I received an email from Daniel Latorre asking me to consider reviewing his independently released live album. But who is Daniel Latorre? The only information I could find was on his own website and this is what I found:
Daniel Latorre, an extraordinaire from São Paulo, is the man of the Hammond organ in Brazil. Studied piano and specialized to play jazz, blues and rock on B3, he received lessons from many north-american organ players like Deacon Jones (band leader of John Lee Hooker, Freddie King, he also was Jimmy Smith’s student) and Reuben Wilson.
So, what about this recorded live performance? I can’t tell you where it is recorded as this album release, as far as I can tell, is only available to stream (all the services appear to be covered) so there are no liner notes or a press release pack to give me, or you, any further details. However, the music is there to hear, and it starts with the Wes Montgomery/Jimmy Smith number ‘Mellow Mood’ and with the addition of trumpet and trombone this cover comes across very well.
‘Mellow Mood’ opens with a nice drum pattern with the occasional note from the Hammond organ before the horns come in with the familiar melody. The full tone of Lupiński’s trombone sounds terrific with the organ and drums playing beneath. Murakowski’s trumpet adds another layer of tonal texture and gives the overall sound extra depth. Latorre’s own solo is impressive and in keeping with the overall sound of the track – no showboating here! The group playing is powerfully assured and is carried across the thirteen minutes running time with ease and maintains the listener’s interest throughout – I should be very happy to have heard this as a live set opening number!
‘Cold Duck Time’ is a great tune written by saxophonist Eddie Harris. Here the tempo is set by drummer Budniak with additional accompaniment from Latorre but, for me, it is Murakowski and Lupiński who make this track standout. The arrangement is terrific, the tone from both horn players is an absolute joy to listen to, particularly as the organ and drums play so well in support. However, when Latorre lets rip with his own solo section you get to hear just how good he is, particularly in the way he uses the energy of the track to build the sound before allowing to fall away all without overplaying the music and detracting from the overall effect.
Wes Montgomery’s ‘Full House’ is the next track for the ORGANization treatment. Here the band show that they can do cool just as well as they can blistering and hot. The drums and organ bubble away under the horns and everything has a more relaxed, measured feel about it. In every live set a tune is needed to bring a calmer tone to the proceedings and this track is that tune. That is not to say that it lacks energy or vibrancy, it does not but it is all played at a more low-key level, which in many ways gives emphasis to how good these musicians are.
The album finishes with Wayne Shorter’s ‘Juju’, which builds slowly in a late-night session sort of vibe. The trumpet playing from Murakowski is the standout on this number, but I think that his sound is lifted by the accompanying trombone Lupiński and the layers of sound from Latorre and Budniak. There is much to hear in the way this track is arranged and performed with its range of tonal colours and textures. I think if I had heard this track anywhere but at the end of this release, I might not appreciate it as much as I do but it really is a fine number on which to end a very good live album.
At around the forty-five-minute mark and structured the way it is in terms of the set list, I think this is one of the best live albums I have heard in a long time. The tunes are all covers but they are covered so well, with a real feel for the original but definitely making it their own. I am not familiar with any of the musicians playing here but I will make a point of seeking out more from them – they are impressive. Unfortunately, as already mentioned, Daniel Latorre ORGANization play live! is only available on streaming platforms, which is a shame because I should love to own this as a vinyl release or even as a quality download such as you get from Bandcamp. However, in whatever way you can hear this album do!
Musicians: Daniel Latorre – Hammond organ; Robert Murakowski – trumpet; Bartlomiej Lupiński – trombone; Piotr Budniak – drums.
Tracklist: 1. Mellow Mood. 2. Cold Duck Time. 3. Full House. 4. Juju.