CD Straight Up [Jimmy McGriff] (CD 198350),
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Straight Up [Jimmy McGriff]

  • 1. Doin' My Thing
    2. It Had to Be You
    3. Straight Up
    4. Blues for the Baby Grand
    5. It's Your Thing
    6. Dream
    7. Brother Griff
    8. Oleo
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 9285

  • Credits
    ProducerBob Porter
    EngineerRudy VanGelder

    Personnel: Jimmy McGriff (Hammond X-B3 organ); Rodney Jones, Wayne Boyd (guitar); Frank Wess, David "Fathead" Newman (tenor saxophone, flute); Bernard Purdie (drums).
    Personnel: Wayne Boyd, Rodney Jones (guitar); David "Fathead" Newman , Frank Wess (flute, tenor saxophone); Bernard "Pretty" Purdie (drums).
    Liner Note Author: Pete Fallico.
    Recording information: Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, NJ (05/18/1998-05/19/1998).
    Photographer: John Abbott .
    Soul-jazz per se may have had its heyday 30 years prior to this session, but McGriff proves once again that it's never too late to come up with a good record in this vein. And "good" is understating it; this is a truly great soul-jazz session, possibly the best of McGriff's end-of-the-century renaissance up to this date. The players -- perennial burner Bernard Purdie, the twin tenor threat of David "Fathead" Newman and Frank Wess, a fine pair of rhythm and solo guitars, Rodney Jones and Wayne Boyd -- seemed especially on their toes for this one. "Doin' My Thing" opens things with a cool, block-party groove on the truckin' Purdie shuffle; you'll think it can't get much better than this, but the gang cranks up the shuffle for another six unstoppable minutes on the ironically named "Blues for Baby Grand." Perhaps best of all is the bubbling street funk of the Isley Brothers' "It's Your Thing," a tune that folks like Booker T. & the MG's and Lou Donaldson once grooved on, now taken to glorious lengths by McGriff and Fathead. The disc as a whole is extremely well-paced; Newman and Wess switch to flutes on the title track, creating an unusually airy overcurrent to the traditional fatback soul-jazz sounds, and "It's Your Thing" is cooled off by Johnny Mercer's "Dream." The organ McGriff uses is a latter-day Hammond/Suzuki X-B3, a wee bit thin-sounding by the traditional B-3 benchmark, but not enough to get in any of the players' ways, or yours. A keeper. ~ Richard S. Ginell

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