214

Charles Earland: Live

Ed Kopp By

Sign in to view read count
There's nothing subtle about Charles Earland's brand of soul-jazz. "The Burner" has always treated his organ as a rhythm instrument, attacking chords and arpeggios with unrestrained gusto. Having witnessed an Earland performance around the time this CD was recorded, I can certify that the man is an indefatigable performer with a very tight band.

This live CD was recorded on May 24, 1997, on Earland's 56th birthday. The scene was Chicago's DuSable Museum of African-American History, and the mood was celebratory. Earland, his band, and the crowd all had a great time that night, and the party atmosphere is well captured on this disk.

Earland enjoyed a spate of crossover popularity in 1969 with his classic album Black Talk. Live reprises two tunes from that debut release: the groove-heavy title track and a rousing version of the bouncy Spiral Staircase hit "More Today Than Yesterday." Of the remaining four cuts, one is a ballad ("If Only For One Night") and one a funky excursion ("The Burner's Magic"). My favorites are "The Burning Spirit" and "Explosion," a couple of bop romps wherein the horn section of Eric Anderson (tenor sax) and Jim Rotundi (trumpet) gets to strut its considerable stuff. Earland's soulful take on "More Today Than Yesterday" closes the CD in rousing fashion and leaves the crowd going nuts.

Earland's studio releases have borrowed heavily from pop and R&B, and some have struck me as overly slick. But this live CD allows his talented band to stretch out, resulting in a fine amalgam of jazz, rhythm and soul. The other talented musicians in Earland's group are Bob Devos on guitar and Greg Rockingham on drums.

Charles Earland lost his first wife to cancer and suffered a major heart attack in the '80s. As an ordained Baptist deacon, he credits his faith for helping him survive. Earland's exuberance is infectious on this CD, and his quintet serves up some very uplifting music.

This is another fine release from Cannonball Records, a new Minneapolis label that specializes in soul-jazz.

Rating ***1/2 (out of ****)

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Cannonball Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Freddie Hubbard Freddie Hubbard
trumpet
Grant Green Grant Green
guitar
Dr. Lonnie Smith Dr. Lonnie Smith
organ, Hammond B3
Lou Donaldson Lou Donaldson
saxophone
Jimmy McGriff Jimmy McGriff
organ, Hammond B3
Johnny "Hammond" Smith Johnny "Hammond" Smith
organ, Hammond B3
Jack McDuff Jack McDuff
organ, Hammond B3
Big John Patton Big John Patton
organ, Hammond B3
Jazz Crusaders Jazz Crusaders
band/orchestra
Les McCann Les McCann
piano
Shirley Scott Shirley Scott
organ, Hammond B3

More Articles

Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Swallowed by the New" CD/LP/Track Review Swallowed by the New
by Doug Collette
Published: November 5, 2016
Read "Closer To The Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Closer To The Sun
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 10, 2016
Read "Happy Madness" CD/LP/Track Review Happy Madness
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "Godspeed" CD/LP/Track Review Godspeed
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 14, 2016
Read "Detour" CD/LP/Track Review Detour
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 26, 2016
Read "Electric Ascension" CD/LP/Track Review Electric Ascension
by John Sharpe
Published: October 5, 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!