Kyle Asche Organ Trio, Five Down Blues Review
by Nolan DeBuke
Kyle Asche is a Chicago-based jazz guitarist and composer that has performed with Jazz at Lincoln Center, Melvin Rhyne, “Killer” Ray Appelton, Chris Foreman, Victor Goines, George Fludas, Ben Paterson, and many others. Asche has a versatile playing style and is home within many different genres, but he is commonly heard with Chicago’s premier jazz vocalists and Hammond organ bands. He performs weekly at the city’s jazz rooms and is an active and caring music educator. Asche has been a part of the jazz guitar faculty position at Loyola University Chicago since 2010. Asche’s highly anticipated third album as a leader, Five Down Blues, is a trio project with his working band of Pete Benson on organ and drummer George Fludas. The album includes original compositions by Asche and tunes by Horace Silver, John Patton, and more.
“Five Down Blues” is our first sound on the album. A clever melody with twists and turns greets us as the trio takes us on the musical journey. Asche’s solo is drenched in the blues language; his ideas unfold patiently as he squeezes flashy pentatonic runs in to keep the energy up without disrupting the flow of ideas. The performance is assured, with each player listening to each other and building a music story together. With a long history of great organ trios in the guitar catalog, it is hard to match the fluidity and sonic character of the linage, but this collaboration is particularly eloquent in doing so.
“Never Let Me Go” brings the trio’s relaxed groove to this well-known standard. Asche shows he is gifted as an arranger as well as a bandleader. Benson’s solo is melodic and uniform in color and activity. Fludas is always constant and interactive. As a jazz soloist, Asche is idiosyncratic in the jazz guitar language as his lines shape-shift through the changes with an ability that is compelling.
Five Down Blues makes a considerable appeal for Asche’s significant talent. This working trio is musical, fresh, and in sync. In addition, Asche has substantial appeal as an improviser and as a bandleader; he has chosen like-minded collaborators. The result is a showcase of vivid jazz that will undoubtedly be a welcomed addition to the jazz fan’s collection.