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Hit Couleurs JAZZ

Mike Clement is annoying. Tall, handsome, smiling, friendly, he plays electric guitar. Very well too. In short, he’s annoying.

Originally from Vancouver, Canada, he currently lives in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, where I met him during a stay that will soon be chronicled on the Jars Jase Jazz blog.

Living in the city where drums were invented -Drumsville is one of New Orleans’ nicknames, along with Big Easy & Crescent City-, he takes the opportunity to play and record with local musicians, including the excellent drummer Herlin Riley.

The album “Hittin’ it” lives up to its title. 9 tracks, 41 minutes. It’s as simple, direct and effective as a boxing match. “Jazz is like boxing: the better it is, the less the public appreciates it” (Georges Foreman, world heavyweight boxing champion).

The trio of Hammond organ, electric guitar and drums has been a jazz classic since the 1950s. This trio doesn’t play standards, but compositions that sound like standards and are inspired by them. “Mr not so PC” is a nod to John Coltrane’s “Mr PC“. “Cruisin High” is a nod to Dizzy Gillespie’s “Groovin High“.

Above all, this music rocks very effectively. What a groove, by golly! This music can be listened to sitting down or danced to standing up, depending on your mood and physical condition, dynamic readers. Case in point: the title track “Hittin’ it“.

The trio kicks things off with “Actualization“, like an update of the Blue Note sound of the 60s.

Each of the trio’s 3 cats attacks, relaunches, makes the music fly and roll. They’ve got something and don’t let go from start to finish. “I’ve got something

Herlin Riley brings to life with his drums the tradition and modernity of New Orleans drumming, blending Africa and America via the Caribbean. John Lee makes his Hammond organ sound like a devilish preacher. Mike Clement‘s sound is as powerful as the Pacific Ocean of his origins, and he takes us on a whirlwind tour of “Cruisin High”.

I receive so many albums that pretend to be jazz but aren’t, because they neither move nor move me. I don’t write about them. Listening to Mike Clement‘s “Hittin’ it” makes me want to move, to let the good times roll, to smile, to laugh, to talk to strangers in the street. Excellent medicine against gloom and mediocrity. Mike Clement is annoying, but with music like this, I forget all about him.

No concerts by this trio are currently scheduled in France. Attention festival programmers, concert halls and jazz clubs. Let us enjoy Mike Clement to the full.

Line Up:

Mike Clement: guitar & compositions 

Herlin Riley: drums

John Lee: Hammond B3 organ

Hittin’ it was released by label Cellar Live on April 6, 2024.

Hittin’ it is a “Hit Couleurs Jazz” and is selected as “Best of the Month” in April  2024.


L’original de cette chronique est accessible également sur le blog de l’excellent Guillaume Lagrée, Le Jars jase Jazz.

Translated with the help of

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