Recorded in 1973 as a foray away from the Modern Jazz Quartet, Milt Jackson's second entry on the CTI label is also one of its highlights. This is one of Creed Taylor's finest productions both in terms of material and sidemen. Drummer Steve Gadd, flutist Hubert Laws, bassist Ron Carter, and pianist Cedar Walton accompany Jackson on the majority of the album. Indeed, Jackson's ability to swing funky is evidenced to delightful extremes on "Old Devil Moon," with a rolling cymbal shakeout from Gadd, whose rim shots and tempo-pushing musculature are a sharp contrast to those of the MJQ's Connie Kay. Likewise, Laws, whose playing is usually over the top, stays inside melodic nuances here and provides Jackson with an essential harmonic foil. And Ron Carter is playing throughout with a popping edge he never had before or since.
Idris Muhammad's House of the Rising Sun is a legendary soul-jazz album, and for good reason. First there's the fact that, Grady Tate notwithstanding, Idris Muhammad is easily the greatest of all soul-jazz drummers. Next, it is revealed that label boss and producer Creed Taylor was at his most inspired here, and wasn't afraid to err on the rhythm and blues side of the jazz equation. The material is top-notch, and David Matthews, who orchestrated and arranged this date with the exception of one track – "Sudan" was written by Muhammad and Tom Harrell, and Harrell arranged it – was on fire. As a bandleader, Muhammad is shockingly effective. Not because one could ever doubt his ability, but because of his reputation as one of the great studio drummers in jazz.
Stanley Turrentine's stint with Creed Taylor's CTI label may not have produced any out-and-out classics on the level of the very best LPs by Freddie Hubbard, Hubert Laws, or George Benson, but the bluesy tenorist's output was consistently strong and worthwhile for all but the most stridently anti-fusion listeners. Salt Song was Turrentine's second album for CTI, and while it's perhaps just a small cut below his debut Sugar, it's another fine, eclectic outing that falls squarely into the signature CTI fusion sound: smooth but not slick, accessible but not simplistic. In general, keyboardist Eumir Deodato's arrangements have plenty of light funk and Brazilian underpinnings, the latter often courtesy of percussionist Airto Moreira.
With the Skylark "experiment" behind him, Paul Desmond reverted back to the relaxed quartet format that suited him well in the past. The reason? Through Jim Hall, he found a little-known, splendid guitarist in Toronto named Ed Bickert who became his new gigmate in 1974, and this album was meant to show his discovery off. In fact, it sparked a Desmond renaissance where he regained a good deal of the witty spark and erudite cool of his collaborations with Hall, no matter how unfashionable it was to play this way in 1974.
Quite an unusual album from Grant Green – a record that's quite different than his earlier records for Blue Note, but still pretty darn great overall! Grant's working here in a large group – Kudu style – with arrangements by David Matthews, but a sound that's still pretty lean overall! There's a fair bit of great players in the lineup – including Jon Faddis on trumpet, Hubert Laws on flute, and Joe Farrell on tenor – and the horns soar out nicely to set the scene over some tightly stepping backings – all served up with plenty of room for Grant to solo spaciously on guitar! The title track – "The Main Attraction" – is nearly 20 minutes long – and the other two tracks, "Creature" and "Future Feature", both approach the 10 minute mark themselves!
Autophysiopsychic is probably the single album that many Yusef Lateef fans either love or hate the most. Along with guest soloist Art Farmer on flugelhorn, guitarist Eric Gale, keyboardist Cliff Carter, drummer Jim Madison and bassist Gary King (except for "Sister Mamie," which features Steve Gadd and Alex Blake respectively), "Teefski" romps through five fat slices of original funk that have far more in common with the sounds of Chocolate City than with the bop sounds of 52nd Street. Autophysiopsychic is awash in the soft soul-funk-jazz sound typical of Creed Taylor's (CTI) productions in the 1970s.
Akira Jimbo, also seen as Akira Jinbo (神保 彰 Jimbo Akira), born February 27, 1959 in Tokyo, Japan) is a Japanese freelance jazz fusion drummer who is famous for his drumming independence and fusion of electronic drum technology and acoustic drums. Aside from his solo work, he is also the drummer in the Japanese jazz fusion band Casiopea and has participated in various side projects with other musicians, including Keiko Matsui, Shambara, bassist Brian Bromberg. He is the main product presenter of Yamaha Drums Japan.
One of Lonnie Smith's rarest albums – and one of the most obscure records on the landmark Kudu label! The set is one of Smith's most far-reaching from the 70s – a bit in the mode of his earlier records for Blue Note, but with a slightly sweeter quality that shows the shift to Kudu – where Lonnie's Hammond had lost none of its grooving power!
Reissue features the high-fidelity Blu-spec CD format (compatible with standard CD players) and the latest remastering. Smooth and silky jazz funk from trombonist Urbie Green – a record that's much more in a mainstream R&B fusion mode than his earlier work – yet also arranged by David Matthews in a soulful style that still keeps things pretty real on the best cuts! The group's a good one for the mellow groove of the material – and includes Mike Mainieri on keyboards, Eric Gale on guitar, Jeremy Steig on flute, and Toots Thielemans laying down a bit of harmonica – all kicking back in classic 70s CTI styles. Titles include the nice modal groover "Mertensia", plus "Manteca", "Foxglove Suite", "Another Star", and "Goodbye".
Reissue features the high-fidelity Blu-spec CD format (compatible with standard CD players) and the latest remastering. Exposing a jazz purist to most recordings involving Fonce and Larry Mizell is much like shoving a vampire into daylight. Gambler's Life, the first of two Johnny "Hammond" Smith albums featuring the brothers' ambitious handiwork, isn't an exception. Watch a purist seek shelter in his dank cave whenever this album is within earshot. Smith switches to Fender Rhodes for most of the material, and the Mizells bring their ARPs, spirited if unpolished group vocal arrangements, wah-wah guitars, and soaring instrumental arrangements made to shine on the dancefloor. Strong throughout, the album runs as efficiently and as sweetly as any other groove-heavy album of its time.