Reissue with the latest remastering. One of the hardest, heaviest albums that Ray Bryant ever cut – even on the ballads – a monster little record that grabs you from the very first note! Ray did the arrangements for this one himself – working with his core trio that featured Ron Carter on bass and Grady Tate on drums, and adding in a twin-trumpet frontline that cooks the groove over the top with a really righteous sound!
Reissue with the latest remastering. Amazing stuff from Ivan Boogaloo Joe Jones! Unlike some of the other players on Prestige during the early 70s – who often got a bit weaker as the decade moved on, thanks to the departure of some of the better forces arranging and producing the records – Jones kept on playing hard, improving his guitar skill to a point where he was riffing and grooving away at a pace that's simply mindblowing when you hear it. Case in point is the mighty "Black Whip", a fantastic bit of funky jazz that cracks back and forth with all the whiplike qualities hinted at in the title – and which has a totally infectious jazz dance groove that always gets us on the floor. Other titles include the original groovers "Freak Off" and "Crank Me Up", both tasty numbers, plus some mellow pop covers like "My Love" and "Daniel".
One of the best David Axelrod-assisted albums from the early 70s – a sweet batch of funky cuts with arrangements and backings handled by Axe, and loads of great keyboard lines from the legendary Hampton Hawes! The record really bubbles with the warm and soulful approach Axelrod was using at Fantasy – kind of a step off his stark modern sound at Capitol, but still done with just the right amount of space and appreciation of a funky rhythm. The great Carol Kaye is on bass, and Hawes plays some totally sweeeeeeeet electric keys on the set – really stretching out in ways that are different than some of his acoustic work of a few years before – yet still filled with the same rich sort of imagination. Titles include "Sierra Morena", "Go Down Moses", "Web", "Tune Axle Grease", and "C&H Sugar".
Supremely heavy work from organist Leon Spencer – one of his classic jazz funk sessions for Prestige Records, and a record that shows him opening up his sound a bit more than before! The album has Spencer working in a few different lineups – some with small groups that feature Melvin Sparks on guitar and Idris Muhammad on drums – others with some slightly larger instrumentation and even a bit of strings, used in a sophisticatedly soulful style that reminds us a bit of CTI or Kudu backings of the time!
Sublime Hammond from the amazing Leon Spencer – heard here at the height of his younger years, when he was cooking up as much magic in the studio as Johnny Hammond or Charles Earland – and really stretching things out, in ways that take the jazz organ format much farther than the giants of a decade before! The date's an all-out great one in the Prestige funky jazz mode – with Spencer on organ, Melvin Sparks on guitar, Grover Washington Jr on tenor, and Idris Muhammad on drums – a bit more subtle than before, but still plenty darn funky! Tracks are nice and long – and the record includes the originals "Louisiana Slim", "Our Love Will Never Die", "The Trouble With Love", and a cover of "Mercy Mercy Me".