Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Red Young Returns to Austin

I'm going back to my jazz organ roots today, that is what originally inspired this blog and although I may go off the deep end on ETs and other stuff, the music goes right along with it.


Red Young returned to the Elephant Room in Austin last night with his Hammond B3 organ and incredible and unique approach to Hammond organ jazz playing.

Red has been on tour with Eric Burdon and The Animals for the last couple of years, they just finished a European tour.

I have mentioned Red many times on this blog and he was also featured in the online magazine that I contribute to,

Before Red went on tour with Eric, he, along with Norah Jones guitarist and music director Adam Levy and Austin drummer magnate Brannen Temple put together one of the most awesome music making machines in modern jazz.

If Pat Metheny had grown up in a gospel church and the musicians from James Brown showed up, that would be this group.

I had a chance to talk to Red Young before the show and he states he is ready to get back to his own music, but also stated some frustration with the American jazz music scene in trying to shop some of their material.

Red stated that even with all of Levy's contacts made through touring with the Blue Note labeled Norah Jones, no one stateside has been willing to give this incredible group a chance.

Red feels the prospects will be much better in Europe, where American jazz music is all the rage. He promises future jams featuring Adam and Brannen.

Last night's appearance at the Elephant did not feature Adam Levy, but Austin's Alex Coke (tenor sax) and Phillip Vieux (soprano sax and flute) and were no less amazing.

Alex Coke is a longtime Austin jazz staple, regularly performing with Austin pianist Rich Harney, the Creative Opportunity Orchestra, Oliver Rajmani and many other groups.

Phillip Vieux has also established himself firmly in Austin with his bebop bari sax with both Red and Brannen in many other groups in Austin, including Brannen's 'Blaze'. The first time I saw Red was with Brannen and Phillip at the Elephant Room. It was interesting to see his work on the soprano sax, proving himself to be a good all around horn man. I didn't get to stay long enough last night to see his flute work but I'm sure it was equally above par.

Brannen Temple did join Red last night, and with Red pumping his own bass lines, they were in lock step groove time all night long.

There were also quite a few people present for a week night, and at one point 3 couples took to the limited floor space.

The first tune was Woody Shaw's 'The Moontrane' a very appropo organ tune. It appeared on the late jazz organist Larry Young's Blue Note 'Unity' recording. Tribute was also paid to Maceo Parker, and Donald Byrd. Nat Adderly's 'Do-Do-Do' was also a funky blues vehicle. Any tune that Red plays is going to be funky and soulful and his bandmates were right with him every step of the way.

'In a Sentimental Mood' temporarily slowed down the pace and Young and friends were able to show their talents with the ballad. Vieux started the proceedings with an acapella introduction, soon joined in by everyone else.

The last tune of the first set paid tribute to the late organist Charles Earland, his 'Mighty Burner', an F Blues that was taken at a very quick tempo. The tune was not in the sax books that Red had provided for him, but he sang out the tune for them and they picked it up right away.

Earland, by the way also recorded his own version of 'Moontrane'.

Young promised not only to come back with Levy, but will also be making monthly appearances at the Elephant Room.

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