Vocalist and keyboardist Charlie Wood offers his third album as a leader in Somethin' Else. A veteran pianist and organist (Hammond B-3 organ), Wood has been featured on at least 23 other recordings. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Wood has been a fixture on Beale Street playing regularly at the King's Palace Cafe.
This album contains 14 original compositions of jazz, R&B and straight blues with Wood on vocals and playing the piano, Fender Rhodes, Hammond B-3 organ and other instruments. Joining the multi-talented artist on this release are local Memphis-based musicians such as guitarist Gerard Harris, drummer Renardo Ward, Mark Franklin and Scott Thompson on trumpets and Kirk Smothers, Jim Spake and Lucy Hathcote on the reeds.
The program begins with two bluesy numbers in "Tis" and the title track "Somethin' Else," also containing a touch of good old fashion rock. A warning! On the press clippings it advises that the lyrics in some of the tunes employ "colorful elements of the vernacular," meaning that you will hear some language that one may not particularly care for. Frankly it's not very strong or offensive compared to what you might hear at school. "Down In The Ground" is one of those tracks where the music is so jazzy and catchy that the supposedly offensive wordings in the lyrics are overshadowed and lost in the moving melody of the song.
Further sampling of this album finds a jazzy, rhythm-based tune in "Lost In The Shuffle" that showcases a fine guitar and organ solo, the sparkling "The Better You Hold Out" and two softer and mellow servings in "Melancholia" and "My Hotel," where Wood delivers excellent runs on the organ. An impressive performance by Wood who has crafted an album of varied musical styles that will appeal to a jazz and blues audience alike. Somethin' Else is an enjoyable recording, well worth a listen and deserving of attention.