Articles | Popular | Future

ALBUM REVIEWS

Charles Earland: Black Talk!

Read "Black Talk!" reviewed by Jeff Dayton-Johnson

One of the all-time classic soul-jazz records gets its turn at remastering by Rudy van Gelder, the original engineer of the 1969 session. Charles Earland had a strong affinity for the organ, though he didn't start on the instrument. He began his career as a saxophonist, playing in groups with organists like Jimmy McGriff and Gene Ludwig before making his unconventional instrumental switch, eventually joining Lou Donaldson's group. His playing exploits the organ's capacity for sustain and ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Charles Earland: Black Drops

Read "Black Drops" reviewed by Derek Taylor

“The Mighty Burner” isn’t the kind of moniker bestowed on just any man. Charles Earland earned it by cultivating one of the grittiest and greasiest organ attacks of the early Seventies. His skills behind the B-3 are in full effect on this smoldering slab of fusion-laced funk from '70. Regular sidemen like Pruden and Jones take their place beside surprise reed wild card Jimmy Heath in the horn frontline and dig into an eclectic set of standards from the jazz, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Charles Earland: The Almighty Bu rner

Read "The Almighty Bu rner" reviewed by John Sharpe

Jazz/funk organist Charles Earland, who died on December 11, 1999 of a heart attack at age 58, began his musical career playing saxophone in a high school dance band. Earland switched to the Hammond B-3 in 1963 and like so many who have taken up that instrument he would never scale the heights or escape the comparisons to organ maestro Jimmy Smith. However, Earland did enjoy limited commercial success with a series of fine records during the late-60s and early-70s ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Charles Earland: The Almighty Burner

Read "The Almighty Burner" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The organ-jazz revival of the 1990s brought a flood of reissues from Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, and John Patton along with the new stars of the organ Joey DeFrancesco, Larry Goldings, and John Medeski. Charles Earland’s career got a boost too, reviving his 1960’s soul sound. Earland a bop-ishly straight-ahead B-3 man, died last year at the age of 58. His beginnings, with Pat Matino and Lou Donaldson, established a theme of the saxophone/organ and guitar/organ sound that could be ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Charles Earland: The Almighty Burner

Read "The Almighty Burner" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The organ-jazz revival of the 1990s brought a flood of reissues from Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, and John Patton along with the new stars of the organ Joey DeFrancesco, Larry Goldings, and John Medeski. Charles Earland’s career got a boost too, reviving his 1960’s soul sound. Earland a bop-ishly straight-ahead B-3 man, died last year at the age of 58. His beginnings, with Pat Matino and Lou Donaldson, established a theme of the saxophone/organ and guitar/organ sound that could be ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Charles Earland: Slammin' & Jammin'

Read "Slammin' & Jammin'" reviewed by Douglas Payne

In a year notable by the too-high incidence of jazz losses, Charles Earland quietly left this planet on Saturday, December 11, 1999. Known as the Mighty Burner for the intense way he commanded the Hammond B-3, the always working, too-heavy 58-year-old Earland made his departure via heart failure following one last performance in Kansas City.Originally a saxophonist who taught himself the unwieldy organ during a sax stint in Jimmy McGriff's band, Earland made waves as Lou ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Charles Earland: Cookin' With The Mighty Burner

Read "Cookin' With The Mighty Burner" reviewed by Douglas Payne

Charles Earland - organ jazz's Mighty Burner -- hit hard in 1969 applying his own B-3 groove to soulful pop hits like “More Today Than Yesterday." After a fairly adventuresome set of records for the Prestige label in the early 1970s, Earland drifted to disco for Mercury in the mid-1970s and fusion for Columbia later in the decade. By the 1980s, the organist returned to his roots for the Muse label, cutting many low-key records in the lounge organ mode.

ALBUM REVIEWS

Charles Earland: Intensity

Read "Intensity" reviewed by AAJ Staff

You hear it at once: a different sound, not always for the better. The music was changing, and Charles Earland joined his easy groove to the lush CTI sound so popular at the time. Results vary: the Burner is hot but too many horns spoil the brew. Take “Goin’ Home”: a rock guitar crashes through the left speaker, and Charles steps coolly behind him. Now he works the chords for warm strength: the feel of his Black Talk! album. But ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Charles Earland: Intensity

Read "Intensity" reviewed by Douglas Payne

For 1972's Intensity, Charles Earland's fifth of ten Prestige discs, the Mighty Burner seemed to be aiming toward something a little different than his usual collection of soulful tenor-organ jams. The presence of two songs from the rock group Chicago and a small trumpet-dominated horn section indicate that jazz-rock was the goal. The result, the LP's four original tracks plus two tracks from the same date originally released as part of Charles III, is one of his very best.

ALBUM REVIEWS

Charles Earland: Organomically Correct

Read "Organomically Correct" reviewed by Douglas Payne

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Charles Earland: Live

Read "Live" reviewed by Ed Kopp

There's nothing subtle about Charles Earland's brand of soul-jazz. “The Burner" has always treated his organ as a rhythm instrument, attacking chords and arpeggios with unrestrained gusto. Having witnessed an Earland performance around the time this CD was recorded, I can certify that the man is an indefatigable performer with a very tight band.This live CD was recorded on May 24, 1997, on Earland's 56th birthday. The scene was Chicago's DuSable Museum of African-American History, and the mood ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Charles Earland: Live

Read "Live" reviewed by AAJ Staff

“We’re gonna cook a little bit for you – is that O.K.?” With that Charles Earland celebrates his birthday on stage – and it IS a celebration! Horns blaze, the rhythm pounds, and you can’t forget that vital organ. It’s aptly titled – this music lives.

“The Burning Spirit” sets off at full charge, horns shouting the angular theme with the power of a big band. Eric Alexander runs deep, with tangy tone and lines that run forever. Charles likes ...


Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.