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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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Funky Butt

Progressive PCD 7054



1. Jumpin’ at the Woodside

2. Satin Doll

3. Georgia on My Mind

4. Funky Butt

5. I Got Rhythm

6. September in the Rain

7. Isfahan

8. Radium Springs Swings

9. Jumpin’ at the Woodside take 1

10. Funky Butt Blues take 1

11. I Got Rhythm take 2

Arnett Cobb – Tenor sax

Derek Smith - Piano

Ray Drummond – Bass

Ronnie Bedford - Drums

One of the hard-blowing “Texas tenors”, Arnett Cobb threw himself into his playing, earning the title of “The Wild Man of the Tenor Sax”. The nickname is fully justified by the opening track here, a punchy version of Jumpin’ at the Woodside. British emigré Derek Smith provides swinging backing, as do Ray Drummond and Ronnie Bedford, the latter adding some steamy drum breaks.

Satin Doll reveals the smoother side of Arnett Cobb – at least, to start with, but the sound gradually becomes more rasping. Derek Smith’s half-chorus doubles the tempo. Arnett pours emotion into Georgia on My Mind. The title-track is a Cobb original – very bluesy and funky. Derek Smith’s solo emphasises the blues element. I Got Rhythm is taken at a furious pace, with Arnett’s tenor sax honking energetically.

A gentler but still assertive side is revealed in Isfahan, originally a feature for Johnny Hodges with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Derek Smith’s solo is masterly. There is something wrong with Radium Springs Swings, as it jumps about annoyingly in my hi-fi. Apart from this track, the recording quality is excellent. The last three tracks on the CD are alternate takes. This 1980 album is a gift for those who like their jazz swinging relentlessly, with a gutsy Texas tenor backed by a superb rhythm section.

Tony Augarde

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