Jazz guitarist Jake Langley is a skillful player with roots deep in the blues. No longer Canada’s best kept jazz secret, the 30 year old, Toronto-based musician was selected as Guitarist of the Year in the 2004 National Jazz Awards.
"Organ trio jazz is really my thing," Langley explains. "We’re not inventing anything new, but someone has to keep the tradition alive."
The busy guitarist grew up in Ottawa. "I heard lots of great players while I was growing up in Ottawa", Langley explains, "A lot of touring acts that traveled between Toronto and Montreal played my home town. Early in my career I went out on the road with R&B great Bobby 'Blue' Bland," Jake continues, "and I spent a year touring with organist Merle Saunders, who used to play with Jerry Garcia."
Langley spent a year in New York City studying with jazz greats Jim Hall and Pat Martino. You can hear their influence in Jake’s polished, thoughtful guitar lines. Langley has a large collection of old Gibson arch-top guitars from the 1950s and 1960s, and he produces echoes of Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell too on a series of achingly beautiful, bluesy performances on Diggin’ In.
Covering little-known gems by Dexter Gordon, Don Thompson, Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine and Wes Montgomery, as well as Billie Holiday’s jazz classic, God Bless The Child, Langley and his trio produce an elegantly funky, grits-and-gravy set of smoldering, soulful jazz.
Langley spends almost 200 days a year on the road, and he’ll be keeping the guitar-organ trio sound alive while touring around the world with DeFrancesco.
In Movin' & Groovin', his latest album, Langley and his band make music that swings and feels good. Funk, soul, bebop, Latin, church music, show tunes...this trio play it night after night and the intuitive flow of their seamless imporvisations is captured on this outstanding collaboration. It is the essence of jazz.