Soulful, Bluesy yet Modernistic ! ! !
Eddie Landsberg | Tokyo, Japan | 02/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It took a visit to Tokyo to pry this one off the shelves...
on that trip I also picked up some rare Freddie Roach and Babyface Willette, two other staples of the early-mid 60s Blue Note groove organ house bands Of all Big John's CDs, this June of '64 recording has to be one of his most soulful. The title track, says it all. Big John is a man of many moods... if you've ever met him, you'll realize that the many moods and emotions that pop up in his playing come deep from within... the end result is a rollercoaster ride of unpredictability, yet a lot of depth and soulfullness. Elements of Gospel and Blues mingle side by side with "cutting edge" modrnism/modalism (especially for that time), yet also and understanding of bebop and swing. The end result is a very off center type of funky soul Jazz... Coltrane-esque melodies find themselves layered over very bluesy, gospelly and swinging locks... even two chord grooves can take on a meld of their own. - - Finally, there's the "horn section" - - the tenor/trumpet combination give the album a much fresher and sharper sound than a lot of other albums at the time. - - Both Big John's Solos and Basslines are often quite orthodox, yet deely rooted in funk (as the term was used back that to denote earthy and soulful playing, as in the case of Herbie Hancock and Ramsey Lewis) and of course the blues. The players on this album seem exceptionally relaxed and comfortable with no hurry to go anywhere,yet when they do, you never know exactly what they have up their sleeve... genuine soulful, bluesy improv, minus the cliches ! ! ! And the personell are a dream team of groove, swing, blues and soul Jazz...Richard Williams - trumpet
Fred Jackson - tenor & Bariton Sax
Grant Green - guitar
John Patton - organ
and Ben Dixon - drums (who also appears on my upcoming REMEMBERING EDDIE JEFFERSON session w/ Giacomo Gates.)If you dig this CD, pray that Freddie Roach's Down To Earch CD finds its way back to the shelves."