Classic Setlist, Simple Rig

Played a benefit show at the Black Cat earlier this evening with my jazz group; we put our horn section to good use on a setlist of old-school R&B. There’s no sense muddying classic tunes with a sea of effects. Just a tuner, tremolo pedal for Pops Staples tones on “Chain of Fools” and “Heard it through the Grapevine,” and an envelope filter for some funky scratching on “Signed, Sealed & Delivered.” It’s been too long since I last played an electric gig on a real stage. NOW we’re cookin’ with gas…

Organ Grinder at Your Feet

I tend to stick to basics when it comes to guitar effects, but this latest offering from Electro-Harmonix — the “B9 Organ Machine” — looks pretty cool. While it’s no substitute for a righteous Hammond player, the sounds in the clip are still pretty convincing. Definitely an intriguing option for adding something different to the mix.

I’ve been on an organ combo kick for the past month or so, ever since catching Pat Martino’s trio at Birdland. One of my favorite albums of 2014 so far is Shadow Box by Bob DeVos, which blends old school soul jazz sounds with a more contemporary aesthetic. DeVos is a skillful bop-grounded improviser, but he’s also at home over a bluesy groove — check out the gospel-inflected “Basie in Mind,” one of the standouts from Shadow Box