He may be relatively obscure, but Devos can navigate traditional pieces and write fresh material that holds up. This is an organ trio with saxophone, and the players are very comfortable with each other, as illustrated by the hard bop of “And So It Goes.” Eric Alexander’s tenor sax and Devos’ guitar state the head before solos by both men take over. Devos uses Coltrane’s “Naima” as the display case for his considerable skill; a lovely chord intro brings the band in before his solo picks out the nuances. Then he performs exquisite comping behind Don Kostelnik’s Hammond B-3 solo. Devos’ solos are relaxed and tasty even when swinging hard in the original “Wes Is More.” While some classics are taken on, they aren’t rote repeats of the originals. “Body and Soul” gets a swinging, relaxed ride. “Freedom Jazz Dance” gets a nice spacey treatment that highlights the interplay. Same can be said for the version of Monk’s “Ask Me Now.”
This article originally appeared in VG‘s April ’08 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.