BEST OF B3 2021! #3 – THE NIGHTCRAWLERS
Oldies but goldies from Canada’s finest soul jazz outfit.
Cory Weeds (tenor saxophone), Dave Sikula (guitar), Chris Gestrin (organ), Jessie Cahill (drums), Jack Duncan (congas)
on November 8, 2020 at The Armoury Studios, Vancouver, BC
as Cellar Live in 2021
Do You Know A Good Thing When You See One
These Foolish Things
If there’s one group and album that fuels the desire to get back into little packed clubs and together with friends and lovers or future lovers enjoy good-time organ combo music, it’s The Nightcrawlers and their latest outing Do You Know A Good Thing?. The quintet of drummer Jesse Cahill, who started this thing with tenor saxophonist and label owner of Cellar Live, Cory Weeds, masters the art of soul jazz exceptionally well. They nail that great warm and resonant sound and style of the classic organ groups of John Patton, Brother Jack McDuff and Lou Donaldson down to the last detail.
Also, the repertoire looks smart at the (prayer) meeting. Its diversity should delight both laymen and soul jazz freaks. The Nightcrawlers get a good groove going with Eddie Harris’s 1974 Blues, make the most of Ben Tucker’s Latin-ish Devilette and swing Donald Byrd’s catchy melody Soulful Kiddy to the ground. Weeds, who has a lovely ‘lazy’ tone (the shuffle groove of the title track would literally have sufficed as bonus track on Harold Vick’s 1963 Blue Note album Steppin’ Out), is especially hot during Don Wilkerson’s catchy Movin’ Out. Not only hip contemporary soul jazz stuff, but also valid as a reminder of the soulfulness of unsung heroes like Don Wilkerson. A lot of that classic stuff featured pioneering soul jazz drummer Ben Dixon, who must’ve been a great influence on Cahill. Guitarist David Sikula’s fuzzy sound meshes well with the group and Sikula’s playing is spicy and balanced throughout.
While New Crawl features drum and conga intermezzos that stoke up the fire on the corner somewhere in the bowels of Spanish Harlem, Hank Marr’s Greasy Spoon, a classic blues line and minor hit in the chitlin’ circuit of black clubs in the 1960’s, features organist Chriss Gestrin, whose punchy and crunchy patterns and sultry sound combine with Cahill’s bossy and nifty playing to make this record such a pleasurable affair. Greasy Spoon is taken at an extra-leisurely tempo, which adds to the enormous groove and grease that The Nightcrawlers cook up. Indeed, it will be very likely to hear someone say to his pal over the music at the end of the bar: “Man, these cats really cook.”
Find Do You Know A Good Thing? here.