DiRubbo is back with his tenth album as band leader, this time with a new quartet featuring organist Brian Charette, drummer Jongkuk Kim, and guitarist Andrew Renfroe while of course he gives us alto sax. There is an obvious and important bassline throughout, but I am sure this is the left hand of Charette who is a master of his Hammond B3. Recorded in just one day in the middle of June last year at GB’s Juke Joint here we have a quartet who are at ease with each other, always looking how to push the boundaries while ensuring the group dynamic is always maintained. I do feel somewhat for Renfroe, as it must be hard for him to work out where best to fit as I can imagine many of these songs being performed as a trio, such is the way they have been arranged. The guitar is often there as a nuance as opposed to a main driving force, providing additional edge to DiRubbo’s lead melody such as on “The Muse” and even taking some solos but the only way for that to work is for the sax to take a break and one can easily imagine this being arranged in a different manner.

There is a lightness to this album, a real sense of having a gentle touch, but there is also deep complexity and layering. I have long been a fan of the Hammond B3, whether it is in a jazz or rock setting as it brings in a great deal of depth, but it can also be quite a smothering instrument and the cut through provided by both the drums and the sax are incredibly important. There is a quality throughout this, a shining light, which is sure to bring a smile to even the hardened jazz afficionado.

Rating: 8/10