In the early and mid-1960s, while jazz innovators like John Coltrane were, well, innovating, another phenomenon tagged soul-jazz happened simultaneously. Soul-jazz groups generally featured an organist playing the robust Hammond B-3, a drummer, a saxophonist, and/or an electric guitarist. Birthed in hard bop's 1950s cauldron, soul-jazz shunned its parent genre's cerebral aspects in favor of its gospel and blues roots. One prime mover was late organist Charles "The Burner" Earland, who in the '80s and '90s employed guitar ace Bob DeVos. DeVos (who also played with icons Groove Holmes and Jack McDuff) gets a hefty, horn-like tone from his ax. And while devoted to keeping the fires of the Burner, his approach shuns any retro affectations. A thoughtful soloist, DeVos also counts Debussy and Wayne Shorter as inspirations. While he goes for that groove and gets it, don't expect to breeze down memory lane DeVos is now, baby.
Bob DeVos performs at 9 p.m. Thursday, December 28, through Sunday, December 31, at the Van Dyke Café, 846 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Call 305-534-3600.