The Hammond Organ has provided the backbone of much popular music since it’s invention 75 years ago. From gospel, blues, jazz, soul, funk, rock and reggae. The unmistakable, gritty sound of this groovy septuagenarian has been loved (and lets be honest, sometimes hated) by successive generations. It might even be suggested that the Hammond sound has nothing new to offer in the 21st century, after so many decades as the workhorse of black music that is until the man behind Soul Sugar, Guillaume Metenier put together this new collection for Freestyle Records.
Guillaume is a highly respected Parisian keyboard player whose previous credits include The Last Poets, Emilie Simon as well as being a long time collaborator of production maestro and trip hop hero Kid Loco. Indeed, Kid Loco has worked together with Guillaume on ‘Nothing But The Truth’ to produce the perfect mix of vintage sounds and styles, but with a contemporary edge.
From outset of the sublime opener ‘Silver’, which features the voice of Hammond legend and Guillaumes’ organ tutor Dr Lonnie Smith, this project blends, Hammond, piano, squelchy analogue synthesisers and fresh beats and production to refresh one of black music’s most enduring genres, this is psychedelic, chilled out, soul jazz for modern ears.
As a tribute to the Hammonds incredible legacy, Lonnie Smith’s ‘Play It Back’ gets a loving reworking for contemporary times, as does Jimmy Smith’s ‘Mellow Mood’ but it is Guillaumes’ deft, highly original approach on tracks like ‘Sagittarius’ and ‘Ritual’ that sets this collection apart from the often derivative organ sounds so prevalent today.
Hear how a Hammond groove and a house beat can work together beautifully like old friends on ‘First Come’, experience the funky fuzz rock soundtrack feel of ‘Rolling’, feel the ever changing musical soundscapes on this album, which also features drummer Yvo Abadi (Amadou & Maryam) and percussionist Phillippe Monrose (Brooklyn Funk Essentials) sax player Renaud Gabriel Pion (Bjork,John Cale) trumpet player Piero Pepin (Le tigre des platanes) and guitar players Andre Margail
(Lena Luiz) Christophe Van Huffel (Tanger, Christophe) Phillippe Dalecky (Grace Jones) that ensures that Soul Sugars first Freestyle Records release ‘Nothing But The Truth’ breaks new ground and also keeps the organ groove re energized, fresh and relevant for contemporary fans of top quality sounds.
Set up in 2003, Freestyle Records has spearheaded the resurgence in funk, jazz, soul, latin, reggae and more - proving to be one of the most prolific and well respected record labels of the last decade.