Born in Chicago, IL and now currently based in Berkeley, CA, organist Wil Blades has studied with Dr. Lonnie Smith and played alongside the legendary John Lee Hooker, Melvin Sparks, Idris Muhammad and others. And in fact, many critics consider Blades part of a long line of jazz organists that includes the likes of Richard “Groove” Holmes, Charles Earland and Brother Jack McDuff.
Blades’s forthcoming full-length Field Notes will see an August 19 release through Royal Potato Family, the preeminent modern jazz label. Featuring guitarist, Jeff Parker (Tortoise, Joy DeFrancesco and Joshua Redman) and drummer, Simon Lott (Charlie Hunter and Will Bernard), the album which was written and recorded during sound checks, gigs and jam sessions manages to continue jazz’s tradition of paying homage to tradition while pushing it towards the future. In any case, “(I Can’t Stand) The Whole Lott of You,” the first single off the album sounds as though it could have easily come form the jazz fusion days of the 70s thanks to an air-tight groove led by the organ and an Eric Krasno-like guitar solo – like the entire song it sounds limber, playful and yet forceful.