BK Trio – “Hit It” Self-Released
Born in Arlington, VA Brian Kooken was introduced to the guitar at age eleven by his Father. Formal studies followed, the culmination of which was the Prince Georges Community College in Largo, MD and finally receiving a BA in Jazz from Towson University. His latest release, “Hit IT,” features Kooken on guitar, Robert Shahid on drums, and one of my favorite instruments, the Hammond B3 organ played by Greg Hatza. This is a work of traditional jazz no doubt, but much of it is something I also enjoy, pretty much an upbeat tempo. Toe tapping is allowed. All three instruments work well together, and it actually sounds “larger” than a set of compositions with three musicians. Overall, Kooken’s guitar work is positively stellar. He is not, however, overbearing as each musician has the chance to display their individual talents throughout the entire work. This is a work by a trio no doubt, but it doesn’t sound like one. It sounds bigger, better, faster, and more enjoyable.