Jazz Weekly, Feb 2023

Dan Trudell: Fishin’ Again

Hammond B3 man Dan Trudell gives a tribute to fellow hummer Dr. Lonnie Smith and drummer Clyde Stubblefield on this fun and funky session with Mike Standal/g, Dana Hall/dr, Pat Mallinger/as, John Wojciechowski/ts and Joel Adams in mix and match mode. Trudell splashes the keys in funky fashion around Standal’s fluid lines on the title track, with everyone getting a chance to jump in, as well as on the blues swamp of “Scram”. The Leslie speakers hum to Wojciechowski’s tenor on “Glow Worm” while Mallinger and Adams ride the whitewater wave of Hall’s backbeat on “Hip Hop Bach”. Chunky grooves dominate “Holler Back” and Trudell fills the room on an organic “Chocolate Martini”. The album has a hip night club jam session feel; all that’s missing is the two drink minimum. CHECK OUT THE NEW CD >>>

~ George W. Harris

KUSP Radio, Santa Cruz, CA

Pete Fallico’s Doodlin’ Lounge Show

Phone Interview, Audio Tracks

KUSP Radio Track One
KUSP Radio Track Two

Downbeat Magazine, Jan 2016

Dan Trudell Plays The Piano


Nobody should be terribly surprised that Dan Trudell plays the piano. True, he’s known primarily for his artistry on the Hammond B-3, but since both instruments share the same keyboard, the fact that he knows his way around on both isn’t exactly news.

What is news, perhaps, is that Trudell swings just as hard on the acoustic grand as he does on the B-3. Paired with longtime drummer Matt Wilson and young but seasoned bassist Joe Sanders, he delivers a well-balanced set on his new album, which is heavy on familiar titles, sprinkled with a few originals and always oriented toward creating an integrated, unified performance.

The trio dynamic is old-school: Sanders and Wilson play backup roles rather than each taking a third of the pie. They get plenty of solo space, though neither uses it to shoot off fire- works. Even on his showcase tune, the Trudell composition “Jonesin’,” Wilson plays quietly and constructs his statements thoughtfully, with plenty of air around each phrase or accent.
On this as well as every other tune, the spotlight focuses on Trudell. Aside from “McCoy For Now”… which ripples with quartal harmonies, muscular tremolos and other Tynerisms… Plays The Piano is a straightahead celebration. And he has the arrangement aesthetic of a full-time pianist. His harmonic alterations on heads and outros are lush and appealing on “I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart.” His sense of humor is evident, too, in the bass motif that evokes the Habanera from Bizet’s Carmen on “That Old Black Magic” and the intricately harmonized bridge on the normally romantic “If Ever I Would Leave You.”

Dan Trudell plays the piano? Absolutely.

~ Bob Doerschuk

Jazz Weekly, Jan 2016

Dan Trudell Plays The Piano

Here’s the kind of album that makes you like jazz again. Pianist Dan Trudell teams up with Matt Wilson/dr and Joe Sanders/b on a fun and swinging take of originals, jazz standards and modern material. He’s got a joyful touch and bounce to his playing, not unlike an Errol Garner or Gene Harris; joy is on every note! His own material his an exciting modal mood on “McCoy For Now” and shows a charming stride the winning “Jonesin’.” Sanders gets into a “Poinciana” mood on the clever read of “That Old Black Magic” and Wilson gets the gospel groove down on Horace Silver’s bopper “Soulville” but through it all, Trudell’s joyful attitude about the 88 ivories glows as on a sparkling “If Ever I would Leave You” and the celebrative “Isn’t She Lovely.” Jazz becomes a verb again here, where it belongs!

~ George W. Harris

Jazz CD Reviews

Dan Trudell Plays The Piano

Best known for his work on the trusty Hammond B3, Dan Trudell here ventures into purely pianistic waters. Admirers of the hard-swinging organist can be reassured that he is no less committed in this trio undertaking with the supportive bassist Joe Sanders and drummer Matt Wilson. This is a hard-swinging trio that takes a varied repertoire, including staples by Ellington and Horace Silver, adds classics by Loewe and Arlen, introduces two Trudell originals, and shakes up the mix with songs by Stevie Wonder, and – the most intriguing of all – Alicia Keys. READ MORE >>>

~ Jonathan Woolf

Chicago Jazz Festival 2016

Dan Trudell Trio

Superbad Chicago organist Dan Trudell draws on the full spectrum of Hammond B-3 tradition, from Jimmy Smith to Don Patterson, for a fresh and fully formed sound that he’s put to good use in his organ trio and with the B3 Bombers (featuring James Brown drummer Clyde Stubblefield). Last year Trudell threw a changeup with Dan Trudell Plays the Piano, a mainstream acoustic date that combines Coltrane-era vocabulary with the same kind of ingenuity and down-home sound you’d expect on a Ramsey Lewis LP. He plays here with the band from the album, bassist Joe Sanders and exceptional drummer Matt Wilson.

~ John Corbett

All About Jazz, Aug 2015

Dan Trudell Plays The Piano

The decline of the joyously swinging piano trio has been greatly exaggerated. It may be an endangered species, but it’s still out there, roaming the countryside, appearing when you least expect it, and making the occasional trip into a studio. Exhibit A is this Hne recording from Dan Trudell, a Midwestern musical treasure who’s renowned for his organ playing. Here, he casts aside that behemoth of an instrument and takes to the piano to deliver an ebullient program of music with some help from a world-class rhythm section—ubiquitous drummer Matt Wilson, Trudell’s longtime friend and musical compatriot, and stellar bassist Joe Sanders. READ MORE >>>

~ Dan Bilawsky

Classicalite, Oct 2015

Dan Trudell Plays The Piano

Known primarily for his work on the Hammond B-3 organ, Midwestern keyboardist Dan Trudell Plays The Piano on the new self-released CD by The Dan Trudell Trio. Besides two originals, they interpret the compositions of such pianists as Duke Ellington (“I Let A Song Out Of My Heart”) which rambles on for over eight minutes, Stevie Wonder (“Isn’t She Lovely”), Alicia Keys (“The Worth Of A Woman”) and Horace Silver (“Soulville”).

Trudell is always entertaining. He brightens it up every time with humor, funky asides and intuitive chemistry with drummer Matt Wilson and bassist Joe Sanders, heavyweights both. Even Harold Arlen’s 1942 “That Old Black Magic” is born anew in a jam-band worthy 10:51. The same goes for Frederic Loewe’s 1960 “If Ever I Would Leave You” from Broadway’s Camelot. His two originals are in tribute to two of his pianistic inspirations: “Jonesin'” for Hank Jones [1918-2010] and “McCoy For Now” for McCoy Tyner. READ MORE >>>

~ Mike Greenblatt

CITY News. Arts. Life. Feb 2017

Dan Trudell Plays The Piano

Dan Trudell could be a hot pianist on the New York scene, but he’s chosen to live on a lake about halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee. Working those two scenes, he has played with Kurt Elling, Roy Hargrove, Eric Alexander, Nicholas Payton, and others. In fact, he’s known as one of the top Hammond B-3 organists in the midwest. Hence, the unusual name of his album “Dan Trudell Plays The Piano.” Perhaps because of all of his experience with the B-3, one of the most dramatic and expressive of all instruments, his approach to piano is unusually dynamic.

Whether Trudell is playing a standard like “If Ever I Would Leave You,” or a contemporary tune like Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely,” or Alicia Keys “A Woman’s Worth,” he adds a spritely swagger all his own. Trudell’s originals are dedicated to piano greats McCoy Tyner (“McCoy For Now”) and Hank Jones (“Jonesin'”). And there’s one more, perhaps unconscious, tribute when the whole trio — with Matt Wilson on drums and Joe Sanders, bass — plays “That Old Black Magic” in a manner nicely reminiscent of The Ahmad Jamal Trio.

~ Ron Netsky

bebop spoken here (UK)

Dan Trudell Plays The Piano

There was a time when we, in the UK, knew all of the great jazzmen in the USA. Over the years, other outstanding jazzers have emerged worldwide – Japan, Australia, South America, Europe, if the country has a name you can bet your shirt they have jazz musicians eager to be heard and often capable of competing with the best. We have loads in the UK and, in our own neck of the woods, north east England, we have more than a few who can hold their own at the highest level – you frequently read of their exploits in these pages.

However, when push comes to shove, the Yanks invariably have the edge – not all of them – but quite a lot. You have only to hear them speak. The jazz is in their accent even if they can’t blow a note, even if they don’t even like jazz! But those that do and can play – can! READ MORE >>>

~ Lance

The Jazz Writer

Dan Trudell Plays The Piano

The trio sets the stage early with a vibrant, bouncy take on Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely.” Trudell gets the familiar out of the way quickly, then takes the listener on the happiest of happy-go-lucky jaunts. One can easily get the sense of joy shared by the musicians as they perform. READ MORE >>>

~ Woodrow Wilkins

Midwest Record Aug 2015

Dan Trudell Plays The Piano

If you want to be a piano jazzbothat spent a lot of time in Chicago and say you want to get backto your roots, at some point you have to ditch the Hammond you bang on so righteously and serve up some original Ramsey Lewis Trio sounds. With a set card that has a lot of oldies and Matt Wilson on drums and Joe Sanders on bass, Trudell swings it like it’s 1958 again and the London House is rocking. A tasty, skillful chopathon from some really on it cats, classic piano jazz fans will find nirvana in these bytes. By all means, check it out! Hot stuff.

~ Chris Spector