125

Jimmy McGriff: Let's Stay Together

Douglas Payne By

Sign in to view read count
Between 1966 and 1978, producer Sonny Lester recorded around 30 of organist Jimmy McGriff’s albums for the Solid State, Groove Merchant and LRC labels. During this productive period, McGriff recorded blues and ballads with small groups, swing jazz with all-star big bands, organ battles with Groove Holmes and funky disco outings with various electronic keyboards. Lester has kept this music available on CD through his LRC label – known for its below-budget prices, cheesy cover art and hodge-podge selections. For whatever reason, musician credits are almost always missing, scant or inaccurate – and recording dates are hopelessly left out too.

Let’s Stay Together, on the other hand, is a facsimile of one of Jimmy's old Groove Merchant LPs — in all it’s a 32 ½-minute glory. Reissued by a company I’ve never heard of called Beast Retro, this lost McGriff episode combines four tracks recorded by a 1972 septet ("Let’s Stay Together," "Tiki", "Theme From Shaft" and "What’s Going On") with three tracks from a 1966 trio featuring guitarist Thornell Schwartz ("Old Grand Dad," "Georgia On My Mind" and "April In Paris"). The original cover art is all there, along with writer and musician credits. Even the sound reproduction puts LRC to shame.

The music, unfortunately, isn’t terribly memorable. But the R&B covers benefit by McGriff’s outstanding blues touch and the funky "Tiki" and the glorious blues of "Old Grand Dad" (the only originals) are what make a McGriff album worth every dollar. Although nothing too surprising happens here, McGriff fans will want to pick up on this cut-out classic.

McGriff fans may also want to note that the German budget label LaserLight has recently reissued two of the organist's Sonny Lester productions: Funkiest Little Band In The Land (a funk compilation which features "Tiki" from Let's Stay Together ), and Tribute To Count Basie, from McGriff's brash 1966 all-star big-band album Jimmy McGriff and The Big Band, featuring arranger / conductor Manny Albam.


For more details on this CD, and ordering info, click here .

| Record Label: Beast Retro | 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 "Once Upon A Time In Portugal" CD/LP/Track Review Once Upon A Time In Portugal
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 30, 2016
Read "Altered Narratives" CD/LP/Track Review Altered Narratives
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 13, 2016
Read "The Broader Picture" CD/LP/Track Review The Broader Picture
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "The Harry Warren Song Book" CD/LP/Track Review The Harry Warren Song Book
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 31, 2017
Read "Il Dodicesimo Nano" CD/LP/Track Review Il Dodicesimo Nano
by Jim Olin
Published: January 10, 2017
Read "Dreaming With Eyes Wide Awake" CD/LP/Track Review Dreaming With Eyes Wide Awake
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 5, 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!