Listening to the Mike Bogle Trio’s spirited and spot on throwback to the wondrous era when visionaries like Jimmie Smith and Jack McDuff were defining the organ’s jazz and soul possibilities for all future generations, it’s hard to believe that this is Bogle’s debut recording on the instrument.
Until now, the Dallas based composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist has been renowned for his piano and trombone work for everyone from Doc Severinsen and Jaco Pastorius to Bobby Caldwell and Diana Ross. Maybe there was a hint of the adventurous romps to come with groups like his experimental rock band Planet 9 and the BOMO FO-TET. Yet nothing in his eclectic past prepares us for this spritely, playful and supremely soulful strut tapping into all the fun and emotional resonance of the organ while bouncing off the snazzy electric guitar of Rich McLure and the buoyant timing of drummer Ivan Torres.
The trio creates more dynamic action on this five song EP than most groups do on albums three times this long. Bogle’s set list seems chosen for maximum solo time for both himself and McLure. He launches with a speedy roll through “Cherokee,” then eases and breezes coolly though John Abercrombie’s “Ralph’s Piano Waltz” before engaging in the set’s biggest surprise – a pizzazz filled mash-up of Neil Hefti’s lightly swinging big band tune “Splanky” and Bobby Troop’s always welcome “Route 66” (featuring Bogle’s low and smooth vocals.
Bogle also explores a brisk stroll through “On the Street Where You Live” (featuring loads of improvisation but never getting far from the classic melody) and regales us with the offbeat, moody original “Walkin’,” a co-write with McLure featuring Bogle’s oddly engaging spoken word vocal.