tasty bit of organ jazz from Ron Levy -- an unsung hero of the
Hammond, and one of the leading lights of the Northeast scene!
Ron's playing is steeped in the classic styles of the 60s --
some nice Jack McDuff touches on the keys at times, but overall
with a heavier approach to the funk that reminds us more of
some of the heavy-hitters in the Prestige jazz funk early 70s
years -- like Leon Spencer or Groove Holmes. The album's got
a surprisingly classic feel -- no gimmicks, no "jam too
much" playing -- just tight, right, and outta site funky
jazz -- played in a style that really appreciates the classics,
but which gives it the kind of energy that we first heard getting
pumped back into the music from the Desco/Daptone crew! Titles
include "Soulard Soul Stew", "Always Outnumbered",
"The Soulside", "Silver Plated", "Green
Eyed Soul", and "El Fuego De Lowell"."
LOVE 'Green Eyed Soul'. It's the best jazz-funk record of the
millennium so far. Excellent funky stuff... stay tuned for more
Gerd Hoeschen aka DJ Ottic (Alooga media, Germany)
best so far by Ron Levy's Wild Kingdom"
Homegrown Music Network
gifted songwriter and instrumentalist, Levy has cooked up another
platter of smoking Hammond organ jazz."
and Soul music is the heart of Ron's Kingdom. He presents compositions
of his own, interpreting them in his very own style of soul
jazz organ: 70's sounds mixed up with modern harmonies. To be
mentioned is the extended rhythm section consisting of drums
and percussion which drive the funky rhythms."
Juergen Wolf, International Archives for the Jazz Organ
the first note of this album you can tell that this is a renewed
and improved Ron Levy. He is leaner, meaner, cleaner and more
fluid than ever. True to form, Ron has once again assembled
an all-star cast that many in the area call the "Dream
Team. Jeff Lockhart is hands down, the most widely respected
guitar player in Boston. A rep justly attained as a main attraction
of the legendary and hip late night jams at Wally's on Mass
Ave. Yahuba Garcia brings so much energy to the mix that I almost
enjoy his hoots and hollers of appreciation as much as I do
his conga playing. Drummer Warren G-Dogg Grant is
known from New Orleans to Germany and back for having one of
the thickest pockets in the business.
nothing more soothing or soulful than hearing a pretty melody
cajoled, tickled and squeezed from a real vintage Hammond organ
through those spinning Leslie speakers. Levy proves once again
he is the master of the Hammond and its seductive melodic
capabilities on the original tracks "Always Outnumbered",
"The Soulside" and "Lovin You Again". These
tunes as well, are perfect spotlights for Jeffs solid
Strat to sing like George Benson's hollowest of hollow bodies.
when youre feeling up and good, the title track, "Green
Eyed Soul" is there to remind you about them deep down
soulful blues, Baby. Lifted up, and smacked right back down.
Thanks for the reality check Ron. And for those of you who have
heard the gospel according to Levy, you'll savor this 3 oclock
in the morning blue mood vibe for sure.
Plated" is such a screaming wake up call and at the same
time, slow burn of a song, it again truly testifies to Ron's
continuing study and evolution as a composer, arranger and soloist.
Warren and Ron lay its jagged acid-jazz form down
while the percussion and guitar slyly dance around ominously
with clearly defined purpose. It is personally, my favorite
jam on the album.
Levy compositions keep coming along strong with the Mardi-Gras
boogaloo styled samba of "Soulard Soul Stew" that
gives the rhythm section an extra chance to shine and "Yo
Bro' Yossel" emotes as classy a vibe as one could ever
finale, "El Fuego de Lowell" is a nine-minute, Afro-Cuban,
freak-out jam. The Wild Kingdom shows no restraint on this track
as everyone drives fast and hard along with Levys pumping
organ bass and montuno figures. It just cant be denied
mis amigos. Yahuba has a total percussive rhythmic blast and
the totally whacked out Pink Floyd siren like flourishes in
the distance are classic Jeff Lockhart Monster.
organ combos can sometimes be a limiting format especially without
a vocalist, horn, or horn section to fill out the sound. Not
the case here. Ron Levys Wild Kingdom lineup as is with
their hip encyclopedia of sounds and grooves nail it good and
tight every time. Their leader Levy, as always, commits fully
to every single note he plays with all his heart and Green
Jay Flanzbaum / Visionary Booking