Ed Cherry: The Spirits Speak
You won’t get an argument from anyone when it comes to the company that Cherry keeps. Organist Lonnie Smith and drummer Nasheet Waits hold down the fort, with saxophonist Joe Ford fronting things as a lead voice. There’s really little need for going into detail about individual tracks. With a large number of Cherry’s originals making up the program, the moods are varied and inspired. Inclined to make some sort of recommendation, a clear highlight has to be the electric twang of “Woo!/Sharrock,” where Cherry plays homage to the late Sonny Sharrock. Normally a mellower player with a single note style that recalls the approach of Grant Green, Cherry turns up the distortion on this one and rocks out.
Vocalist Laird Jackson appears on a version of Horace Silver’s “Peace” and her own “Share a Life.” While she doesn’t embarrass herself, she also doesn’t necessarily present anything of any great significance to the proceedings. That reservation aside, Cherry adds yet another solid effort to his meager discography and makes another bid for wider recognition.
Track Listing: Little Girl-Big Girl, The Spirits Speak, Top Hat, Woo!/Sharrock, Peace, Joe's Thing, Lennox Avenue-1 AM, Share a Life
Personnel: Ed Cherry (guitar), Joe Ford (saxophones), Lonnie Smith (organ), Nasheet Waits (drums), Laird Jackson (vocals on 4 & 8 only)