2B3 : Jimi Review
By: Griff Stevens
Jimi Hendrix is an iconic figure, and his music continues to resonate through the generations of music lovers. Taking on his songbook could be a risky venture as it certainly is hard to compare to Hendrix.
Organ trio 2B3 has taken on this task with their release simply titled Jimi. By framing Hendrix songs with a jazz organ sound that borders the fusionist fringes. The result is a tasty listen that will elate Hendrix lovers while connecting the jazz-fusion idiom to the possibilities of fertile ground.
The trio consists of Mike Abbott, electric guitar, Jeff Jenkins: B3 organ and synthesizer, and Mike Marlier. The trio went into the studio in 2019, not knowing right around the corner was COVID 19. Nevertheless, they wore masks and followed protocols; the trio finished the recording in September of 2020. The album is not just about Hendrix tunes; there are two originals. “Etched in Stone” is by Jeff Jenkins, and Mike Abbot writes “Jimi.” The collection of Hendrix tunes paired with the originals is a nice collection of savory tunes, with a nice edginess to them.
“Purple Haze” is given a thrashing good time of high-flying drums by Marlier with a tightly knit groove, all while Abbott crunches the melody with grit and groove. At the same time, Jenkins punctuates with the organ adding boundless commentary under Abbot, who takes a burntastic solo utilizing jazz harmony and rock pyrotechnics. Jenkins solo grounds the tune with lightning speed runs on his organ as he highlights what is best about an organ – the hits and screams. Damn good playing on this track, out of the gate it’s in your face and laying it down with no apologies, in the spirit of Hendrix.
“Etched in Stone” is notably in the soulful vein of the idiom. The organ excels in this style, laying down elongated support lines with its unmistakable sound that is matchless. Equally, “Jimi” is a moody ballad that lingers with each note growing into a build of emotional tension that lays way to calm and introspectiveness with a drum cadence that alludes to paying homage to Hendrix himself.
2B3 has carefully constructed a welcoming album of tribute to the late Hendrix, an iconic figure in rock n roll, bridging the gap to jazz-fusion listeners who no doubt will enjoy this album profusely.
Release Date: August 5, 2021