Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Legends of Acid Jazz
Genres: Jazz, Pop, R&B
Listen to Samples
Good but not essential
FlatpickingJD | California, USA | 06/05/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First, note that none of the titles available in the Prestige Legends of Acid Jazz series are truly acid jazz. Many may fit better as soul jazz typical of the 1960s. I'm not sure why Prestige called the titles Acid Jazz, but they've kept some very good but obscure artists on disc that might otherwise have been ignored. This title is no different, though I might even question calling it soul jazz because it's really more straightforward jazz than any other style. And, anyway, can you truly call something either acid jazz or soul jazz when it includes strings?
This CD is a combination of 2 previously released titles, "The Black Cat!" and "You Talk That Talk!" For those interested, the lineup on the first 6 tracks are Ammons (ts), George Freeman (g); Harold Mabern (p and electric piano); Idris Muhammad (d), and Ron Carter (b). On the next 6 tracks, add Sonny Stitt (ts) and Leon Spencer (o), and delete Mabern and Carter. The last 2 tracks are Ammons, Don Patterson (o), Paul Weeden (g) and Billy James (d).
As mentioned before, this album is pretty much straight ahead, blues based jazz, particularly the selections with Mabern and Patterson. The Spencer group moved closer to the soul or funky jazz sound. Ammons' playing is strong throughout. The single complaint I have about these sessions is the guitar work. Freeman's solos seem truly out of place and not in keeping with the sound, style or tempo of the pieces chosen. However, he does good work as a rhythm guitarist on the jazz standards like "Body and Soul" found here (track 8).
This is a fine album, but not an essential one. It's enjoyable and good listening. The strings used on 2 tracks are pretty cheesy (including a cover of "Something"), but it was a sign of the times when recorded and the songs are fairly short. If you're looking for completeness in either Ammons' or Sonny Stitt's performances, purchase this disc. If you're looking for a more representative sample of Ammons' work, consider titles such as Boss Tenor, Gentle Jug, or Blue Gene."
A masterpiece! - Why hasn't this been reviewed before???
Bruce J. Smith | Iowa | 07/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought the album "You Talk That Talk" back in the early 70's and I
still listen to this cd at least every week.
I contend that "You Talk That Talk" is a perfect artistic work, and it
is paired with the album "the Black Cat!", which has 4 great tracks, but
also 2 rather campy string arrangement tracks.
I am still figuring out Gene Ammons' playing. He has an unusual
phrasing style, rhythmically and harmonically. Unlike Stitt, he does not resolve his phrases until the end of solo, building lots of emotional tension along the way. His approach of the blues is more unpredictable than the school of Grover Washington who led to the smooth jazz movement. Ammons was a very popular performer, but was an original who never used cliches. In my opinion, this was Stitt's best work. Stitt was also a true original, despite the uninformed Bird comparisons. He shines here and even the varitone is very cool.
The songs choices are wonderful on "You Talk That Talk", and on
"the Black Cat!", Ammons has some very unique originals.
I could write much more, but to finish - thank you Bob Porter for producing such wonderful records.