Brooklyn Soul Organization BROOKLYN SOUL ORGANIZATION— M&N Records. Soul Interlude; Odd Man Out; I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon; Mr. Sneaky (Interlude); Mr. Sneaky; Victim of the Ruthless; Hangin’ with Leali; Trouble in the House; Lil’ Dre; Solomon’s Puzzle; When the Saints Go Marching In. PERSONNEL: Brad Leali, alto saxophone; Grant Langford, tenor saxophone; Radam Schwartz, organ; Jerome Jennings, drums. By Joe Knipes Brooklyn Soul Organization is a soul-jazz quartet made up of a two-saxophone frontline, with the rhythm section of organ and drums. It is obvious these four are experienced and adept at carrying on the tradition begun by Jimmy Smith, Big John Patton, Horace Silver and Cannonball Adderley. There are several high points to this recording, but as usual, I have a few minor com-plaints. “Soul Interlude” reminds one of Cannonball Adderley’s soul ballad efforts. My first impres-sion leads me to ask: why start off an album of soulful swingers with this dreary ballad? One thing that I’ve never understood is why more care is not given to the sequencing of songs. It is immediately obvious that each of these musi-cians is blessed with the necessary skills, good intonation and tone, reverence for tradition, etc. Yet at just under four minutes this simply does not make a good first song. Having said that, rest assured things turn around immediately with the first notes of “Odd Man Out.” Straight out of the gate, this up-tempo swinger grabs the ears and doesn’t let go. Although organist Radam Schwartz and drum-mer Jerome Jennings lock up well for a strong groove, I feel things could have been fleshed out a bit more with the addition of a guitarist. This is a minor point, but sometimes there is simply a need for more sonic glue. This is an album comprised mostly of songs by each of the four players, but apart from “Saints,” the other non-original comes from the most unlikely of sources. Fans of the ground-breaking children’s television show Sesame Street know of Joe Raposo and the instant classic “It Isn’t Easy Being Green.” Few however may recognize the name of Jeffrey Moss. Moss com-posed just as many catchy and educationally informative ditties as Raposo and one such gem is heard here. “I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon” begins with Schwartz’s sustained chordal pads and Jennings’ gently rolling brushes. Grant Langford provides the melody on tenor and Brad Leali follows him nicely with a counter line. Leali takes the only solo and as I search for com-parisons in approach, Adderly, Stitt, Herring, and Crawford come to mind. “Mr. Sneaky” gets a spoken introduction, seemingly as an address to a live audience—possibly Pumpkins, as the notes suggest. Lang-ford, Schwartz and Leali all turn in soulful solos on this short but sweet swinger—echoes of Horace Silver, and Adderleys, abound. “Victim of the Ruthless” is a plaintive bal-lad with Schwartz sustaining lush chords, swell-ing at times, behind Leali’s soulful, crying alto. “Hangin’ with Leali” is a toe-tapping call-and-response blues with a longer than usual form. Frankly, “Hangin’ with Leali” gets my vote for the lead off tune for this album. “Trouble in the House” evokes a 3 AM hang at the local smoky watering hole—that is, provided the locals are lucky enough to have such a soulful quartet as their house band. As with the previous selection, this is one of the more successful recordings on the album and deserves to be enjoyed. On the up-tempo “Lil’ Dre,” one draws immediately favorable com-parisons to Cannonball—right down to the phrasing. Here Langford has a rather short solo flight. The tricky “Solomon’s Puzzle” seems to provide the soloists with rather meaty material as it calls the listener to follow them through each turn. “When the Saints Go Marching In” receives a slow, directed melody statement with rolling drums in the background before it all gets kicked up a notch with the funky backbeat. Leali paces himself nicely, wringing every note for all it’s worth, and gradually working in double-time phrases and provocative syncopation. Schwartz steps out on one of his few solo outings on “Saints” and has some terrifically grooving inter-play with drummer Jerome Jennings. This CD is a good first effort for the BSO. Judging by the good-natured communication and joyous vibes, subsequent releases from this band will provide some very enjoyable listening.” - Joe Knipes

— Jazz Improv Magazine

Featured Artist: Brooklyn Soul Organization CD Title: Brooklyn Soul Organization Year: 2005 Record Label: M & N Records Style: Contemporary Jazz Musicians: Brad Leali, Grant Langford, Radam Schwartz, Jerome Jennings Review: The attempts of defining “Soul” comes from numerous lost journeys and countless never to return’s but one thing is so concrete of this art form, it bleeds life from any form. From the pool room where an unforgiving life many times comes full circle to the back alleyway off the street of nowhere special, soul and jazz meet, to tell the tales. Enclosed in this project are a select few of the most capable crusaders of cool to heat up a stage. The Brooklyn Soul Organization is a trip, a venture if you will, into the depths of emotion. Radam Schwartz, Brad Leali, Jerome Jennings, and Grant Langford stimulate audiences and listeners alike with heated arrangements and multi-directional sounds. These four are a tribute to passionate originality. Released by M&N Records this anthology of music makes for a truly pleasurable and mesmerizing listen, capturing numerous sounds from all directions. Note the organ tones in numerous cuts, the creative direction that sound is lead through speaks volumes for the composer. The industry lacks talent such as this and really need to embrace this approach. “Mr. Sneaky” is smoking brass gun loaded with cool. The sounds creep out gingerly at the listener as the title denotes. Drops of organ and strong brass unite these techniques down so as to cement the effect warranted. Very persuasive. A stellar cut is the intro piece “Soul Interlude” which brings faint memories of “Fast” Eddie in The Hustler. This is soul with an attitude, as ones life is based on his one shot at it. Dirty whiskey and tainted women filter toward the listener as the brass and percussion intertwine to pass that effect. Nearing the end of the arrangement it delivers a thunderous end to its epilogue with heavy skins. Extraordinary work. Four men with very diverse musical talents. Combined they genuinely define ingenuity in musicianship. Their goals of music is to move, transform, uplift, and refuel. Ladies and gentleman, their mission is accomplished. Standing ovation from all who spin. Karl Stober is a national freelance music journalist/interviewer. Any inquiries or requests should be directed via email to or contact his office at 802-380-6065. Tracks: Soul Interlude, Odd Man Out, I Don't want to live on the Moon, Mr. Sneaky (interlude), Mr. Sneaky, Victim of the Ruthless, Hangin' with Leali, Trouble in the House, Lil' Dre, Solomon's Puzzle, When the Saints go Marching In” - Karl Stober


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