Dave Braham plays swinging, soulful organ in the tradition of Jack McDuff, Groove Holmes and Jimmy Smith. On his first outing as a leader he shows that he is one of the most underrated and clearly one of the best jazz organists on the scene today. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Dave has carved out a solid reputation playing as a featured sideman with Houston Person, Etta Jones, Willis Gatortail Jackson, Mark Murphy, Johnny Lytle, Irene Reid, Al Grey, Ernestine Anderson, and David Fathead Newman. He has recorded two CDs with Houston Person and Etta Jones and also with Mark Murphy, Johnny Lytle, Lou Donaldson, Al Grey and more recently appears on saxophonist Nat Simpkins Spare Ribs and guitarist Eric Johnson's Makin Whoopie both on Bluejay Records. Blue Gardenia features Dave on Hammond organ with the soulful Texas Tenor saxophonist Nat Simpkins, Eric Johnson and Bob DeVos on guitars, and drummer Cecil Brooks III. Bob DeVos is currently the mainstay of the Charles Earland Band.
Highlights of the CD include the opening track Love For Sale, a funky rendition which features Simpkins on alto in a Hank Crawford mode. Groove Holmes' tune Living Soul follows with a nice bluesy groove. The title track Blue Gardenia gives Dave a chance to show his exquisite tone and phrasing and his knowledge of the draw bars, Leslie, and glissando techniques on theHammond B3
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Blue Gardenia is a pleasing funk and boogaloo platter reminiscent of classic organ sides by Groove Holmes, Big John Patton, and Jimmy McGriff. The band swings solidly behind Braham’s soulful grooves.
—James Lien, CMJ
You hear it from the opening chord, when the sax and guitar come in this is the real thing. It's that rich greasy organ sound made big in the 60's, but good things never go out of style... this overlooked organist grooves deep, and spins us some of that late-night sound.
—John Barrett Jr., JazzUSA 'ZINE