Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Pop
James Harrell McGriff is one of the more notable jazz organists to hail from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While McGriff has been working professionally since the very early '60s, he has been quite prolific of late, coleadin... more »
James Harrell McGriff is one of the more notable jazz organists to hail from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While McGriff has been working professionally since the very early '60s, he has been quite prolific of late, coleading a small combo with alto player Hank Crawford. On "Straight Up," McGriff is joined by veteran soul-jazzers like David "Fathead" Newman on tenor saxophone and Bernard "Pretty" Purdie on drums. Highlights here include a shuffling rendition of the Isley Brothers' classic "It's Your Thing," and Sonny Rollins's composition "Oleo." McGriff's bluesy organ style is energetic and often comes straight from his work with the church. Amid the covers and original tunes, McGriff and company also embrace standards like "It Had to Be You" and Johnny Mercer's beautiful ballad "Dream." --Mitch Myers
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Straight Up, over easy.
ADK | Royal Oak, Mi. United States | 03/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I like listening to Jimmy McGriff as well as some of the other clssic Hammond B-3 players. I have a couple of Jimmy's earlier recordings and then I have this one, Straight Up, which was released in 1998.
There is one major instrument factor that you must be aware of. Jimmy's organ here is a Hammond XB-3 exclusively which is a modern DIGITAL organ made of plastic and digital chips (and made in Japan). This is nothing like a classic B-3 tonewheel organ which is made of wood, metal, gears, oil and a classic B-3 will grind, groan, spin, spit and scream, it's the real thing. For the untrained ear this may not be noticable, but for us in the know a digital keyboard is no match for the original Hammond B-3. Perhaps this is what sets this album apart resulting in a unique alternative to Jimmy's catalog.
That being said the music here also has less "attitude" of Jimmy's earlier recordings but I find this collection very enjoyable nonetheless. It's more jazzy than funky, more fluid than punchy. The band consists of class A jazz veterans who cover the arrangments with taste and style. The solos are natural and appropriate, never blowhard or obtrusive.
The songs, as well as the whole collection, are filled with catchy and appealing melodies. The production is simple and straightforward with little or no appearant overdubbing at all.I bought this new when it was first released, with some reservation due to the only organ used being a digital one. But truth is I really enjoy Straight Up. It's unobtrusive and a pleasure to listen to. When I want to hear Jimmy grind the real Hammond B-3 that's when I put on his classic "The Honeydripper" recording.
But when I want to hear Jimmy and this great band in a more tastefully at-ease style that's when I play Straight Up."
Outstanding soul jazz
p dizzle | augusta, georgia, USA | 06/01/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"mr. mcgriff has been enjoying something of renaissance of late. he was one of the leading soul jazzmen of the 60s, playing his hammond b-3 with all the fire and funk of the best like lonnie liston smith, shirley scott, groove holmes, etc., eschewing the cerebral hardbop of larry young and jimmy smith (although mr. smith could get down and dirty). mr. mcgriff has resurrected the b-3 in the last ten years and this album is a great example of his new sound. it has blues, funk, soul, and, yes, even some great bop. the band is top-notch, too. who can resist a front line featuring BOTH fathead newman and frank wess?!! this album swings from the opening notes and carries it straight through to the end. the ballads burn down low, invitingly. this is a wonderful album!"