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 Disappeared Behind the Sun CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Innate CD/LP/Track Review Innate
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 29, 2017
Read The Seasons CD/LP/Track Review The Seasons
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Planets + Persona CD/LP/Track Review Planets + Persona
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 29, 2017
Read avantNOIR CD/LP/Track Review avantNOIR
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "Saturday Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Saturday Songs
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: August 5, 2016
Read "Wonders" CD/LP/Track Review Wonders
by Mark F. Turner
Published: August 12, 2016
Read "The Pauper And The Magician" CD/LP/Track Review The Pauper And The Magician
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 17, 2017
Read "And the Rhythm Serenaders" CD/LP/Track Review And the Rhythm Serenaders
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 22, 2016
Read "The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald" CD/LP/Track Review The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 21, 2016
Read "December Songs" CD/LP/Track Review December Songs
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 5, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

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!