Thank you once again OffBeat Magazine in New Orleans for such a nice review of my latest 5 O’Clock Charlie CD! We will be promoting the release this weekend at the Louisiana Music Factory located just downstairs from the OffBeat Magazine headquarters on Frenchman St this Sat Aug 1st from 2-3 pm. They used to have free beer at these events… 😉 Cheers!

Read the Review on Offbeat’s website

Organist Charlie Dennard was a regular on the New Orleans jazz scene beginning around the mid-1990s. He took an unusual detour when he signed on to become the musical director of the renowned theatrical/circus troupe Cirque du Soleil.

Dennard is back in our midst, and in 2014 released From Brazil to New Orleans. This time out, he’s solidly on American soil with a program that includes funk, groove, jazz, swing and blues. It even includes the theme song from the popular movie and television series “M*A*S*H,” “Suicide Is Painless.”

The CD kicks off with one of several collaborated compositions by Dennard and friend, guitarist Brian Seeger. It’s Todd Duke, not Seeger, who’s working the fretboard here, on the soul/funk number, “Grant’s Pants” and throughout the CD.

It’s great to hear Duke, who remains best known at the side of vocalist John Boutte, apply his talents in an organ trio setting. Dennard gives Duke plenty of room to stretch out while he provides essential support with some big fat chords. Manning the drums is alternatively Doug Belote or Geoff Clapp.

Clapp is behind the drum for one of the album’s non-originals, Larry Goldings’ “Back in the Day,” a tasty jazz groove on which Dennard shows his cool approach to the Hammond B-3. Things start swinging on Dennard’s “5 O’Clock Blues” with Belote laying it down on drums. It holds that classic organ trio sound that really took over the jazz scene in the mid-1970s.

Clapp’s work on Peter Bernstein’s “Carrot Cake” echos the edginess and staccato flavor of the tune, which is reinforced by Dennard’s organ.

Fans of the organ trio format should enjoy 5 O’Clock Charlie. They may wish, however, there was more of the very generous Dennard’s big B-3.