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MIKE FAGEROS: Melange de Jazz
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MIKE FAGEROS: Mars In October
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MIKE FAGEROS: Spontaneous Combustion
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                                                                     Jazz Review by Pete Fallico


Traditional jazz organ combos seem to be holding their own, twelve years into the new millennium.....

The younger Players are trying to add or delete from the original equation but most practitioners - young or old- appear to understand the significance of "the groove".

Guitarist Mike Fageros is surely " a keeper of the flame " who holds us to both tradition and the pocket groove.  He knows the past, present and future of the organ combo and with his latest recording, "Midnite Tippin", he has nailed this instrumental experience to the wall.  His is an authentic sound with just the right seasoning and excitement for today's retro tastes.  Mike's facility matches those of the finest guitarists who have ventured into this genre.

Mike's approach is straight-ahead. His tempos are designed to snag our attention and to keep us in the moment. He picks through his music in relentless yet deliberate fashion - precisely navigating up and down the neck and frets in smooth syncopation while managing a fat sound with a blues connotation. The communication between his guitar and Codish' organ is classic -- almost reminiscent of the relationship Pat Martino had with Don Patterson.  Drummer Ron Pangborn completes this analogy with his dynamic rhythms that are locked-into each track... as where Billy James' rhythms years before.

There's nothing really like the groove an organist and guitarist can create with the right drummer... and this trio has high marks in each category.

Joyfully, this CD posesses tunes that span the hardbop spectrum but it may be the title track that reaps the most spins. "The Midnite Tipper", swings in classic style. In fact, "swing" is probably the most significant part of this recording. And, again, it has to do with the abilities of these players and their adherence to the fundamentals of organ-bass; the "marriage" created between the guitarist and organist through mutual comping; and the virtuosity of a skilled guitarist who has been drenched in a tradition that was established before him.

As energetic as this music might seem, it remains deep in the piocket and blessed with patience and a true understanding of time. Time and the ability to play in the lower end of the beat keep this music soulful and true to its roots. Mike Fageros deserves attention with this solid contribution to the jazz organ library.

                                                                         Pete Fallico

                                                                     KCSM San Mateo