364

Reuben Wilson: Organ Donor

Douglas Payne By

Sign in to view read count
Reuben Wilson (born 1935) is best remembered as one of Blue Note's funkiest organists, making five albums for the label between 1968 and 1971 (only Love Bug and the excellent Blue Mode are currently available on CD). He went on to record three more records for Groove Merchant, then he whipped up some disco for smaller labels and by the end of the seventies, he was gigging with the Fatback Band. Wilson disappeared from the scene until groups like Us3, Nas and A Tribe Called Quest started sampling his funky old Blue Note grooves. Now he's part of that groove hierarchy of elder funksmen who tour with funk-jazz revivalists, jams it up with Guru and the Greyboy All Stars and records groove tribs like Organic Grooves (Hip Bop).

Organ Donor is a terrific slice of heavy-metal funk. Recorded in 1996 and just recently released the U.S., it's a great introduction to Wilson's brand of grind. He's got a spare style that belies his instrument's reputation. But he manages to whip off one cool lick after another – each packing a powerful wallop of a punch. It's as if his playing doesn't have to prove anything. He knows what grooves. All eight tracks here are newly recorded, but only two (by my count) are really 'new'. Both "Now's the Time" and "Organ Donor," co-written by Wilson and producer / bassist Chris Parks, have a wildly funky groove. The rest will seem pretty familiar to funk fans, yet all are worth hearing in their new incarnation: "Ronnie's Bonnie" (originally from 1968's On Broadway and, because of US3, the launchpad for Wilson's revival), "Hot Rod" (from 1969's Love Bug, here done up MMW-style), "Orange Peel" (from 1969's Blue Mode ) and the excellent disco-funk of "Got To Get Your Own" (from an old Cadet album of the same name).

Despite a lot of cooks in the kitchen, few players other than Wilson are featured. But all solo well and a few stand out: Bruce Flower's keyboards on "Hot Rod," Melvin Bulter on "Orange Peel" and either Bulter or Mcaslin on "Got To Get Your Own" and Robin Macatangay's guitar on "Trouble Man" and "Organ Donor." This is a great disc for groove lovers, and there ain't one dud in the bunch.

Tracks:Hot Rod; Orange Peel; Now's The Time; Groovin'; Trouble Man; Got To Get Your Own '98; Ronnie's Bonnie; Organ Donor.

Personnel: Reuben Wilson: organ; Robin Macatangay: guitar; Bruce Flowers: keyboards; Melvin Butler: tenor, alto and soprano sax, flute; Chris Parks: bass; Ricardo Rodriquez: percussion; Adrian Harpham: drums; Donny Mcaslin: tenor sax, flute: Jason Forsythe: trombone; Kenny Rampton: trumpet; Saundra Williams Starr Adkins: background vocals on "Groovin" and "Got To Get Your Own '98."

| Record Label: Jazzateria | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Written in the Rocks" CD/LP/Track Review Written in the Rocks
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: March 8, 2016
Read "Shovel Down" CD/LP/Track Review Shovel Down
by Doug Collette
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "The Third Decade" CD/LP/Track Review The Third Decade
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 16, 2016
Read "Terre II" CD/LP/Track Review Terre II
by Tyran Grillo
Published: June 7, 2016
Read "Triple Exposure" CD/LP/Track Review Triple Exposure
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "Sharpener" CD/LP/Track Review Sharpener
by Nick Davies
Published: December 21, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!