Jimmy McGriff – Soul Sugar & Groove Grease (1971)

Jimmy McGriff
Soul Sugar / Goove Grease
Two albums both released 1971 on Groove Merchant
Reissue on Groove Hut Records 2007 (GH66704)
McGriff

1 Sugar Sugar
2 Ain’t It Funky Now
3 Signed Sealed Delivered I’m Yours
4 Dig on It
5 Bug Out
6 Now Thing
7 You’re the One
8 Fat Cakes
9 New Volume
10 Spirit in the Dark

McGriff

11 Groove Grease
12 Bird
13 Plain Brown Bag
14 There Will Never Be Another You
15 Canadian Sunset
16 Mr Lucky
17 Moonglow
18 Red Sails in the Sunset
19 Secret Love

I think the only way these two records could make me happier is if they opened up with a soul version of “Yummy Yummy Yummy I’ve Got Love in My Tummy.” Since it does not I suppose I can accept “Sugar Sugar” in its place. If this disc was any more fun it would be illegal. Before Jimmy Smith thought of covering pop and soul hits with marvelously funky results, Jimmy McGriff was already laying down cuts to make the jazz purists wince while turning up their erudite noses. McGriff didn’t care and doesn’t seem to have been restrained by such labels, often positioning himself as more of a blues player anyway. I have been meaning to do a post here about another fabulous Groove Merchant disk he did with soul-blues singer Junior Parker that is just amazing. All in good time, even though I’ve been thinking about doing that post for over a year now…

Since a great deal of songs on these two albums are all-instrumental covers of hit songs, you can feel free to use it at your next karaoke party. That is if you are not only prepared to tread the same musical ground as James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Sly Stone, and Aretha Franklin, but also spar with the infectious chops of Mr. McGriff. My guess is that he will upstage you. But feel free to give it a go.

A glance at the lineup on these two platters may not cause any names to jump out at some of you. But his musicians here all have a pretty impressive pedigree, having played with the likes of Nina Simone, Eric Dolphy, Ahmad Jamal, Art Tatum, Stan Getz, Pharoah Sanders, B.B.King, Lonnie Liston Smith, Lonnie Smith, Charles Earland, among others and many more. Particularly noteworthy is bassist Richard Davis who just dominates these two albums like the monster he was. He sometimes plays with a phasor enevelope-follower effect on his bass that adds a nice subtle twist to his tone.

Both albums also have fabulously tacky blaxploitation jackets, the better to arouse you with.

Weird side note: according to a friend of mine, the first three tracks of Groove Grease on this reissue are HDCD encoded. Although it’s not uncommon to find HDCD coding on discs that don’t mention it on the packaging, it is somewhat mysterious why they would encode three tracks and stop. I actually have an HDCD player packed away in a storage shed full of audio gear but I am not about to drag it out to verify this. I will take my friend’s word for it, and pass it on to you for what it’s worth.

I think anybody with a pulse will find themselves enjoying this music. And I promise I will have that collaboration with Junior Parker here before the year is out..

McGriff

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Baden Powell – Swings with Jimmy Pratt (1963)

“Baden Powell Swings with Jimmy Pratt”
Elenco ME-4, 1963

Musicians: Baden Powell (git)
Jorge “Jorginho” Ferreira da Silva, Copinha (fl)
Moacir Santos (sax, vcl)
Sandoval (cl)
Sergio Barroso (b)
Jimmy Pratt (dr)
Rubem Bassini (perc)
unknown piano playerProduction: Aloysio de Oliveira
Direction: Jimmy Pratt
Production Manager: Peter Keller
Studio: Philips of Brasil
Sound Engineer: Norman Sternberg
Recording Technician: Celio Martins
Cover Layout: Cesar G. Villela
Photos: Francisco Pereira

Guitar Model: Author 3 by luthier Reinaldo DiGiorgio

Also issued as: Developments (LP, 1970)
O Mestre do Violao Brasileiro (CD-Box, 2003)

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Flabbergasted Vinyl Transfer Specs:

Original Elenco (ME-4) pressing -> Pro-Ject RM-5SE turntable / Sumiko Blue Point 2 cartridge / Pro-Ject Speedbox power supply -> Creek OBH-18 MM Phono Preamp -> M-Audio Audiophile 2496 soundcard. Recorded at 24-bit / 96 khz resolution to Audacity. Click Repair on very light settings to remove some clicks and popsm, some manual click removal using Audition. Track splitting in Adobe Audition 3.0. Dithered to 16-bit using iZotope M-Bit noise-shaping. Converted to FLAC and mp3 using DbPoweramp. ID tags done with Foobar2000.

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I don’t know anything about Jimmy Pratt other than he plays the skins on a whole bunch of jazz records from the 40s and 50s, having done sessions with Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Oscar Pettiford, Bud Shank, and Anita O’Day. Busy guy. But this record may be one of the most famous he played on. Partly because he essentially receives co-billing on the marquee with Baden. But also he was, in a way, in the right place at the right time to really connect with the Bossa Nova explosion.

From the back cover:

“When the drummer Jimmy Pratt was in Brazil accompanying Caterina Valente, he heard Baden play guitar like everyone that was exposed to Baden’s art, he was profoundly enthusiastic. The enthusiasm provoked the idea for this recording. And from the recording was also born a friendship and mutual admiration between the two artists. ‘Baden Powell Swings with Jimmy Pratt’ is a tribute from Baden to his friend and American colleague.” – Aloysio de Oliveira

The observent among might notice Mr. Pratt apparently did not make the photo session for the album or else closely guards his image against potential feitiço and witchcraft.. He is absent from the shots taken in the recording studio, unless we are looking at the back of his head in the shot where Vinicius de Moraes appears for no particular reason — it’s an instrumental record bereft of his lovely lyrics, he didn’t play anything, and he only has a writing credit on the very first tune, ‘Deve Ser Amor.’ Anyway, I find it amusing.

In the photo to the right of this we see Baden playing into a Neumann U-87 microphone, and looking like he wants to walk into the control room and slap somebody. I’m not sure why because it’s a great-sounding recording.

Fantastic playing from everyone involved, including Moacir Santos who contributes his own compositions, Coisas No.1 and Coisas No.2. It`s the clarinet, however, that really slays me on this record: while doing the vinyl transfer and processing, I swear I listened to Coisas No.1 about ten times in a row at one point. When you hear it you will know why. There is nothing groovier on earth.

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Grant Green – Live at Club Mozambique (1971)

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Only Idris Muhammad and Ronnie Foster are held over from the famous line-up “Alive!” record from the previous year, but this one is featuring Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on sax, so how can you go wrong?! The absence of vibes and percussion means the band sheds a little texture, but the resulting lean sound is its own reward.Log, cue, m3u, artwork, and ham sandwich included!

 

Release Date Jul 18, 2006
Studio/Live Studio
Mono/Stereo Stereo
Producer Francis WolffAlign Center
Engineer Ed Greene
Personnel Ronnie Foster – organ
Grant Green – guitar
Idris Muhammad – drums
Houston Person – tenor saxophone
Clarence Thomas – sopranino saxophone, tenor saxophonePersonnel: Grant Green (guitar); Clarence Thomas (sopranino saxophone, tenor saxophone); Houston Person (tenor saxophone); Ronnie Foster (organ); Idris Muhammad (drums).Mojo (Publisher) (p.127) – 4 stars out of 5 — “Guitarist and band deliver a bonanza of funk-fuelled jazz grooves.”

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By Norman Weinstein at allaboutjazz dot com

This is some apotheosis of both jazz-funk and Grant Green, just when you thought Blue Note was practicing overexposure by adding yet another Green disk to last year’s three discs worth of funky compilations. But this live session, which spent 35 years in the vault, transcends all previous Grant Green funk sessions by a mile.

A lot of the credit has to go to the pluperfect chemistry of the band. Green may have been Blue Note’s most erratic artist of the ’60s and ’70s, but the key to his best work involved matching him with a drummer who kept him steady and on-task. Art Blakey did this for the bop-flavored Green, and Idris Muhammad did it during his funk period. Muhammad enlivened a lot of other Green sessions, though, so part of the magic of this gem needs to be explained by the fiery tenor saxophonist Houston Person and the totally obscure but piercing soprano saxophonist Clarence Thomas, perhaps woodshedding to get through law school (just kidding).

The eight tunes are nothing special, often one or two-chord pieces that the band dances around with uncanny creativity. “Walk On By” seems an odd tune in this context, but maybe the lyrics touched some sappy sentimentality in Green’s heart. No matter. The musicians ruthlessly rip into it until they sound like a house band at a fundraiser for the ’71 Oakland, California Black Panthers. The crowd, however, sounds comatose, which is perhaps a plus, since a rowdy, drunk audience might have interfered with hearing the tasty licks.

The title of the final track sums up Grant Green’s career as well as this generously programmed 76-minute funk fest: “I Am Somebody.” I think it took Green a lot of years to figure out the somebody he was. This recording is evidence that at the end of his life, he did find his truest musical identity. He was a fierce funk improviser, and no studio session caught the fire—but this live session does.
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From Dusty Groove

A rare funky treasure — lost live material from Grant Green’s hippest years at Blue Note — presented here for the first time ever ! The set’s an incredibly smoking one — with loads of long tracks that really stretch out in a hard-hitting, bottom-heavy funky mode — no surprise, considering that Idris Muhammad’s on drums, as part of a lineup that also includes Ronnie Foster, Houston Person, and Clarence Thomas! The groove here is a bit more Prestige jazz funk than Blue Note — the kind of rough-edged and spontaneous vibe that Rusty Bryant, Leon Spencer, and others cooked up during the early 70s on some of their best classics for that label — but Green’s a perfect person to catch the spirit of that wildfire, and jams long and nicely here on 8 tracks that include “Farid”, “Jan Jan”, “One More Chance”, “Patches”, “I Am Somebody”, “More Today Than Yesterday”, “Bottom Of The Barrel”, and “Walk On By”.
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For much more by Grant Green, see the stellar and truly flabbergasting labor of love that is the Blaxploitation Jive website for a Grant Green discography here

Leny Andrade – Estamos Aí (1965)

Happy Birthday to Flabbergasted Vibes! We are 1 years old!!

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Leny Andrade
“Estamos Aí”
Released 1965 on CID/ODEONProduced by Milton Miranda
Orchestral arrangements by Eumir Deodato

1-Estamos aí
(Regina Werneck – Maurício Einhorn – Durval Ferreira)
2-A resposta
(Paulo Sergio Valle – Marcos Valle)
3-Pot-pourri:
• Deixa o morro cantar
(Tito Madi)
• O morro não tem vez
(Tom Jobim-Vinicius de Moraes)
• Opinião
(Zé Keti)
• Enquanto a tristeza não vem
(Sergio Ricardo)
• Reza
(Edu Lobo-Ruy Guerra)
4-Clichê
(Maurício Einhorn – Durval Ferreira)
5-Olhando o mar
(Ronaldo Soares – Arthur Verocai)
6-Banzo
(Odilon Olyntho – Marcos Valle)
7-Samba de rei
(Pingarilho – Marcos de Vasconcellos)
8-Tema feliz
(Regina Werneck – Durval Ferreira)
9-Razão de viver
(Paulo Sergio Valle – Eumir Deodato)
10-Esqueça não
(Tito Madi)
11-Samba em Paris
(Nelsinho)
12-Coisa nuvem
(Roberto Nascimento – Victor Freire)

Recorded when she was only 22 years old, this record is what one might call a “powerhouse.” Not only is she performing compositions by a stable-full of the great songwriters of bossa nova — Tito Madi, Marcos Valle, Jobim & Vinicius, Edu Lobo / Ruy Guerra, Zé Keti, and the still under-appreciated Arthur Verocai — she is also one of the most energetic and sophisticated vocalists of the genre. In particular she brings an incredible jazz sensibility and ferocious scat singing to many of these songs. Just last weekend I had the privilege of watching her perform with Roberto Menescal, and was blown away by her phrasing, her scat improvisation, and her voice that is still in top notch shape. Leny Andrade has a place among the greatrdy jazz singers of North America. This record is a delight from start to finish. If you ever have some unlightened person in your house, your apartment, or your car who refers to bossa nova as “elevator music,” put on this record and they will shut the hell up.
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bio from allbrazilianmusic

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Leny Andrade began studying the piano at the age of six. Later on, she sang on radio shows for amateur performers and won a scholarship to study at the Brazilian Conservatory of Music. At 15, Leny debuted as a professional singer as crooner of Permínio Gonçalves’ Orchestra. Subsequently, she performed at the nightclubs Bacará (with Sergio Mendes trio) and Bottle’s Bar. In 1965 she caught the public’s attention with the show “Gemini V”, performing with Pery Ribeiro and Bossa Três at the nightclub Porão 73, and released the live recording of that show. After a successful tour round Argentina, Leny moved to Mexico, where she lived for 5 years. In the 70’s, she made albums that mixed samba with avant-garde music, like “Alvoroço” (73) and “Leny Andrade” (75). In 1979, through Columbia, Leny recorded the LP “Registro”, returning to samba-jazz, a music style that Leny has always mastered.

Performing with renowned artists like Dick Farney, Luiz Eça, Wagner Tiso, Eumir Deodato, Francis Hime, Gilson Peranzzetta and João Donato, Leny Andrade established herself as the best Brazilian jazz singer, due to her outstanding ability to improvise. In the 80’s and 90’s, she divided her time between Brazil and the U.S., where she made several samba-jazz records, including classics like “Luz Neon”, for Eldorado. Leny also paid tribute to samba composers like Cartola and Nelson Cavaquinho. Some of her discs include the songs by composers like Cesar Camargo Mariano (“Nós”), Cristóvão Bastos (“Letra & Música/Tom Jobim) and Romero Lubambo (“Coisa Fina”). Leny also recorded a CD of American standards shaped as bossa nova (“Embraceable You”).

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