Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Leon Spencer "Where I'm Coming From" Prestige

Tonight, a cut by Leon Spencer, "Where I'm Coming From", from the LP of the same name, released on Prestige in 1973. Yes, an album cut. This track features Virgil Jones (trumpet), Hubert Laws (flute), Sonny Fortune (alto sax), Dave Hubbard (tenor sax), Melvin Sparks (guitar), Buddy Caldwell (conga), Idris Muhammed (drums), and Leon Spencer on the organ. Some very capable players when it comes to laying down a serious groove.

What I like about this track is the groove is laidback, yet the drums are still so crisp. Right there in the bottom of the right head phone....balanced by the conga in the left. It's a real nice theme Leon works, with the horns coming in for support throughout. The first solo is Mr Law's, and the flute playing is so nice, it's damn near perfect. Leon does his organ solo next, and brings the playing up slightly, but not by much. Then everyone returns to the original theme. Everything is measured on this track, giving all over to the groove - no one plays too much or louder than anyone else, no one goes off anywhere else, just keep it tight.

Normally I shy away from jazz LPs, prefering my jazz condensed on 45s. Not with "Where I'm Coming From" - it doesn't seem longer than any jazz 45 I have. This track doesn't seem to be overplayed or too long, and consequently, I don't get lost in all the soloing. And the flute and the organ are two of my favorite instruments, so that helps. OK, one more listen...

Monday, April 04, 2005

Alvin Cash "The Getaway" Chess 2098

"The Getaway" came through the mail slot today. It is the last Alvin Cash 45 I needed to find, and it didn't seem to be particularly hard to get off e-bay, even though I haven't seen it listed in a while. And it does not disappoint. A straight-forward, mid-tempo, bass heavy, funk number, "The Getaway" is just how I like my funk: no need to rush, just get in the groove and burn. I like how the guitar player works with the horns to complements the groove, throwing in a chord before the horn plays their line. Nice. Play and replay that theme. They do work their way to a great headnodder break with some reverb on the drums. The finale picks up the pace, and the sound gets fuzzy - or at least it seems against the crispness of the instruments earlier on. Recommended.

"Saddle Up", the 'plug side', is basically a vocal version of "The Getaway" (even though they are minimal vocals), and the vocals actually remind me of "Stone Thing". Although nothing nowhere near as raw. I like how Alvin name checks the Godfather, saying "James Brown, ain't this funky now?". Yes it is, Alvin. Yes it is.

May have a few days of albums coming up. Just haven't been many 45s around as of late, but the LPs, I mean good LPs, seem to be showing up....