James Morton's Porkchop - Don’t You Worry ‘Bout That (3 stars)

James Morton's Porkchop - Don’t You Worry ‘Bout That

(Fresh Ground Records)

Bristol alto saxophonist James Morton has worked regularly with Pee Wee Ellis (of James Brown fame), and clearly soaked up the American saxophonist’s soul-jazz-funk ethos. The dance-floor friendly grooves and soulful licks draw heavily on the soul jazz organ bands of the 60s, but push beyond a simple re-treading of old ground.

Morton’s saxophone work has a punchy energy and invention, and reveals a command of a considerably wider range of jazz idioms than just soul jazz. Denny Ilett avoids the clichés of jazz-funk guitar in original and engaging style, while Dan Moore on Hammond organ and drummer Ian Matthews stoke the boiler in exuberant fashion. A fresh twist on a familiar theme, with enough grit ‘n’ grease to sidestep drifting into the smooth jazz camp.

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