Message From Groove And GW
Review by Willard Manus

The message is delivered by Radam Schwartz and His Organ Big Band, an ensemble that joined forces with the Abel Mireles Jazz Exchange Big Band to remind us just how thrilling big-band music can be.

Schwartz, one of the best organists of our time, salutes fellow-organist Richard “Groove” Holmes’ relationship with the Gerald Wilson Orchestra. Schwartz, like Holmes before him, plays all the bass lines on the ten tracks, teaming up with drummer David F. Gibson to lay down some pulsating music.

Schwartz and Gibson are backed by twelve equally gifted musicians (including guitarist Charlie Sigler and tenorman Mireles), all of whom are given room to solo and stretch out. The tunes they play include “Blues Minor” (by John Coltrane), “Ain’t No Way” (by Carolyn Franklin) and “Work Song” (by Charles Mingus. The latter composition gets a ten-minute interpretation that re-invigorates the Mingus classic.

Schwartz also wrote three new tunes for this release and did five of the ten arrangements, in addition to playing a scorching-hot organ throughout. Put MESSAGE FROM GROOVE AND GW on your must-buy list.