“Lou Bennett, one of finest organists of the 1960s, is little known among many jazz fans today, largely because he rarely played in the U.S. after 1960. Bennett was a bop pianist who began his career leading a piano trio in Baltimore in the late 1940s, switching to organ after hearing Jimmy Smith in 1956. He toured the U.S. on organ between 1957 and 1959 before moving to Paris in 1960. Unlike many jazz expatriates who moved to Europe and returned periodically or for good in the 1970s, Bennett remained in France except for an appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1964.
One can argue that Bennett didn’t miss anything here. Jazz was largely adrift in the 1960s, especially for organists, who merged with the soul-jazz movement mid-decade before the instrument faded in the 1970s with the advent of the synthesizer. By contrast, Bennett became a powerful fixture on the club scene in Paris and throughout Europe, gigging frequently and recording a number of superb albums in between engagements.
In fact, by my ears Bennett never recorded a bad album. He always came to groove and had a profound influence on the instrument. Among his best albums in the early 1960s was Enfin, for the French RCA label. During this period, Bennett was backed by a superb French jazz trio: Rene Thomas (g), Gilbert “Bibi” Rovere (b) and Charles Bellonzi (d). Like many organists who began in the gospel tradition, Bennett was notable for his ability to swing and aggressively jump in and take charge, fully exploiting the instrument’s swirling and stirring personality with superb bass lines run with his feet on the pedals and changing tone textures on the keyboard to make a point. He also favored building toward a hypnotic crescendo.” – Marc Myers/JazzWax.
A1 Moment’s Notice (John Coltrane) 00:00
A2 I Remember Sonny (René Thomas) 04:47
A3 Loin Du Brésil (Valto Laitmen) 10:20
A4 Indicatif (René Thomas) 15:15
B1 Jayne (Ornette Coleman) 16:00
B2 Enfin! (Lou Bennett) 20:39
B3 J.J. (J.J. Johnson/Kenny Clarke) 26:09
B4 Indicatif (René Thomas) 30:58
Lou Bennett – organ
René Thomas – guitar
Gilbert Rovère – bass
Charles Bellonzi – drums
Label: RCA Victor – 430.115 S
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album