Reviews Zone

Blicher Hemmer Gadd: Omara (16th February 2018)



4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)




Blicher Hemmer Gadd’s wonderful new album “Omara”, recorded live across Germany, England and Denmark during their 2016 tour, captured the energy from four late-night shows at some of Europe’s most intimate jazz clubs

It comes from the more accessible end of the jazz genre. It draws from the well-spring of the funky, earthy sounds of “soul jazz”, and in particular the organ trio format of Jimmy Smith, Shirley Scott or Jimmy McGriff. Jazz that evolved from the late 50s, when the appeal of the complexities of Bebop started to wane.

Danes Michael Blicher on sax and Dan Hemmer on Hammond organ, met legendary drummer Steve Gadd back in 2014, and this is their second album as a trio, the debut dropped in 2014. The have toured throughout Europe and Scandinavia twice, and this new record is on Blicher’s own label.

Their inclusion of the classic blues track “My Babe”, leads one to straight away think of Jimmy Smith’s always enjoyable forays into blues, on classic albums such as “Home Cookin’ “and “Got my Mojo Workin’ “. Nine cuts here, the emphasis on original music by Michael Blicher, supplemented by the previously mentioned blues classic and the spiritual “Elijah Rock”.

There’s a straightforward simplicity and modesty to this album, that really adds to the appeal. Whereas the ever popular contemporary organ trio Medeski Martin and Wood will go off on daring, adventurous and sometimes disorientating tangents, that have seen them widen their audiences to the ‘jam band’ scene, this album stays strictly in the ‘soul jazz pocket’, and is all the better for it.

Warm sounds, incredible drumming from the legendary Steve Gadd, and great playing from Blicher and Hemmer; three gifted individual talents but as a unit, there really is palpable chemistry by the bucket load. Highly recommended.

The release of “Omara” coincides with Blicher Hemmer Gadd’s release tour throughout February and March 2018, which takes the band to Australia, Thailand, Hong Kong and Japan.

 By Giles Robson 

1 out of 5 stars (1 / 5) ‘Dull Zone’
2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’







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