Mike Clement - Hittin' It!

2024 CD release

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The Organ trio: guitar, organ & drums, is a tried and true, classic, and soulful configuration. So many of my absolute favourite records from the great guitarists throughout history are in organ trio format. Pat Martino’s El Hombre and Live at Yoshi’s, Grant Green’s Grant’s First Stand, the classic Jack MacDuff recordings where George Benson is still a teenager and just playing an unprecedented amount of guitar, right up to my personal guitar hero Bobby Broom’s Modern Man just to rattle a few off the top of my head. There’s something special about the way the organ and guitar complement each other and blend that’s unique and soulful. Having the privilege of working with a real organist is truly one of the great pleasures of being a “jazz” guitarist.

Putting a new trio together is always a fun and rewarding process, especially witnessing the magic that happens when the band plays together for the first time. This project was no exception and having such a great band accompany me and help me bring my original music to life was truly one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences I could have asked for. The first time we played together as a trio was for this recording session and I’d like to think you can hear some of that magic on this recording.

John Lee is someone I’ve looked up to musically speaking for a long time now so once I learned he had taken up the organ, and was already playing on it with the same command, musicianship and spirit as with any of the other four instruments he plays, I knew I wanted to put together a project where I could collaborate with him. Naturally I was thrilled when he agreed to do it and I think he was excited at the prospect of working with the great Herlin Riley. I’ve known John for a long time now and he’s been a pivotal figure in my own musical development. Affectionately referred to sometimes as “the brofessor” John has always been someone who would make time to hang and play and teach me and a number of my contemporaries here in the New Orleans scene as well as on the west coast. He plays with so much joy and passion, as well as a laser focused clarity of ideas no matter which instrument he’s playing. It was an invigorating experience getting him down to New Orleans to make this record with me and his contributions were immeasurable.

When I first arrived in New Orleans, the number one guy everyone told me I had to go check out on the scene was the groove master himself Mr Herlin Riley. Of course I was already familiar with some of Mr Riley’s work(Ahmad Jamal, Wynton Marsalis etc), he’s a living part of the history of this music, a “GOAT”, as the kids these days would say, but in hindsight I was completely ignorant to what a powerhouse on the bandstand this man truly is. It’s hard to describe but let’s just say if you were to catch Mr Riley on any given night you would experience a man in his element absolutely swingin’ his @$$ off, going all the way in, hootin’ n hollerin’, playing up and down the poles and walls and anything that will make a noise on and off the stage, twirling the drumsticks all while absolutely emanating pure joy and music. So, in honour of making an effort to surround myself with the best musicians I possibly could, asking him to be a part of this project was a no-brainer and I feel very honoured that Mr Riley agreed to play on this recording session. It was truly an electrifying as well as humbling time being in the studio with him and seeing the New Orleans Groove Master at work.


SKU 628308830138
Barcode # 628308830138
Brand Cellar Live

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