"This thing cooks!" (Rob Klotz)
G. McCoy | Kansas City, MO | 01/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm elated that this record is available again after being out of print for a while. Don't pigeonhole it in the 'organ-snooze-formula' category, this one's a real gem. It isn't really a bop album, it's really a bunch of upbeat jazz-inflected R&B jams that feature the organ, but each melody instrument gets a solo turn here and there. The sidemen on the date are a perfectly-blended collection of guitar, sax, and rhythm, and they (and terrific tunes) make this a winner. There are several upbeat tracks and a couple of slow-burners, but overall the songs are pretty strong, and in my opinion that's the key to making a solid record. It's an excellent recording, and the only weak point is the lame 'Moonlighting Theme' cover, which is just a lousy song. But don't hold it against this record. This is very-well executed, soulful, instrumental groove music, and it's just plain fun. If you like instrumental jazz and/or r&b, give this one a chance. I don't think you'll be disappointed."
Mighty Burnin' comeback on the Hammond B-3!
Terje Biringvad | Oslo, Norway | 10/12/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After three good selling albums on Columbia Records in the beginning on the '80's playing electronic keyboards in the smooth / disco jazz vein, followed by a five years self-imposed hiatus from performance and recording , Charles Earland returned to recording playing the Hammond B-3 for Milestone Records with the 1988 album "Front Burner". This thanks to producer Bob Porter (a jazz organ aficionado), who made the decisive phone call to Earland, as he did in 1969 when he signed Earland to Prestige. "Front Burner" has all the Earland trademarks playing jazz organ - cookin' soul jazz and hard bop, predictable organ licks and solos, imaginative left-hand bass lines using high quality sidemen in sextet format. With trumpeter Virgil Jones, Bill Easley on tenor/soprano, guitarist Bobby Broom, drummer Buddy Williams and occasionally Frank Colon on conga, Earland gives us an interesting entry to his composing world with memorable swinging tunes. The highlights' are "I Will Always Love Her" and "Gospel Time" - tune you can easly whistle when showering. Guitarist Bobby Broom is an interesting pairing with Earland on this album - an underrated guitarist with great chops and technique.
Charles Earland was not the most imaginative jazz organist out there, but he'll be remembered as a great band leader that made organ combos burn!"