275

Charles Earland: Black Drops

Derek Taylor By

Sign in to view read count
“The Mighty Burner” isn’t the kind of moniker bestowed on just any man. Charles Earland earned it by cultivating one of the grittiest and greasiest organ attacks of the early Seventies. His skills behind the B-3 are in full effect on this smoldering slab of fusion-laced funk from '70. Regular sidemen like Pruden and Jones take their place beside surprise reed wild card Jimmy Heath in the horn frontline and dig into an eclectic set of standards from the jazz, pop and obligatory funk spheres. On the opening flame out foray through Sly Stone’s “Sing a Simple Song,” rhythmic suspensions fuel tight interplay between Parker’s chicken scratch fretwork and the leader’s oily lubrication of the melody. Turner sounds slightly possessed behind his kit, reeling off the backbeats and rising press rolls with forceful swinging sticks. Grunts and shouts sound above the grooving din.



The ballad “Don’t Say Goodbye” bleeds off much of the intensity, but it retains the underlying funk thanks chiefly to Turner’s fluid beats. Parker’s ensuing Spanish-inflected solo serves as centerpiece, and it’s a statement that references more than a little early Santana in its fruition. Trane’s “Lazy Bird” offers a different tack and the band devours the hard bop staple in a manner faithful to the composer’s original reading on Blue Train. Heath is the center of attention throughout a melodically charged solo that sails above Earland’s fat comping. Jones brassy phrases follow suit and offer a crisp contrast. Funk returns at full muster on the Earland original “Letha” that sounds at once anthemic and groove-suffused. Counterpoint is king on this cut and the quick overlays and interplay are one of the most satisfying aspects of the entire album. Overall the feeling is more of a live concert than a studio date, testament to both Earland’s energy and his ability at inspiring his men to turn things up a notch. Acid jazz antiquarians are strongly advised to seek this album out.



Fantasy on the web: http://www.fantasyjazz.com




Track Listing: Sing a Simple Song/ Don

Personnel: Charles Earland- organ; Virgil Jones- trumpet; Jimmy Heath- tenor & soprano saxophones; Clayton Pruden- trombone; Maynard Parker- guitar; Jimmy Turner- drums. Recorded: June 1, 1970, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

Title: Black Drops | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Prestige Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read A Night Walking Through Mirrors CD/LP/Track Review A Night Walking Through Mirrors
by Barry Witherden
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Jondo CD/LP/Track Review Jondo
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Jazz Flute Traditions CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Flute Traditions
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Nerve Dance CD/LP/Track Review Nerve Dance
by John Sharpe
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Déjà Vu CD/LP/Track Review Déjà Vu
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts CD/LP/Track Review Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 20, 2017
Read "You Already Know" CD/LP/Track Review You Already Know
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 7, 2017
Read "N.O. Escape" CD/LP/Track Review N.O. Escape
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 26, 2017
Read "Six Easy Pieces" CD/LP/Track Review Six Easy Pieces
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 5, 2017
Read "Goat Man & The House of the Dead" CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "Unfamiliar Surroundings" CD/LP/Track Review Unfamiliar Surroundings
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 10, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.