Artists in the Verve stable include Ella Fitzgerald, Bill Evans, Billie Holiday, Oscar Peterson, Count Basie and many more. To have an album released on the label is a feather in the cap for any jazz artist, and Singaporean composer and keyboardist Jeremy Monteiro, who was in town last week, is delighted his latest work, Jazz-Blues Brothers , has been picked up by the company. The album is a joint project with Italian organist Alberto Marsico, a disciple of "Brother" Jack McDuff, who has the same assured command of the blues. Monteiro, a notable jazz and blues organist, here plays the piano. Regular associate Eugene Pao takes the guitar, alongside Asia-based American drummer Shawn Kelley and saxophonist Shawn Letts. Marsico handles the bass on organ. They are augmented by guest vocalist Rani Singam, who wrote lyrics to go with Marsico's instrumental piece, Lou . It is, Monteiro says, "one of the best albums I have ever done, probably up there with my other favourite, the album I recorded with Al Foster, Charlie Haden and Ernie Watts, Always in Love ". The two keyboardists complement each other beautifully, and seemingly effortlessly. A small group with organ, piano, guitar and saxophone could easily have become cluttered, but the music here never does. "We hardly rehearsed playing together and it sounded like we had rehearsed for tens of hours to get it to a point where we weren't in each other's way," Monteiro says. Pao features prominently, playing some funky blues and demonstrating his ballad mastery on the Beatles classic Here, There and Everywhere , the album's only cover tune. Most of the originals reflect a strong blues influence. "You can't have jazz without the blues," says Monteiro, who spent his teens playing fusion, but recalls his jazz guitarist father drilling into him the importance of staying blues-grounded. "During a set I will always play a down-home blues. With the exception of Here, There and Everywhere and Monk in the Mountain , a number I wrote with Eugene, it's all blues." There's a strong gospel influence on opening track Mount Olive , which was inspired by a 100-piece gospel choir at a Baptist church, heard in the company of the original Ramsey Lewis Trio rhythm section, bassist Eldee Young and drummer Isaac "Redd" Holt; Monteiro played with both musicians for 20 years. Young died in 2007. Holt is still drumming in Chicago. Last Tuesday, the five musicians gave Jazz-Blues Brothers its Hong Kong launch in front of an enthusiastic audience at Grappa's Cellar. They also premiered some music they hoped to record for a follow-up. "It's firstly the fun," says Monteiro. "We're already talking about the next record. We've got to keep this franchise going." Members of the group also sat in the next night at The Peninsula's Salon de Ning for Pao's October residency that takes place every Wednesday from 9pm. Pao is joined by Ted Lo on piano, Scott Dodd on bass and Anthony Fernandes on drums. On Thursday at 8.15pm at Youth Square Y-Theatre in Chai Wan, a trio of bassists - Tribal Tech founder Gary Willis, Chile's Christian Galvez, and John McLaughlin Trio alumnus Dominique Di Piazza - appear in the Jazz World Live Series. (On October 23 the series presents the Alex Sipiagin Quintet, and the next day the Eddie Gomez Quartet, also at the Y-Theatre.) This Saturday, at 9.30pm at Grappa's Cellar, Sybil Thomas revisits her Stax Records heritage with a show entitled "Memphis Soul in Hong Kong", featuring her hits and songs made famous by other Stax artists including her father, Rufus Thomas. Singing with her will be Ginger Kwan and Jennifer Palor, and the band include drummer Fernandes, guitarist Dan LaVelle, and bassist Rudy Balbuena. Kwan also has a weekly residency this month at Salon de Ning, on Thursdays at 9pm. Take Three Three other recent organ/jazz blues albums worth listening out for. Wonderful! Wonderful! (2012, High Note): three generations of notable jazz musicians merge, on a set with contributions from former Miles Davis drummer Jimmy Cobb, who played on Kind of Blue , guitar virtuoso Larry Coryell who came to the fore in the 1960s, and leading contemporary organist Joey DeFrancesco. Catch My Drift (2014, Diving Duck): Britain's premier soul jazz guitarist, Jim Mullen, leads a trio featuring organist Mike Gorman through a selection of original and cover tunes including Donald Fagen's Maxine and Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington's Daydream . Ramshackle Serenade (2014, Pirouet Records): organist Larry Goldings, guitarist Peter Bernstein and drummer Bill Stewart play a blues based but exploratory set demonstrating that it is possible to stay close to organ jazz roots while still venturing into new territory.