New Audio: Tim Carman Trio Tackles a Gorgeous Wynton Kelly Trio Tune

Drummer and composer Tim Carman is best known for his work with acclaimed Boston-based blues act GA-20, an act which also features Pat Faherty (vocals, guitar) and Matt Stubbs (guitar), who is also an acclaimed bandleader and composer in his own right.

Carman’s latest side project, Tim Carman Trio, which features Carman, Steve Fell (guitar) and Ken Clark (electric organ) can trace its origins back to 2020: While quarantining in a New Hampshire cabin, Carman spent his time revisiting records records that his first drum teach and mentor Bob Gullotti introduced him to during Carman’s formative years as an aspiring jazz drummer. 

Inspired by 60s soul jazz artists like Jimmy SmithBrother Jack McDuff and others, The Tim Carman Trio is a no-fills, B3 organ, soul jazz outfit. The trio’s Carman and Dave Brophy co-produced full-length debut, Key Lime is slated for release this year through Color Red Music.  

So far I’ve written about two previously released singles from the band’s forthcoming debut:

  • Blues for Bob,” the Carman written composition, written as a tribute to his mentor and drum teacher, is a cool and funky strut centered around Carman’s steady and efficient time-keeping and some self-assured and fiery soloing from Fell and Clark. 
  • A shuffling Art Blakey-like Latin take on the Bud Powell composition “Buster Rides Again,” centered around Clark’s muscular organ work, Fell’s bluesy guitar lines, Carman’s hi-hat-driven time-keeping and some additional percussion accents from Dave Brophy.

Key Lime‘s latest single is the trio’s take on “Not A Tear,” inspired by Wynton Kelly Trio’s take, which appeared on 1964’s It’s Alright. It’s a rarely covered, beautiful tune that makes a unique transition from slow-burning ballad to 6/8 bembe-like feel. The Tim Carman Trio take is a loose yet soulful take that displays the individual members’ musicianship and their unique simpatico — with a subtle reworking of the arrangement to accommodate organ and guitar.

Carman mentions the the composition is “fun as hell to play” and notes that the trio had a great time working it out in the studio.