New Groove Blues
Steve Yeager's third release on Collective Vibe Records, shows this artists best work to date, combining the rarely recorded combination of Vibes and Hammond B-3 Organ. These instruments together provide a texture that is unique and instantly appealing...a fresh sound in today's scene. Hard swinging standards, up-tempo Bop tunes, and a tango treatment of Bacharachs 'The Look of Love' showcase Yeager's ability and prowess as an improviser and arranger. He contributes two original compositions to the mix, showing a flair for catchy tunes. Yeager continues to cultivate a style on the Vibes that is clearly his own, a two mallet technique that shows an affinity for the blues and a lyricism that summons an emotional response like few other vibes players. For this session, Yeager includes the Cleveland Ohio native Tony Monaco on Hammond B-3, a fiery player with roots in the Jimmy Smith style of B-3 Organ. St. Paul sidemen Clay Moore on guitar and Phil Hey on drums round out this fine quartet. New Groove Blues will prove to be a crowd pleaser. Sonically hip. . . . . . Instantly new ****** REVIEWS: Yeager, and by proxy, Tony Monaco, are the keepers of the flame. They provide a very traditional look at the blues and ballads a la Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff. The combination of vibraphone (Yeager's instrument) and organ is a provocative one and the treatments are tasty. The songs come from all over the map- a Jimmy Smith 'Old Devil Moon,' a chicken shack look at 'Godchild' and 'Blue Bossa' all rounded up under the tent of the original 'New Groove Blues. Yeager is more Milt Jackson than Stefon Harris and Monaco is more Jimmy McGriff than Groove Holmes. All of this distills into a pure spirit of soul jazz well played. C. Michael Bailey All About Jazz.Com ***** New Groove Blues: Steve Yeager (Collective Vibe) Anyone accompanying a jazz organist deserves recognition. With it's pedals and multiple decks of keys, the organ is a monster that can sonically devour the rest of the ensemble. Vibist Steve Yeager appears to have gotten the balance just right on his most recent offering with B-3 exponent Tony Monaco, guitarist Clay Moore and drummer Phil Hey. Gifted with a sure-footed sense of melody and a dynamic approach, Yeager handles the material (among the tunes the beautiful original 'Lisa') magisterially. John Stevenson e-jazz news.com (******** In the solid tradition of some ''tote that barge'' swing, and hard driving bebop, vibraphone player Steve Yeager has garnered a winner with his new disc. I must pay kudos to the musical symbiosis between Tony Monaco's burnin' Hammond B-3 horn lines, & the strong yet florid playing style of Yeager on vibes. With some added help from their sidemen, Clay Moore-guitar, and Phil Hey-drums, the group celebrates jazz in the vernacular of the 'MJQ,' 'Joey 'D,' 'Jimmy Smith,' et al. The group's musical fomalization is strong as they express their musical ideas, melodies, harmonies, & rhythms positively. It's all here: Intonation, speed, intensity.......pitch, tempo, dynamics. A group like this is indispensable, with their propensity to exploit for us the listener, their take on creative expression of raw musical emotion..... George W. Carroll / The Musicians' Ombudsman.