124

Billy Butler: Legends of Acid Jazz: Billy Butler

Douglas Payne By

Sign in to view read count
Legends of Acid Jazz: Billy Butler documents two interesting records made by the unfortunately neglected studio guitarist Billy Bulter (1924-91). The man who gave the groove to Bill Doggett's perennial juke-box classic "Honky Tonk" released four solo albums on Prestige between 1968 and 1970. This CD combines the first ( This is Billy Butler ) and the last ( Night Life ) of these.

Butler's mellifluous sound easily bends itself to the groove he's working: bop, blues, soul-jazz, R&B, pop or boogaloo. At this point in his career, while other guitarists were following Jimi Hendrix's lead and experimenting with feedback, Butler was perfecting a Hawaiian "slack-key" sound. The result is attention to Butler's gifts as an economical player; mixing single-line strategies with chordal passages in always-clever turns of phrase. Here, Butler is best when he boogaloos as he does so well on the dance-floor classic "The Twang Thing" and the sinewy slide of "The Soul Roll." Tenor man Houston Person is right on cue and erstwhile Ernie Hayes funks wisely on his synth-like organ solos. Other strengths, as was true throughout Butler's career, are the soul-jazz grooves of "Work Song," "Bass-ic Blues" and "Peacock Alley."

The remainder of the disc, and the bulk of the entire second set, is unfortunately given over to ballads. Here, Butler can't escape sounding like part of a slick, more-talented-than-this wedding band. But when the tempos fire up, so does Butler. And he's certainly worth knowing more about. But the dancers are gonna wanna get a hold of "The Twang Thang" and "The Soul Roll," the two acid-jazz staples and, really, the only acid-jazz here.

Tracks:The Twang Thing; Cherry; Work Song; The Soul Roll; She Is My Inspiration; Bass-ic Blues; Nightlife; Wave; Watch What Happens; Peacock Alley; Prelude to a Kiss; In A Mellow Tone.

Personnel: Billy Butler: guitar (bass on "Bass-ic Blues"); Houston Person, Jesse Powell: tenor sax; Ernie Hayes: piano, organ; Johnny "Hammond" Smith" organ; Bob Bushnell: electric bass; Rudy Collins, Jimmy Johnson: drums.

| Record Label: Prestige Records | Style: Funk/Groove


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny" CD/LP/Track Review Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 20, 2016
Read "We Live Here" CD/LP/Track Review We Live Here
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2017
Read "As The Wind" CD/LP/Track Review As The Wind
by John Eyles
Published: January 12, 2017
Read "Ugly Beauty" CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beauty
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 9, 2016
Read "Live At Zaal 100" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Zaal 100
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 21, 2016
Read "Need to Bring Out Love" CD/LP/Track Review Need to Bring Out Love
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!