Monday, June 24, 2013

Ron Oswanski: December's Moon

This is not an organ record (Quote: Neil Tesser)
Ron Oswanski's debut: an entertaining lyrical post-bop album
Hans Koert

Ron Oswanski debut album December’s Moon, is not an organ record …….. Neil Tesser opens its liner notes; a really weird statement, as, when you play the album the opening track, White Meadow, starts with the full sound of a B3 Organ ….. What did Neil wanted to say? Ron Oswanski explains this rather weird statement …..  If you expect to hear the groovy sounds of a Jimmy Smith B3 organ or the groovy rhythms of the so-called Jazz organ trios of the 1960s and 1970s you bought the wrong record …… I’m not a traditional Jimmy Smith style organ player, Ron says: I do play that style, but I’m a big ECM ( = Edition of Contemporary Music ) fan who listened to a lot of Keith Jarrett and Jan Garbarek.  
Ron Oswanski (photo courtesy: Ron Oswanski)

Ron Oswanski was born in 1974 in Toledo (Ohio) and started to play the piano as a kid.  He took the accordion to play in his father’s polka band and became fascinated by the B3 organ due to  Bill Heid:  I used to hear Bill playing at Rusty’s all the time. I bought my first organ from him, and he was my major organ influence.
Enjoy this cd's preview:

His first debut on record was with Maynard Ferguson, who invited him early 1990s to play in his band. Working with Maynard was a fantastic experience .. He really encouraged us  to write …. To bring in what you have.  Ron debuted on Maynard Ferguson’s Big Bop Nouveau Concord Jazz album These Cat’s can Swing (1994); his debut album under his own name has been released a few months ago: December’s Moon …..  The reason is very simply …… Ron Oswanski, being a sought after accompanists, has a busy calendar as a session player and sideman and that’s why he’s making this relatively late debut as a leader.
Ron Oswanski (photo courtesy: Ron Oswanski)

The album has a dozen tracks, featuring Ron Oswanski on Hammond B3, but also at the piano  and the accordion. Guitarist John Abercrombie can be heard on five tracks, like the Kenny Wheeler composition Kayak an the great Oswanski title song December Moon. Most of the tracks are Oswanski’s own compositions.

I really liked Solo for Undia, a Tim Ries composition (he plays saxophones in the band), the groovy Ukrania Polka,  played at the accordion and the piano trio version of Fred Hersch Evanessence, which was originally released on Fred Hersch's  1990 Tribute to Bill Evans as well as his Heartsongs, albums released in the previous year.  It’s heart to point to my most favorite track: Is it Evanessence or 80-80-8, an Oswanski original or Kenny Wheeler’s Kayak.  Never mind – A very entertaining record with Ron Oswanski playing the keys ( Hammond B3, piano and accordion)
Find yourself a copy.

Hans Koert
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Neil Tesser, who wrote the liner notes for Hammond B3 jazz artist Ron Oswanski, opens with the quote: This is not an organ record ..... a rather weird suggestion, I think, as it is Ron Oswanski's main instrument: that needs some further explanation.  Ron, who's active in jazz since the early 1990s, recently debuted with this album under his own name and shows that he is a great jazz player at the keys .... not only the Hammond B3, but also at the accordion and piano, ............  December's Moon is a very entertaining album and the music, the repertoire learns, that there is more then the funky groovy sounds of the Hammond as we know from the 1960s Hammond Organ trio's of Jimmy Smith and his successors  .... that's why this album is not an ordinary organ record!

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Hans.. not sure if you can mention anything about this, but were streaming a CD Release Show on July 31st..