A lost chapter of genius from vibes player Billy Wooten – and a great one too! The set's a rare outing with Hammond giant Groove Holmes – laid out nicely here in a quartet setting that offers up plenty of Billy's great vibes mixed with the organ – in a mode that's very different than anything else Wooten ever recorded, and which really takes us back to the best soul jazz years of 60s Prestige Records! The group also features great tenor from Jimmy Coe – a player we don't really know at all – and drums from Jozell Carter, who works nicely with the rhythms from Holmes' work on the Hammond. Titles include "Blue Bossa", "Bags", "Groove's Blues", "It's A Groove Thing", and "I Remember April."
Of all of organist Jimmy Smith's big-band albums recorded for Verve, this is one of the most imaginative ones. Oliver Nelson arranged a variety of themes from Prokofiev's Peter & the Wolf into a swinging suite featuring the great organist Jimmy Smith. Although there is no verbal narrative on this LP, Nelson's liner notes tell the story (which can actually be followed through the music) and Smith pays respect to the original melodies while making strong statements of his own. A classic of its kind.
Between 1976 and 1979, Jimmy McGriff was often featured in the disco-style productions of Groove Merchant house arranger Brad Baker. The records usually surrounded the great organist with a huge army of studio musicians, big horn sections, string parts and often heard McGriff playing keyboards other than organ. THE MEAN MACHINE, from 1976, was the first of these productions and McGriff doesn't even play organ here.