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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby


kinda JAZZY kinda FUNKY

A collection of great soul jazz that puts you in a pleasure zone






  1. The Melvin Sparks Band - The Governor
  2. Papa John DeFrancesco - GFís Attitude
  3. Rodney Jones - Live Bait
  4. David fathead Newman - Off the Hook
  5. Joey DeFrancesco - The Cat
  6. Randy Johnson - The Hat Man
  7. Bill Heid - Peach Cobbler
  8. Houston Person - Sweet Sucker
  9. The Melvin Sparks Band - Another Joe

This is the second HighNote compilation I have had for review this month, and as with the former it left me wishing I could hear the whole of the albums that these tracks are taken from. HighNote have taken funky items from each album, but are the whole albums like that?

The opening track is a bright funk with some fine jazz organ from George Papageorge and some good guitar playing from Melvin Sparks the leader. The saxophone playing is not as good, particularly the freaky tenor playing, but the ensemble playing is neat.

and tidy. The same remarks would apply to track 2.

Track 3 is a bit different and Rodney Jonesís guitar playing is well worth listening to, but again the line up of instruments is pretty much the same on tracks 1 to 4 and they all sound similar.

Thankfully David Newmanís Group is the next one up and his Tenor/Vibraphone front line is much more pleasurable to my ears Brian Carrott is the Vibes player and there is some excellent Piano playing from Bruce Barth. Joey De Francescoís Trio on track 5, is helped along by having Randy Johnson on Guitar, but it is pretty well organ all the way. Randy Johnson takes on the leader mantle on track on track 6 and thankfully we are back to some great swinging jazz grooves! Joe Locke plays some fine vibes on this track.

Houston Personís fine Tenor sound is heard to good effect and once again thankfully the funk is once again not allowed to swamp the jazz content. The funk is back with a vengeance on track 9.

Just how much you enjoy this record will really depend on whether you are a jazz funk fan. I enjoyed the bits in between!

Don Mather


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