D. James Bridges | ayer, ma United States | 10/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Peter Bernstein consistently has one of the nicest sounds in jazz guitar these days. That fact is easily heard on this DVD recorded live at NYC's Smoke. The tunes are varied and although this is Bernstein's gig both organist Larry Goldings and drummer Bill Stewart get ample space. Actually, this group has been more of a cooperative since its early days playing in small clubs near NYU beginning in the mid 1990s.
While Bernstein's wonderful sound and phrasing has been well recorded the same can't be said of Goldings B3, which is a shame considering how important he has been in steering the instrument's practitioners away from Jimmy Smith's long time influence. Golding's library of unique sounds isn't well captured here plus his low end work is almost aurally non-existent. But, the real deal here is Bill Stewart. His drumming, which starts very much in the background on the DVD, revs up nicely three tunes in and mid-way through he has picked up the entire group.His solo on "Acrobat" is particularly impressive.
All in all a wonderful recording."
stranger2himself | Down Here | 04/25/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My favorite current working group. This is often called the Larry Goldings Trio, and could just as well be called The Bill Stewart Trio. Each player is outstanding and has a uniquely identifiable voice on his instrument. These guys often remind me of Wes Montgomery's or Bill Evans' Trios, or Jack McDuff's/Jimmy Smith's groups. The tunes and arrangements are superb, the audio is fine. I don't believe there's any lack of bass in the organ. The stage and lighting at Smoke are very plain, so don't expect fancy visuals. Just be thankful there are still some places like this club where such master jazz musicians can play. If you like any of the classic organ-guitar jazz groups I think you'll love this DVD."