Twenty-five tracks round up an extremely haphazard but nevertheless intriguing "best of" Marc Bolan's last five years, drawing equally from the regular albums and familiar boogies, and the wealth of archival material excavated by the Unchained and Alternate series. Certainly not compiled with the hit hunter in mind (only "The Groover" and "Dreamy Lady" truly fall into that category), Very Best of, Vol. 2 is instead devoted to illustrating as many facets of Bolan's career as it could, from the pensive introspection of "Spaceball Ricochet," to the grinding self-aggrandizement of "The Groover," and onto the sharp autobiography of "Over the Flats" and "Funky London Childhood." As such, and especially when viewed in tandem with Very Best of, Vol. 1, it serves up a delightful portrait of Bolan's '70s, at a price that is difficult to squabble with.
Connecticut-born / New York-based Mike LeDonne, who divides his time these days between piano and organ, has begun to record more frequently on the Hammond B3, especially with his suitably named Groover Quartet which, according to Owen Cordle's liner notes to Keep the Faith, has been together now for more than a decade. And that's a good thing, as these gentlemen certainly know how to groove, and do so with abandon on an album recorded roughly a year after the quartet's well-received The Groover.
1975 was a hell of a year for Creed Taylor's Kudu Records. Not only was the mighty, mighty Feels So Good album by Grover Washington, Jr. released, but so was saxophonist Hank Crawford's Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing. It was one of two recordings issued by Crawford for the label in that calendar year. But perhaps the most deeply satisfying and out of character album from that year was the absolute soul-jazz masterpiece Upchurch/Tennyson by Chicago guitar god Phil Upchurch and pianist/vocalist Tennyson Stephens. Where else can you find tracks by Bob James, Charles Stepney, Stevie Wonder, Ralph MacDonald, and Franz Schubert on the same album played by a cast of musicians that includes Steve Gadd, David Sanborn, Hubert Laws, James, Upchruch, Stephens, and a slew of others.