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Backgrounder: Leon Spencer's 'Louisiana Slim'


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Leon Spencer
Leon Spencer Jr. was and remains my favorite organist. In the early 1970s, he was part of Prestige's stable of soul-jazz musicians who recorded relentlessly as leaders and sidemen on other artists' albums. One of my first albums purchased, in 1971, was Spencer's Louisiana Slim. Backing Spencer were Virgil Jones (tb) Grover Washington, Jr. (ts, flute), Melvin Sparks (g) Idris Muhammad (d) and Buddy Caldwell (congas)—the classic Prestige lineup at the time. Bob Porter produced and the engineer was Rudy Van Gelder.

The album is perfect: Louisiana Slim, Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology), They Long to Be) Close to You, Our Love Will Never Die and The Trouble With Love. After all these years, I still love this record and now I'm passing it on to you.

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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