The list of heavyweights who join George Duke on 1975's I Love the Blues: She Heard My Cry is impressive – some of the participants include Johnny "Guitar" Watson, singer Flora Purim, percussionist Airto Moreira, guitarist Lee Ritenour, drummer Leon "Ndugu" Chancler, and guitarist George Johnson (of Brothers Johnson fame). With such a cast, one would expect this 1975 LP to be outstanding, which it isn't. But it's a respectable effort that thrives on diversity.
8 tracks, 32 minutes and no filler in sight. This funk/soul/ gem was released at the height of the disco era but doesn't sound dated, trite or embarrassing as so many LP's from that period do. Quincy Jones' pristine production along with top-notch studio players ensure consistent quality and some of the deepest, funkiest grooves on record.
Although they were nearly a decade on from their '70s heyday, the Brothers Johnson, with Leon Sylvers at the production helm, still managed to set a few grooves on fire among the heavy, heady crop of synthesized R&B that flooded the adult contemporary market. There's an interesting interplay between the strong bass and vocals, supported by a smattering of guitar and a markedly slow tempo, which ensured that the single "You Keep Me Coming Back" would power into the R&B Top 20.
Unlike most of the soprano blowers out there in the pop-jazz market, Howard avoids the "Fuzak" plague, and keeps a stronghold on his R&B roots. At the same, time, Howard's 1992 CD stays away from the vocal-dominated tracks, which pop up all the more frequently in this genre. A solid, masterful set of funk/fusion.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Comes with liner notes. While the phenomenal success of George Benson’s Breezin’ (1976) album may have fattened his wallet; it led the guitarist down a path that dismayed jazz critics worldwide. Indeed, the bulk of Benson’s albums over the past 20 years have featured considerably less jazz and, unfortunately, more pop. Not so with The George Benson Cookbook (1966). This sizzling CD features the then young, hotshot string-picker on 14 swingin’ bebop/soul-jazz tracks. Benson kicks things off in rapid fashion with the aptly titled, "The Cooker." Not only does this track feature blazing licks from Benson, but baritone saxophonist Ronnie Cuber and organist Lonnie Smith also weigh in with tasty solos.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Comes with liner notes. George Benson's first LP for Columbia – a hard, heavy, soul jazz slammer that bears no resemblance to his overproduced work of the 70s! The album's a real cooker – recorded hot on the heels of Benson's classic work on Prestige with the Jack McDuff group, and sounding a lot like McDuff's hard wailing organ jazz of the same time. George is working with a group that features a young Lonnie Smith on organ, plus Blue Mitchell on trumpet, Ronnie Cuber on sax, and Charlie Persip on drums – all tightly coming together, and jamming hard on the album's short cooking tracks. Tracks include "Clockwise", "Jaguar", "Hello Birdie", and "Bullfight". Plus, the CD adds five bonus tracks, including "Sideman", "Minor Chant", and the previously unreleased "J.H. Bossa Nova" and "Clockwise (Alternate Take)".