Hank Crawford / Jimmy McGriff: Road Tested
Road Tested opens and closes with two winners: Boyd's funky "Peanuts" (a carbon copy of "McGriffin" from McGriff's The Dream Team ) and the 24-bar blues of Crawford & McGriff's jam, "A Little Bit South of East St. Louis" (featuring Boyd's terrific Melvin Sparks-like solo). In between, it's a little more predictable. "Happy Feet" (credited to Crawford alone) reheats the overly-familiar "Night Train" theme, while "Hope That We Can Be Together Soon" and the sappy "For Sentimental Reasons" offer the requisite R&B covers. "I Only Have Eyes For You" and "Summertime" serve up the corn in ways that Crawford and McGriff have perfected over the years. But their surprising, soulful redux of John Coltrane's "Mr. P.C" is redeeming and worthwhile.
No Crawford / McGriff album is perfect (although I'd put money on their LRC work from the late 1970s, which was the disco music McGriff claims in this disc's liner notes he "just didn't feel"). But Road Tested offers some reliably soulful sounds and gotcha-groove for both fatback fans and acid-jazzers.
Track Listing: Peanuts; I Only Have Eyes For You; Happy Feet; For Sentimental Reasons; Caravan; Road Tested; Hope That We Can Be Together Soon; Mr. P.C.; Summertime; A Little Bit South Of East St. Louis.
Players:Hank Crawford: alto sax; Jimmy McGriff: Hammond X-B3 organ; Wayne Boyd: guitar; Bernard Purdie: drums.
Record Label: Fantasy Jazz