The self-proclaimed “Organ Monk” has returned with another gem of an album, and this one is a beaut. That open honesty I had heard and sensed with the music and cover photos of Greg Lewis’ last album Organ Monk is still here, but instead of being sly by revealing a few photos that makes you think and/or question, the artwork here is completely in black. In other words, if you really want to know why he’s sly and calls himself the “Organ Monk” (which could be triple entendre for all we know), you’ll have to listen and decipher things for yourself.
On Organ Monk (Uwo In The Black), the B-3 man is backed by Nasheet Watts on drums, Reginald R. Woods on tenor sax, and Ronald Jackson on guitar, and together they create that kind of jazz quartet that lives up to the best 4-piece jazz bands of the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. Is he truly the Thelonious Monk of the Hammond B-3? You can find out in the Monk songs he performs on here, as he takes “Little Rootie Tootie”, “52nd Street Theme”, “Stuffy Turkey”, and “Ugly Beauty” to church. The recording on this sounds beautiful too, for those of you who enjoy hearing great music recorded in a great room, where you hear interaction between musicians and sound, and not just the action of movement, you’re going to love this. I am someone who has always admired the B-3, and Lewis just rips it left and right throughout, allowing his band to communicate when they have to but they also knowing the right moments to make Lewis the grand speaker on the pulpit of jazz. I could listen to this album on repeat, and I feel jazz fans will be keeping this one in their collections for life.