Barbara Dennerlein is one of the best Hammond organists in the world today and indeed the best Hammond organist to come out of Europe. Barbara hails from Munich in Germany and makes her base there. Barbara took to the organ from an early age after receiving an organ as a birthday present from her grandfather. Barbara immediately set about learning the instrument inside out and mastered it including the use of the foot pedals to play the bass lines. Barbara is self-taught; I often find that musicians who are self-taught and master their instrument are also the innovators of the jazz world; Jaco Pastorius springs to mind immediately.
Ernest Ranglin’s new CD entitled Bless Up is a great addition to a very impressive collection of music. Ernest has demonstrated his skills for original rhythms from his homeland, alternating between Ska and Dub. The album is fused with a couple of jazz versions ‘Bra from Kilimanjaro’ and ‘Good Friends’. ‘Follow On’, ‘Rock Me Steady’ and ‘Mystic Blue’ are examples of great fusion, complementing a fine Ska brass sound with a Dub rhythm section. Bless Up is highly recommended for all, simply great enjoyment.
Widely considered one of the best live venues in London, it has been a while since I’ve visited the Jazz Caféi n Camden. Jazz Café has probably been my favourite venue since its opening in the spring of 1991, and I have seen some of the greatest modern jazz artists there. In Jazz Café’s first year of opening I saw Jackie McLean, Robin Eubanks, Greg Osby, Barbara Dennerlein, James Blood Ulmer, Zawinul Syndicate and Tony Williams.