1. Consolidation
Walk On By
When I Grow Up
6. Cornelius
7. The White Cockade
8. Buzzard Count
9. Chances Are
10. Stairway To The Stars
11. It Never Entered My Mind

61 minutes

Jim Mullen - guitar
Mike Gorman - hammond organ
Matt Skelton - drums
Stan Sulzmann - saxes

Smokescreen is the second album on Diving Duck from Jim Mullen's Organ Trio. The storming trio are better than ever in this great set recorded in 2006, and joined by the formidable talent of Stan Sulzmann on three of the tracks.

Stalwarts of the UK touring scene and festivals, the group was nominated for Best Ensemble in the 2007 All-Parliamentary Jazz Awards.
Some reviews of Smokescreen:

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Ian Mann on

Reviewed by Ian Mann, on 21/01/2007 (edited for length)

“Smokescreen” is pretty much a joy from start to finish. Gorman lays down a great groove on his Hammond B3 and also proves to be a fluent soloist. He largely avoids any hints of the 60’s style cheesiness that can sometimes blight the Hammond sound. Gorman also proves to be a fine composer, contributing five of the album’s titles. Skelton’s uncomplicated but swinging drumming drives everything along beautifully. And then you’ve got the peerless Mullen and that famous thumb.
Saxophonist Stan Sulzmann guests on three tracks. Sulzmann is a consummate player, equally at home on tenor and soprano.

All in all “Smokescreen” is a treat. Swinging, grooving and technically dazzling many of the performances on the album are first takes emphasising the trio’s credentials as a terrific live act. There are no airs and graces about Mullen and his trio and the aims of this album are refreshingly unpretentious. Mullen may have been in this game a long time but there’s no doubting the joy he still gets from music making. Long may he continue to do so.

JazzUK, January 2007

Reviewed by Peter Vacher in JazzUK magazine, January 2007

Guitarist Jim Mullen’s trio, with the admirable Mike Gorman on Hammond B-3 and drummer Matt Skelton, is quite a fixture on the circuit these days and a welcome one too. That evocative organ sound, complete with its built-in bass line, seems to reach parts that other instruments never quite do, a machine tailor-made for generating compelling grooves. Add Mullen’s tersely swinging guitar and a crisp beat and you have a formula geared to pleasure.
Gorman has a light touch, his lines neatly resolved without bombast or unbearable excess, as on Bacharach’s ‘Walk On By’; Mullen is similarly cogent, the rest of the programme largely devoted to strong originals, the majority by Gorman, with one by Mullen. Star saxophonist Stan Sulzmann joins in on three, his soprano expertly pacing Mullen’s bubbling guitar on ‘The White Cockade’.

The Observer, 26th November 2006

Reviewed by Dave Gelly in The Observer, 26/11/06

The classic line-up of organ, guitar and drums, but not what you might be expecting. Instead of the strutting blues & soul of Sixties pioneers, this band goes for subtlety and tonal variety, regularly building up to a kind of subdued, bubbling excitement. It’s the perfect setting for Mullen’s mellow, soulful guitar and his legendary fluency. He and organist Mike Gorman have evolved a whole new vocabulary, while drummer Matt Skelton supports it all with the lightest of touches. As a welcome bonus, saxophonist Stan Sulzmann guests on three tracks. His soprano on ‘The White Cockade’ is simply delicious.

The Guardian, 15th December 2006

Reviewed by John Fordham in The Guardian, December 15th 2006

It’s hard to find even the most spartan abstract-music fan who isn’t a closet admirer of Hammond organ jazz. The gospel-powered style popularised by Jimmy Smith in the 1960s still crosses generations. (The Hammond’s gospel roots go back to the era when not all churches had organs, but the Hammond had wheels, allowing preachers to drive them to the service). Jim Mullen, the great Scottish funk and jazz guitarist, runs a mellow, lightly-swinging, more idiomatically wide-ranging version, with the elegantly boppish Mike Gorman doing the organ honours - and saxophonist Stan Sulzmann is a welcome guest on three tracks. The Scottish traditional The White Cockade works unexpectedly well with Sulzmann’s soprano. And Mullen’s silky sound, and a slow account of Stairway to the Stars makes the best of the guitarist’s singing tone - Mullen has the remarkable knack of sometimes making his instrument suggest Ray Charles’s voice. Mullen’s springy rhythmic sense and Gorman’s twisting lines also make a classy job of It Never Entered My Mind.