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Charles Earland: Organomically Correct

Douglas Payne By

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Organist Charles Earland recorded nine albums for the Muse label between 1977 and 1995. None stand out particularly, but each had its share of solid, organ-combo swing and programs of mostly blues and ballads. Organomically Correct compiles some of the early highlights in Earland's Muse output: four of the six tracks from Mama Roots (1977), three of the five tracks from Pleasant Afternoon (1978) and all five tracks from Infant Eyes (1978). This music was all recorded between Earland's more commercial (and less memorable) outings on Mercury and Columbia and catch the organ grinder in a kind of Jimmy Smith bag (reinforced even more when paired with Wes-like guitarist Jimmy Ponder on half of the CD's tracks). While the funk and the fire in Earland's playing had been missing since at least his last Prestige record (1974), there's an insistently melodic and appealing groove throughout this set. Another advantage is that two thirds of the tunes here are Earland originals: slow burners that really let the organist cook nicely on a low flame. There are several nice features for George Coleman on tenor sax and Frank Wess on flute too. A surprisingly cohesive set with an enjoyable after-hours feel.

Players:Charles Earland: organ; George Coleman, Houston Person, Mack Goldsbury: tenor sax; Frank Wess: flute and tenor sax; Bill Hardman: trumpet; Jimmy Ponder, Melvin Sparks: guitar; Walter Perkins, Bobby Durham, Grady Tate: drums; Ralph Dorsey, Lawrence Killian: percussion.

Songs:The Dozens; Red, Green & Black Blues; Undecided; Old Folks; A Prayer; Organic blues; Three Blind Mice; We Are Not Alone; Blues For Rudy; The Thang; Infant Eyes.

Title: Organomically Correct | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: 32 Records

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