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Backgrounder: Leon Spencer - Bad Walking Woman


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Leon Spencer
After reviewing Wonderful!, Mike LeDonne's new organ jazz album yesterday, I was drawn to my favorites from the late 1960s and early 1970s. To give you a feel of this jazz period, I thought I'd select a few lesser-known gems. Today, I'm featuring Leon Spencer Jr.'s Bad Walking Woman. Recorded in 1972, this LP was Spencer's third studio album as a leader.

The compositions, all by Spencer:

  • Hip Shaker
  • Down on Dowling Street
  • In Search of Love
  • If You Were Me and I Were You
  • Bad Walking Woman
  • When My Love Has Gone
  • When Dreams Start to Fade 
The album featured Spencer (above) and the best of Prestige's soul-groove stars, with terrific arrangements by Billy VerPlanck:

  • Leon Spencer Jr. – organ, vocals
  • Virgil Jones – trumpet (track 5)
  • Hubert Laws – flute, piccolo flute (tracks 3, 4, 6 & 7)
  • Buzz Brauer – flute, English horn, oboe (tracks 3, 4, 6 & 7)
  • Sonny Fortune – alto saxophone (track 5)
  • Dave Hubbard – tenor saxophone (tracks 1 & 5)
  • Melvin Sparks (tracks 1, 2, 4 & 5), Joe Beck (tracks 3, 6 & 7) – guitar
  • Idris Muhammad – drums
  • Buddy Caldwell – congas (tracks 4, 5 & 6)
  • Billy VerPlanck – arranger (tracks 3, 4, 6 & 7)
Here's the complete Bad Walking Woman without ad interruptions...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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Track Listing

Hip Shaker; Down On Dowling Street; In Search of Love; If You Were Me and I Were You; Bad Walking Woman; When My Love Has Gone; When Dreams Start to Fade.


Leon Spencer
organ, Hammond B3
Virgil Jones
Hubert Laws
Sonny Fortune
saxophone, alto
Dave Hubbard
saxophone, tenor

Album information

Title: Bad Walking Woman | Year Released: 1972 | Record Label: Prestige Records





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