Sinistrio – Ride the Dragon


Ride the Dragon is the second album from Calgary’s Sinistrio a three-piece jazz combo with a sound that revolves around the unmistakable whirr of the Hammond B-3 organ. Performers of many stripes have dabbled with this mechano-electric masterpiece in the decades since its invention but few have delved more deeply than jazz players.

In the band’s new material journeyman keys man Steve Fletcher careens wildly through each groovy track engaging enough different combinations of the organ’s curious tone wheels to make your head spin. From accordion-like bursts on “The Last” to glowing sustained notes on its cover of The Flaming Lips’ “One More Robot” the palette here is a diverse one.

It would be a huge disservice to downplay the contributions of fellow musicians Jon May and Jeff Drummond who shine throughout. If organ provides the skeleton deftly played guitar flourishes are the meat while reliable drum fills and flourishes are the marrow. Assembled as a whole the group hits a sweet spot between listenable and experimental with mind-exploding odysseys like “Gungapooch” well complemented by lighthearted hook-fests like “Sneak Attack” and “Nanya Tangu.”