Yoron Israel has lived in New York for more than a decade, but he spent his formative years drumming in organ combos on Chicago’s south side–so when his own organ trio, Organic, put out its debut disc last year, he called it Chicago (Double-Time Records). The organ-trio format has a special appeal for drummers. Since the organist plays bass lines with his feet, the rhythm section consists of only two players, not three–which makes things click a bit more efficiently and lets both musicians stretch out a little. Playing in such groups, Israel has developed an authoritative groove, but it undergirds a style much subtler than the context usually requires–open, uncluttered, nuanced, and as fully engaged with a tune’s melody as with its rhythms. (He shares some of these qualities with drummer Jack DeJohnette, a former Chicagoan who’s expressed an appreciation for his work.) The sturdy, splendid Chicago, for which this writer supplied the liner notes, features the premier young organist in jazz, Larry Goldings; Israel’s frequent collaborator Marvin Sewell, a guitarist who can swing from slashing to tasty in a single chorus; and guest saxist Joe Lovano. But for these shows Israel and Sewell will meet up with Amina Claudine Myers–another former Chicagoan and an early AACM member, whose organ playing nods to Sun Ra as much as to Groove Holmes–so the result should be a looser, spacier kind of funk. Tenor saxist Pat Mallinger, who coleads the Sabertooth Organ Quartet at the Green Mill every Saturday night, completes the band on Friday; on Saturday and Sunday, veteran tenor and alto man Eric Schneider takes over. Given Schneider’s long apprenticeship with Sonny Stitt, he’ll likely contribute some of the sharp bebop jump that Stitt brought to his own frequent south-side organ-combo gigs. Friday and Saturday, 9 and 11 PM, and Sunday, 4, 8, and 10 PM, Jazz Showcase, 59 W. Grand; 312-670-2473.

Neil Tesser

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Michael Jackson.