a career defined by expertise with electronic keyboard instruments, itís
difficult to imagine Pete Levin playing French horn. Early in his career,
he filled that seat in the Gil Evans Orchestra. After bringing a Moog
synthesizer to a gig, Levin not only changed course but also led to that
bandís evolution into an electric/acoustic hybrid.
Levin is a veteran session and live keyboardist. He has created electronic
sounds for television ads as well as movies, including Missing in Action,
Lean on Me and Silver Bullet. His associations of jazz and pop artists
include Paul Simon, Annie Lennox, Miles Davis, David Sanborn and Wayne
For Jump!, Levin plays the Hammon B-3 organ. His core trio consists of
guitarist Dave Stryker and drummer Lenny White. Percussionist Manolo
Badrena appears on a few tracks. And for the closing piece, Stryker and
White are replaced by Joe Beck and Danny Gottieb.
The title song sets a festive atmosphere. Though Levin leads, itís Whiteís
drum play that carries this piece. The mark of a good drummer is one who
does more than just keep time in the background. White works the entire
kit throughout the song. After Levinís middle solo, Stryker steps up.
Badrena and White get things started on the funk-fused ďThe Big Dog Is
Always Right.Ē Strykerís rhythm guitar gives it a James Brown feel. He
later stretches out on a solo. A highlight of the track comes when Levin
and Stryker harmonize for the call, while Badrena and White respond.
With Jump!, Levin sheds the traditional organ trio approach for something
with more groove. With the organís bass mixed up front, the music has the
sound of a quartet, making each song richer than if it were simply organ,
Levin - Website