The CTI jazz catalog holds many surprises. This one features a strong 8-piece band led by organist Johnny Hammond (1933-1997), who was known earlier as Johnny "Hammond" Smith. Recorded in 1971, the album emphasized swinging mood music with a flair for popular sounds. It marked a turning point in the career of Grover Washington, Jr. He, Hank Crawford and Eric Gale are all over the place, alongside Hammond's B-3. It’s a party. A previously unissued track, recorded shortly after the release of Breakout, is added to the end of this reissue.
Hammond turned the keyboard into his personal "singing" machine. Relying on a powerful rhythm section, he wailed loud and clear. Soul-jazz like this appealed to a wide audience. Still does. At the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, Hammond mesmerized with his 16-minute edition of "It's Too Late." Guest George Benson seems to be drawing his energy from Hammond. At one point, the organist enthuses like a wild man. The audience reaction matches ours. No wonder they were clapping on 2 and 4. Powerful percussion highlights from Billy Cobham and Airto drive the message home. It was a memorable night, and the added track simply increases the album's unquestioned value. Like most of the other CTI jazz treasures being reissued this year, Johnny Hammond's Breakout is a don't-miss affair.
Track Listing: It's Too Late; Workin' On a Groovy Thing; Never Can Say Goodbye; Blues Selah; Breakout; It's Too Late.
Personnel: Johnny Hammond- organ; Hank Crawford- alto saxophone; Grover Washington, Jr.- tenor saxophone; Eric Gale- electric guitar; Billy Cobham- drums; Airto Moreira- percussion; Danny Moore- trumpet; Johnny Williams- electric bass; George Benson- guitar on final track; Freddie Hubbard- trumpet on final track; Stanley Turrentine- tenor saxophone on final track.
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.