139

Charles Earland: Living Black

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count


Occasionally, an improviser will manage to come up with something that has as much commercial appeal as it does artistic integrity. Charles Earland accomplished this in 1969, when his jazz interpretation of The Spiral Staircase's blue-eyed pop/soul hit "More Today Than Yesterday" became a hit among R&B audiences. For all its accessibility, the Philadelphia organist's soul-jazz was faithful to jazz's spirit of improvisation and its sense of spontaneity.

Out of print for more than a few years, Earland's 1970 live date "Living Black" (which was recorded at the Key Club in Newark, New Jersey) makes its long overdue debut on CD thanks to Fantasy Records' Original Jazz Classics (OJC) series. One of the main reasons to buy this CD is the fat, earthy tenor sax of a young Grover Washington, Jr., whose earthy, down home blowing on Benny Golson's "Killer Joe," Miles Davis' "Milestones" and "More Today Than Yesterday" shows that his sound was already fully developed. The names of Earland's other sideman on this album (including guitarist Maynard Parker and trumpeter Gary Chandler) may not ring a bell, but they're definitely worth noting.

"Living Black" is not only historically important (this was allegedly the first time Washington was recorded) —it also swings without apology.

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


Shop

More Articles

Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Get 'Em CD/LP/Track Review Get 'Em
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Radioactive Landscapes EP CD/LP/Track Review Radioactive Landscapes EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 24, 2017
Read The Many Minds of Richie Cole CD/LP/Track Review The Many Minds of Richie Cole
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: April 24, 2017
Read LifeCycle CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Projeto Brasil!" CD/LP/Track Review Projeto Brasil!
by Budd Kopman
Published: May 27, 2016
Read "Uptown Down" CD/LP/Track Review Uptown Down
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 26, 2016
Read "Oratorios and Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Oratorios and Songs
by John Eyles
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "Moons" CD/LP/Track Review Moons
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 27, 2016
Read "Wisdom Of Elders" CD/LP/Track Review Wisdom Of Elders
by James Nadal
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "Early Wayne: Explorations of Classic Wayne Shorter Compositions" CD/LP/Track Review Early Wayne: Explorations of Classic Wayne Shorter...
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 13, 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!