173

Various: Have You Had Your Vitamin B-3 Today?

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
It's too bad that Have You Had Your Vitamin B-3 Today? wasn't made on vinyl. Then it could be featured in John Corbett's "Vinyl Freak" column in Down Beat, wherein he rediscovers quirky platters with offbeat, outrageous or abstruse cover art.

Label M realizes the value of that long-lost art form—the album cover—and has gone to great creative lengths to revive the ability of album packaging to grab potential customers' attention in the stores. Obviously, the cover of Have You Had Your Vitamin B-3 Today? was designed to visually shout at shoppers as they walk by. The CD's case showcases the drawing of a seductive "nurse" in white thong panties, thigh-high hose and red high heels. The music within the CD coincides with the creative peak of vinyl album covers and with the heyday of such Playboy types of fantasies.

Once you're past the cover, what do you find?

Well, it turns out that producer Joel Dorn has put together his own brand of vitamin B-3 that involves the irresistible appeal of the Hammond B-3 with the sax-and-guitar funk that accompanied it.

Attaining remarkable cooperation among record labels, Dorn was given permission to reissue some of the best jazz organ recordings of the 1960's (plus one in 1971). B-3 experts Bob Porter and Pete Fallico made the recommendations. All of the tracks were recorded at Rudy Van Gelder's famous Englewood Cliffs studio, where he offered keyboard players exceptional instruments for use. (Hank Jones raves about Van Gelder's Steinway grand piano.)

Encompassed in this appreciation of a decreasingly recorded jazz form is a virtual who's who of top saxophonists and organ players. And the tracks include memorable performances by some of the masters of the genre.

The opener is a perfect example of that. Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt create statement and response from the very beginning of "You Talk That Talk" before they get into a tenor sax battle of the titans. The next burner is just as remarkable: the unforgettable teaming of then-husband-and-wife Stanley Turrentine and Shirley Scott. Each with their distinctive voices, the two of them belie the mistaken impression that sometimes organ-and-sax groups forever connoted loudness and overstatement. Quite the opposite is true on Turrentine/Scott's "Trouble," whose theme is reminiscent of "Fever."

Saxophonists who haven't remained in the public consciousness, such as Ike Quebec, fall squarely within the tradition as well. Milt Hinton's bass lines introducing Quebec's "Easy - Don't Hurt" provide an unaccustomed acoustical presence in the group, even though organ quartets often rely on the bass pedals to walk the music.

Lou Donaldson's "Funky Mama" is absolutely consistent with the synthesis of funk and humor that became his trademark a few years before his boogaloo sound took off. And Jimmy Smith's version of "Jumpin' The Blues" with Kenny Burrell and Stanley Turrentine on Smith's Blue Note Midnight Special album remains a classic.

The Vitamin B-3 album is so inspiring that the mind wanders to think of other great pairings that could appear on Vitamin B-3, Part 2: Rahsaan Roland Kirk with Rahn Burton, Mel Rhyne with Johnny Griffin, Hank Marr with Rusty Bryant, Johnny "Hammond" Smith with Oliver Nelson, Jimmy McGriff with Bill Easley, Richard "Groove" Holmes with Teddy Edwards, Wild Bill Davis with Johnny Hodges, Don Patterson with Sonny Stitt, and Dr. Lonnie Smith with Lou Donaldson or a young Joe Lovano.

The real question for hoped-for Part 2 would be: What will the nurse administering the vitamins look like?


Track Listing: You Talk That Talk, Trouble, The Mighty Burner, This'll Get To Ya, Funky Mama, Easy-Don't Hurt, Jumpin' The Blues, Troubled Times, Blues In Maude's Flat

Personnel: Gene Ammons, Sonny Stitt, Stanley Turrentine, Houston Person, Willis Jackson, Ike Quebec, Yusef Lateef, tenor sax; Lou Donaldson, alto sax; George Freeman, Melvin Sparks, Bill Jennings, Grant Green, Kenny Burrell, guitar; Leon Spencer, Shirley Scott, Charles Earland, Jack McDuff, John Patton, Freddie Roach, Jimmy Smith, Carl Wilson, B-3 organ; Virgil Jones, Tommy Turrentine, Frank Robinson, trumpet; Major Holley, Milt Hinton, Leonard Gaskin, bass; Al Harewood, Alvin Johnson, Ben Dixon, Donald Bailey, Joe Hadrick, drums; Idris Muhammad, drums, vocals; Ray Barretto, conga, tambourine; Buddy Caldwell, Buck Clarke, conga

| Record Label: Label M | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Live At The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Light Shines In" CD/LP/Track Review Light Shines In
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "Rivers" CD/LP/Track Review Rivers
by James Nadal
Published: June 13, 2016
Read "Hibernation" CD/LP/Track Review Hibernation
by John Eyles
Published: March 14, 2016
Read "Functioning Broke" CD/LP/Track Review Functioning Broke
by Doug Collette
Published: July 3, 2016
Read "Nexus" CD/LP/Track Review Nexus
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: June 1, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!