By Ken Spooner, Elmore Magazine
Back in his R&R (reinvention and ranting) evangelical days, Little Richard (aka the Real King Of R&R ) once messaged his flock, The Devil now has two kinds of music_ he’s got R&R and now he’s got …JAAAZZZZZ. Well I’ll be damned, who would of thunk it ?
I don’t know where the Soul Message Band out of Chicago was, when the kings memo went down, but they don’t sound too worried about it all, as they dive deep into what I would call some pretty jazzy stuff and carry on some well worn traditions here. Organist Chris Foreman and longtime bandmate drummer Greg “Rock” Rockingham of the former Deep Blue Organ trio, have gathered up three other cool cats, Greg Ward, alto, Geof Bradfield, tenor and Lee Rothenburg guitar, to stir the pot on their initial release.
Speaking as one who sat behind a Hammond in the ’60s kicking the pedals, and screaming out
the Devils other kind of music, I have always held a place deep inside my soul for what Groove Holmes, Jimmy Smith and Brother Jack McDuff was doin’ back then. Chris Foreman sure enough awakens that feeling especially on their kicker offer “Sir Charles”. Chris’ pedal work, would put a wide grin on Ray Brown. Other standouts for me were, Greg Ward’s “Uncertainty” that doesn’t have a single second guessed note in it . The standard “Little Girl Blue” and “J.O.S.” a signature piece of the never ever modest Jimmy Smith. All the interplay on display here adds up to two words , HOT & COOL . Yes the little king may of once denounced this jazz stuff , but these five knights are carrying on the crusade in fine form