Jim Mullen Organ Trio - album review (4 stars)

Jim Mullen Organ Trio

Smokescreen (Diving Duck)


The organ trio is one of jazz’s canonic formats, but can easily slip into clichéd recycling of standard soul-jazz licks. No such danger in this band. The Glaswegian guitarist and his collaborators, Hammond organist Mike Gorman and drummer Matt Skelton, pursue a fresh and inventive path though a set of original compositions (mainly by Gorman) and cover versions, including Steely Dan’s ‘Aja’ and a nod to Mullen’s Scottish roots in a version of ‘The White Cockade’.

They are joined by the excellent Stan Sulzmann on tenor or soprano saxophone on three of the disc’s eleven tracks. Mullen’s acute harmonic and rhythmic invention is always apparent, and Gorman avoids the stereotypes associated with his instrument in compelling fashion.

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