Prime Trio – Prime
(Download only, available from BandCamp. Album Review by Patrick Hadfield)
The first release from a newly formed band featuring three experienced and exciting musicians, Prime is an alluring and engaging debut. With Peter Johnstone eschewing his usual piano for the electric organ, and joined by Kevin Mackenzie on guitar and Doug Hough on drums, this is a straight-ahead organ trio par excellence.
From the opening number, Bounce, it puts a smile on the face. Bounce does just that, a soulful, jaunty toe-tapping work-out that puts a bounce in one’s step and sets the scene for the whole record.
This is a comparatively short album, the five tracks totalling thirty five minutes – the perfect length for two sides of vinyl, though it’s only available as a download at the moment. Johnstone and Mackenzie have written two tracks each, with Invitation by Bronislau Kaper completing the set. Most of the numbers are relatively up-tempo, save for Mackenzie’s lovely Reclamation, which is a ballad.
It is Johnstone’s organ playing which makes this record stand out. It has a laid back, mellow feel whilst simultaneously powering on. Johnstone’s subtle touch on the bass parts is particularly good, his feet producing a vibrant, compelling walking bassline.
That’s not to diminish the contributions from Mackenzie and Hough. Hough has a lively, swinging style perfectly suited to this music, and Mackenzie’s writing and playing are as excellent as I’d have expected – there are some great guitar solos on this record. Together the trio reach a fine balance, the organ holding back so as not to overpower the guitar, and the drums keeping the whole motoring along.
Patrick Hadfield lives in Edinburgh, occasionally takes photographs, and sometimes blogs at On the Beat. Twitter: @patrickhadfield.LINK: Bandcamp