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Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio “Close But No Cigar"2018 US Soul Jazz Funk


Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio “Close But No Cigar"2018 US Soul Jazz Funk
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The debut album from Seattle’s Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio. The group channels old-school organ combos like The Meters and Booker T & The MGs, but are making it fresh and feel new again! We couldn’t be more happy to be involved with such talented musicians……~


Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio is a 21st century contemporary soul jazz-funk outfit based in Seattle. Their sound is marked by kinetic, driving grooves, funky breaks, and close listening improvisation. The trio features Delvon Lamarr on Hammond B-3, Jimmy James on guitar, and David McGraw on drums. 
The group was formed in the spring of 2015 by Amy Novo, Lamarr’s wife and the trio’s manager. Lamarr had been a regular on the Seattle scene for two decades as a multi-instrumentalist — in addition to the B-3, he is a trained drummer and trumpeter, and also plays saxophone and trombone. Even after he took up the B-3 full-time, the bands he led and played in had become staples in Seattle, but Lamarr felt doomed to the "local legend” persona, and wasn’t remotely satisfied stopping there. Novo suggested that he start his own band with a goal of touring and recording. While that was appealing, he felt he couldn’t abide the hassle of being his own booking agent and manager. She countered by proposing that she take over his career and its administration; all he had to do was find the right musicians and create and play music. 
The trio began with another guitarist, but within a year they brought on Jimmy James, a fellow Seattle scene regular. The collective chemistry was inherent from the outset. With Lamarr’s soulful organ sound owing equally to Larry Young, Jimmy Smith, and late Jack McDuff, his gritty soulful sound is buoyed by James explosive, over the top vamping and dirty guitar sound and McGraw’s break-heavy, in-the-pocket drumming. While the trio’s sound falls under the jazz umbrella, their sound is rhythm first, and melds R&B, rock, soul, blues, fusion, and funk with spiraling improvisation and syncopation. They began playing a yearlong weekly residency at Seattle’s The Royal Room, where they woodshedded and developed their own tunes. They also played short tours taking them to venues all over the state as well as Oregon, Nevada, and Idaho. 
Novo got the band a recording deal with Colemine Records. Their debut album, Close But No Cigar, was cut live in the studio with all three bandmembers playing together in the same room as a way of capturing their live sound on tape. The only overdubs were a few tambourine sounds. The set was issued in March of 2018. It hit number one on the Contemporary Jazz Albums chart and inside the Top Ten on the overall Jazz Albums survey. The trio signed with Boston’s Kurland Agency and hit the road, headlining clubs as well as playing prestigious festivals across the U.S., including Funk ‘n Waffles, the Detroit Jazz Festival, the Joshua Tree Music Festival, and the Monterey Jazz Festival…..~



But can somebody help me!?! while happening to peruse the internet last week, I slipped/tripped into a big ol’ pile of some of the hottest, sweatiest, nastiest, stinkiest old-school OGD I’ve ever heard… is this the latest reincarnation of Prestige’s mighty Leon Spencer/Melvin Sparks/Idris Muhammad combo with some hip Charles Earland, Reuben Wilson, Odell Brown, and Billy Larkin throw in? Hey, heard these guys on Pete Fallico’s “Doodlin’ Lounge” podcast and was completely floored! This IS your daddy’s funky groove soul-jazz brought up-to-date with brand new energy and fire… and yes, every track is cool/good… all killer, no filler. It’s like Mister Pittsburgh meets/romances Miss Memphis in Chicago/Detroit and they take their baby to Seattle via Colemine Records of Ohio. What more could you want? So take off your shoes and socks and roll-up your pants,'cause we’re all going back for another go-round of that classic OGD sound… Even the good doctor, Lonnie Smith must be smiling at this stuff! (P.S. be sure to check-out the documentary “First Gravy: Journeys Of The Hammond Organ” on youtube… it’s only some 40 minutes long and well worth your time.) 
hoagietwolff…by…. Jeff Jines…~


From the heart & soul of Seattle, Wa comes DLO3 (aka Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio). A unique 60’s & 70’s vintage soul trio with the soulful sounds of the Hammond B3 organ mixed with super tasty Guitar Lines & good old school pocket drumming. The group consist of three masters of their crafts and certainly does not disappoint. 
Seattle born Organist Delvon Lamarr has been a staple in the Seattle music scene for almost two decades. This self taught multi instrumentalist has a true vintage super soulful style that pulls any listeners to his dimension. 
Also hailing from Seattle is guitarist Jimmy James. His vintage sound & style is filled with such high energy that anyone who crosses his path of pure musical genius is nothing short of amazed. 
And all the way from Jersey, laying down the grooves is master drummer David McGraw. Also know as “The man with the deep pockets”. He has been an essential part of the Seattle music scene and has quickly established himself as one of the funkiest drummers around. 
Between these truly amazing artist, DLO3 rocks the house everywhere they go. Leaving the audience in ahhh and craving more…..~


This Seattle-based trio of musicians (Lamarr on the organ, guitarist Jimmy James and drummer David McGraw) keep it greasy as they move through 60s and 70s-sounding funk, blues and groove soul-jazz amalgams. Yes, an easy, obvious reference point is Booker T & The M.G’s. And it’s fair. And good. But there’s also something of the Medeski Martin & wood feel going on too – virtuoso players, a deep pocket, no mistakes and yet through that precision cuts an earthy, organic (if you’ll pardon the pun!) feel… 
They’re having fun too. On a little concoction called Al Greenery the trio circles the riff and melody of Green’s Here I Am (Come And Take Me), James adding plenty of the Steve Cropper feel and funk that hovers in and around his sound always. 
The opener Concussion, reminds too of when the Charlie Hunter Trio (and his various groups) burst onto the scene. All bright sound-colours as the organ and guitar take turns stabbing in through the spaces between tight kicks on the bass drum, sharp thwacks to the snare. 
Little Booker T borrows a bit of the feel and flow of Isaac Hayes’ version of Walk On By, Jimmy James coaxing a very Michael Toles-sounding guitar line. 
Cornell Dupree (guitar) and Billy Preston (organ) are further touchstones – particularly their playing with Donny Hathaway and King Curtis. 
And if you enjoyed when the Beastie Boys went full-instrumental, or the various Daptone combos – including particularly The Sugarman 3 – then you are going to want to be all over this. 
It’s nothing new but that’s probably the best selling point here. Whole worlds being re-explored, tributes galore, and just some sweet, sweet playing. No one individual here is the star and yet they are all capable of star-turns. It’s the alchemy of a great trio at work. Listen to songs like Can I Change My Mind where a sunshine is evoked, radiates through the playing. 
Eventually they settle with their own version of Walk On By, far more Booker T than Isaac Hayes and a lovely way to finish. This is the perfect album to have in your collection for any audience, any mood, and moment. Tremendous playing and feel-good vibes galore…..by Simon Sweetman….~


Funky Fresh 
It’s an organ trio, and if you’ve listened to other funky soul jazz you know what to expect. Am I saying that it’s predictable? Well, yes and no. It is predictable within the genre context, though that’s not bad at all. What wasn’t predictable was this popping up in March 2018. A pleasant surprise, to say the least. This is soul jazz in the style of organists such as Reuben Wilson, Jimmy McGriff, and John Patton (whose version of Memphis is covered here). It’s got a healthy supply of that Booker T. & The M.G.’s feel too, and you can also hear that funky sound of the The Meters. From what I can tell, a lot of the tracks are original. Walk On By (Isaac Hayes), Ain’t It Funky (aka Ain’t That Peculiar, a Marvin Gaye classic and a soul jazz standard) and Memphis (the Big John Patton version) are the only covers I can identify. I actually slightly prefer this version of Memphis. The originals are strong and funky, too. The single “Concussion” is worthy of being the first track and of being a single. 

Overall, I’d definitely say that this album deserves more than 2 ratings on RYM, and anybody who likes soul jazz should check it out. I hope to see these guys live in the not too distant future. We’ve got a winner here….by….jangueen ….~



What Delvon Lamarr’s organ trio (DLO3) has on their hands is a new anthology of instrumental soul anthems. Close But No Cigar is the package of 70s-inspired, blues and funk infused originals by Seattle’s favorite self-taught Hammond B3 organ master Delvon Lamarr, Jimmy James and his wailing rock and roll guitar, and the precise pocket drumming of David McGraw. 
The trio’s record cycles through a soulful narrative and sophisticated breaks. Opening with the funkiest of numbers “Concussion,” the album moves to the grooving title track, which resonates like a tribute to disco with innovative rock deviations. Other highlights include the seductive blues-rock “Little Booker T,” the spot-on refrain of “Memphis” featuring a fiery solo by Lamarr, and the album’s final resolve of downtempo blues hymn “Walk On By.” 
The atmosphere of Close But No Cigar is as unpretentious as its creators are personable. Lamarr rewards his listeners with melodic consonance and drilling baselines (“Ain’t It Funky Now”), and James recalls recognizable pop culture gems for solo material (Bowie is summoned in the powerful “Raymond Brings The Green”). Lamarr seems to conjure the commanding groove making of jazz organist Reuben Wilson, and the organist’s syncopation met with McGraw’s hard downbeats simply feel good. 
Perhaps in spite of the overt virtuosity of Seattle’s eclectic and seasoned organ trio McTuff, DLO3 is surely carving out a name for themselves. Their well-produced album should act as a testament to the trio’s musicianship and capabilities as a live unit. 
The danceable music of Close pleads to be consumed with its listeners as participants, no more distanced from each other as they are from the stage of Lamarr, James, and McGraw….by….Halynn Blanchard…..~



An organ trio, and one with plenty of soul – romping drums, riffing guitar, and some mighty sweet work on the Hammond by Delvon Lamarr! This is the first we’ve ever heard of the group, but they’re rock solid and right on the money – working with a lean, hard style that’s completely classic, but also a bit contemporary too – maybe swinging in the best sort of space between the Jack McDuff Quartet of the 60s and the Sugarman Three group of Desco Records fame! David McGraw handles the drums with a clear love of funk, and Jimmy James is wonderfully wicked on guitar – never trying to dominate too much, as there’s no need – given how much he brings to the overall groove. Delvon’s a hell of an organist too – the kind that knows that a little can often go much farther than a lot when handling the electric keys – which he does to set up some sweet solos on cuts that include “Ain’t It Funky”, “Al Greenery”, “Can I Change My Mind”, “Walk On By”, “Between The Mustard & The Mayo”, “Raymond Brings The Greens”, and “Little Booker T”. …Dusty Groove….~







Credits 

Drums – David McGraw 
Guitar – Jimmy James  
Organ – Delvon LaMarr 


Tracklist 
A1 Concussion
A2 Little Booker T
A3 Ain’t It Funky
A4 Close But No Cigar
A5 Memphis
B1 Al Greenery
B2 Can I Change My Mind?
B3 Between The Mustard & The Mayo
B4 Raymond Brings The Greens
B5 Walk On By

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