Even if the duo Kombo is not very well known, the history of its creation is far in the past. Kombo are Hammond B3 guru Ron Pedley and guitar whiz John Pondel. Both were members of the band Uncle Festive, when they were signed by Tony Lipuma and Bud Harner to the Verve Music Group.

Their first album was The Big Blast (1999) soon followed by Cookin' Out (2000). It took two decades until now this year the new album This Is The Good One came out on Shanachie Entertainment.

Further musicians on the album are Matt Bissonette (acoustic and electric basses), Gregg Bissonette (drums), David Rozenblatt and Luis Conte (percussion), and The Fat City Horns consisting of Daniel Falcone (trumpet), Eric Tewalt (alto and tenor saxes) and Nathan Tanouye (trombone).

The album opens with the title song. Compared to their earlier releases, one notices a massive progress and also alignment with the current contemporary music style. Nevertheless, the duo relies on the musical concept that has proven itself in the past and that gives a lot of space to the Hammond B3 and the guitar in particular like on Wind It Up.

Right In There has a nice groove reminding of old Santana sounds. Slim shot, organ,  keyboard and guitar unite in a propulsive and gripping episode. The combination of guitar and organ finds a good expression on Pass A Good Time. No this is not a tribute to Joe Pass.

It's Daybreak is inspired by lyrics of Barry Manilow. The structure could also easily serve as the basis for a vocal song. Contemporary jazz with a melodic background is the starting point for the blossoming of Hitomi's Rose. I smell something of Pat Metheny's odeur.

Relaxed composition is the core of There Everywhere. Rain On Blacktop is the appropriate paraphrase when the notes of organ and guitar randomly find their destination sonically in equal measure.

The duo reveals their real roots with It's All Right, melodious jazz with a great tendency towards harmony covered from Curtis Mayfield. The album closes with Let's Do This. Irrelevance with sense for the small islands of happiness.

With This Is The Good One, Kombo is not looking for modernism or renewal, but for the time-honored.








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Album Information

Title: This Is The Good One
Artist: Kombo
Year: 2023
Genre: Smooth Jazz
Label: Shanachie Entertainment


1) "This is the Good One" (4:39)
2) "Wind It Up" (5:20)
3) "Right In There" (4:43)
4) "Pass A Good Time" (4:11)
5) "It's Daybreak" (3:40)
6) "Hitomi's Rose" (4:20)
7) "There Everywhere" (4:56)
8) "Rain On Blacktop" (4:39)
9) "It's All Right" (3:57)
10) "Let's Do This" (4:15)