Bruce Katz Band – Crescent Crawl

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Amazing is the only way to describe Bruce Katz piano and Hammond B-3 organ playing. He has awesome technique along with that important something extra – soul. The Bruce Katz Band also features Lorne Entress, drums; Mary Ballou, bass; Kevin Barry, guitar; and Bob Malach, sax. A wildly exciting and energetic trip. This is roots music at its best. Strictly a must buy.
After many years as a side man, Bruce Katz stepped out on his own in 1992 to record Crescent Crawl. Although it is an all-instrumental album, Katz is the “frontman” on this recording, taking the spotlight — and most deservedly so — on both piano and Hammond B-3 organ. Crescent Crawl blurs the line between blues and jazz (the utilization of an upright bass assists in this effort). The title tune has — as you would expect — has a New Orleans groove. “Contrition” appeared on Ronnie Earl’s Still River a few years later when Katz was a member of Earl’s band, although this version is a bit more understated. Both “Contrition” and “BK’s Broiler” feature Katz on the B-3. “Buzz Cut” is essentially a swing tune, but one with a funky feel thanks to guitarist Kevin Barry’s rhythmic backing. Billy Preston’s “Will It Go Round in Circles” is superb. Katz closes with a harmonically complex solo piano version of “Just a Closer Walk With Thee,” a tune he also included in every live gig in the early ’90s. This disc is about loose definitions of blues and jazz, strong grooves, and, first and foremost, improvisation

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