Friday, February 22, 2013



A overlooked gem in Elvin Jones' Blue Note career – and an album that's virtually the blueprint for the Stone Alliance sound forged later in the decade by bassist Gene Perla and reedman Steve Grossman! Both players are working to full effect on this smoking little set – mixing some of the more spiritual modes of other group members with their own sharper-edged, funky-leaning styles – all held together perfectly by both Jones' tight work on drums, and his expansive musical vision! Other players are great too – and include Pepper Adams on baritone sax, David Liebman on flute and tenor, and Jan Hammer on acoustic piano – an instrument he handles with surprising subtlety and soul. Many cuts have a hard, choppy groove – and titles include a remake of "Gee Gee", plus "One's Native Place", "Mr Jones", and "What's Up – That's It". ~ Dusty Groove


Chico Hamilton in the 70s just can't miss – he's really changed loads from his mellow 50s work in LA, and has a tendency to go for a hard grooving sound – but also one that's slightly left of center than the work of most other 70s jazz drummers – and we mean that in a good way! This cooking set for Blue Note is a great example of that offbeat approach – a tight set of fusion tracks with a warm finish and an edgey approach to the rhythms – awash with some really compelling numbers that will have you hunting down the rest of Chico's work from the decade! The group's got a great mix of acoustic and electric musicians – including Steve Turre on electric bass, Arthur Blythe on alto, Rodney Jones on guitar, and Abdullah on congas – and titles include the massive groover "Abdullah's Delight", plus the cuts "Ode to Miles", "Sex Is A Cymbal", "Mr Sweets", "First Light", and "Adair". ~ Dusty Groove


Funky fusion doesn't get any funkier than this – and the album's one of the greatest 70s recordings by jazz funk trumpeter Eddie Henderson! The album's got a harder edge than a lot of Eddie's other records of the decade – razor sharp rhythms crackling away underneath a sublime space-heavy mix of keyboards, bass, saxes, and Eddie's funky trumpet. The group includes work by Bennie Maupin on reeds, George Duke on keyboards, Julian Priester on trombone, and Harvey Mason on drums – and the great Skip Drinkwater is at the production chair, cutting the grooves here with a lot more fire than in some of his later work! The whole thing's great – and titles include "Galaxy", "Kumquat Kids", "Involuntary Bliss", and "Explodition". ~ Dusty Groove

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