It’s difficult to imagine any mainstream pop or rock band covered more than The Beatles. And jazz musicians are like pirates finding buried treasure as they peruse the Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Star songbook. Organissimo takes the music to a different arena with B3tles: A Soulful Tribute to the Fab Four (Big O Records, 2017).
Alfredson plays the Hammond B3 organ, Wurlitzer electric piano and synthesizers. His accompanists are Lawrence Barris, guitar; and Randy Marsh, drums. Percussionist Bill Vits joins for a few tracks, and Mike List plays tabla on “Within You Without You.”
“Taxman” enters a new world at the fingers of Alfredson. The beat starts with a funky groove. The verses and choruses are relatively straightforward. Then the organ goes on an excursion, making good on the 19-to-1 offer, stated in George Harrison’s lyrics. After the middle solo, the call-and-response interlude repeats, leading to a phrase where the base rhythm continues, with Barris stretching out. The song closes with the main theme.
“And I Love Her” takes on a Bossa nova mood, similar in tone to the orchestral rendering by the George Martin Orchestra on the Hard Day’s Night movie soundtrack. Barris plays the lead during the verses, with Alfredson taking point on the chorus. Both enjoy free-spirited solos, all with Marsh laying the groove.
The 12-song set also includes arrangements of such Beatles’ classics as “Dear Prudence,” “The Long and Winding Road” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”
This project was funded through donation to Pledge Music. The cover art is a tribute to The Beatles’ Revolver album, which also begins with “Taxman.”