Joe Krown Organ Combo – “Livin’ Large” – Joe Krown – 2005
There’s something about the organ when it’s played just right. Regardless of the genre -- gospel, jazz, funk, even metal -- its distinctive sound pops and commands attention. In many ways it’s a stand-in for a singer, letting a note hang with intensity not found in other instruments.
At no time is that more evident than when Joe Krown’s fingers touch down on his Hammond B-3 organ. His album “Livin Large,” played with his Organ Combo, is one of the funkiest instrumental albums to come out since The Meters cut their self-titled debut in 1969. Yes, it’s that good, and yes, it’s that funky – and it’s all because of Krown and his organ.
From the opening title track Krown leads his combo on a fast-paced trip that doesn’t let up. Even the song “Slow Daddy” is up-tempo, despite its name, and quickly builds up to a memorable duel between Brian "Breeze" Cayolle’s sax and Krown’s downright nasty organ solo. “Open 24 Hours” begins and flows along to a catchy bass line that gets your feet shuffling.
Even more impressive is that the album is full of original compositions, with “My Mama Told Me So,” written by The Crusader’s Joe Sample, as the only track on the album not penned by those performing on “Livin’ Large” – and even that track does the classic soul group justice.