Jazz Today Reviews

Allerton Park Suite (2022) - José Gobbo 

By Peter Tijerina - May 16, 2022


Allerton Park Suite. José Emilio Gobbo (guitar). DistroKid, 2022. “Table of Contents,” “Something Wrong Upstairs,” “Settle in the Shade,” “Midwestern Charm,” “The Truth Lies in The Library,” “Sun Singer.” All music composed by José Gobbo. 

A full spectrum of prismatic moods and musical colors are in store for the listener on jazz guitarist José Gobbo’s latest album, Allerton Park Suite. Each track produces a clearer glimpse into his psyche and how he interprets the world around him, all through the lens of solo guitar. The modern harmonies and impressionistic textures of “Table of Contents” provide the DNA for the subsequent tunes. “Something Wrong Upstairs” evokes a sense of irresolution with its gestural phrases and rich harmonies, tinged with melancholy. The next number, “Settle in the Shade,” implies a scene of tranquil beauty, followed by the hypnotic repetition of “Midwestern Charm” which has the power to invoke a sort of underplayed cathartic release. Fragments of jazz classics are heard in “The Truth Lies in The Library” and the various permutational themes and hues of “Sun Singer” are a delightful treat. 

Recorded for the Spring 2022 Artist In-Residence at Allerton Park in Monticello, Illinois.

Transgressions (2022) - Chip Stephens Organ Trio 

By Peter Tijerina - March 25, 2022

Chip Stephens Organ Trio Transgressions album cover photo. Jose Gobbo: guitar, Jay Ferguson: drums


Transgressions. Chip Stephens Organ Trio: Chip Stephens (organ), Jose Gobbo (guitar), Jay Ferguson (drums). CDBaby, 2022. "Along Together" (Arthur Schwartz), "Nardis" (Miles Davis), "Have You Met Miss Jones?" (Richard Rodgers), "Ah Leu Cha" (Charlie Parker), "Tenderly" (Walter Gross), "Norwegian Wood" (John Lennon, Paul McCartney), "A Night In Tunisia" (John Gillespie), "The Iron Post" (Chip Stephens).

Pianist, organist, band leader, and professor Chip Stephens’ Transgressions captures the intimate jazz trio setting performing Great American Songbook and jazz standards, but with a splash of modern phraseology. The listener is transported to a myriad of musical happenings, both past and current, including gospel church services, mid-twentieth-century jazz clubs, and present-day jazz concerts. The intricate colors and textures Stephens’ pulls out of the organ on “Tenderly” and “Norwegian Wood” give this album a unique luster. Of course, his improvisatory creations are written with his signature in bold. Jose Gobbo’s guitar fuses seamlessly with the organ as it takes adventurous solos which are grounded in the jazz tradition. Jay Ferguson’s fiery in-the-pocket drumming and cymbaling are the perfect match to complete this trio of jazz virtuosos. “Norwegian Wood” is a refreshing instrumental take on the Beatles classic. A swinging and bluesy tribute to the legendary Midwest venue, “The Iron Post” serves as a satisfying ending to the album. Transgressions is a delightful album for jazz lovers alike.