice guitar with light organ and drums backing the other music.
Bringing things into a bluesy groove mood is a nice rendition of the Shirley Scott song, Do You Know A Good Thing (When You See One)?
Sista Rissy is a cool piece that was written by Ben Torres. It features subtle guitar and cool organ behind great sax.
Robert does a slightly different take on the Harold Mabern song, Rakin' And Scrapin. Instead of featuring trumpet and piano, Robert's rendition features organ and guitar.
Another song that is done a bit differently is Carrot Cake. The Peter Bernstein tune originally featured guitar. On this rendition, the sax is featured, along with the organ.
Cool, head bobbing organ music and tough guitar can be found in a nice rendition of the Clifford Brown song, Sandu.
The album concludes with the Anton Schwartz song, Alligator Strut. It is a very, very cool piece. It features some really cool sax and guitar along with nice drums and organ.
Robert Kennedy definitely has proven himself as a bandleader and terrific organist. His playing on the album is superb and the musicians he brought in as members of his combo more than complement Robert's playing. And the arrangements of already established songs were well done.
Currently Closer To Home can be purchased at Bandcamp, amazon and CD Baby.
Robert's official web site is http://www.robertkennedymusic.com/
He also has a band page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/robert.kennedy.music
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© 2018 Bruce E Von Stiers