Since their last release in 2004, the Blue Hearts have matured as a band and individually as musicians. This CD has all original material written by Ryan Hartt & his cohort Eric Ducoff and has a good time gut bucket sound with excellent harp playing and tasteful traditional guitar work from Eric Ducoff. Hartt's vocals are strong and natural and the band sounds like they have played the songs for a while which adds a listenability to the entire proceedings.
Jackie McLean was a hard-bop alto saxophonist with a fiery tight tone, who recorded extensively in the ‘50s and ‘60s mainly with Blue Note Records. Although his forays with an organ was confined to two albums with Jimmy Smith Open House and Plain Talk, Cory Weeds’ decision to use an organ on this session does not stray off the mark. Condition Blue accomplishes the band’s intention, to acknowledge a saxophonist who had an exploratory vision. In a set list of either McLean originals, or compositions associated with him, this tight-knit band delivers the goods in firm, yet flexible style. The key players in this session in addition, to the cooly effective altoist Weeds, are Mike LeDonne, a B-3 player of energetic disposition, and creative guitarist Peter Bernstein. Also along is drummer Joe Farnsworth who is a propulsive player.