All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Idris Muhammad: Power Of Soul

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
“Epic Records” is in the process of reissuing sixteen titles from the popular 70’s contemporary jazz label, “CTI.” Formed by produced Creed Taylor, this label may have been the forerunner for what now is coined, “smooth or contemporary jazz.” Hence, many of the recordings by artists such as pianist, Bob James, flutist, Hubert Laws, and others, might signify an antithesis to the ear candy we currently hear on the light-jazz airwaves. Besides, “CTI” bore a signature audio sound thanks to legendary engineer, Rudy Van Gelder’s innovative techniques, where many of the instruments shared an equal sonic mix, amid dashes of echo and other techniques. Quite a few of the jazz artists who recorded for “CTI,” enjoyed some newfound breadth and popularity, thanks to the semi commercial nature of these productions. In fact, outings such as guitarist, George Benson’s White Rabbit and trumpeter, Freddie Hubbard’s Red Clay are now considered minor classics.

Being enamored with this label’s then, stylistic mode of operations, I never managed to acquire New Orleans reared drummer, Idris Muhammad’s Power Of Soul. No doubt, Muhammad is one of the most influential jazz/funk and R&B drummers on the planet. Known for his infusions of hip, snazzy grooves into jazz-based formats and other genres, Power Of Soul signifies his first solo effort.

Clocking in at a mere thirty-four minutes in length, Muhammad and then prominent “CTI” recording artists, keyboardist/arranger, Bob James, and the late saxophonist, Grover Washington Jr. render some truly inspiring performances. However, this date denotes a team effort, where everyone plays a vital role, witnessed from the onset of the musicians’ forceful and brassy rendition of Jimi Hendrix’ “Power Of Love.” Consequently, electric guitarist, Joe Beck adds a bit of psychedelia to this Hendrix classic, largely due to his quasi, jazz-fusion Hendrix-like distortion drenched solo.

Bob James’ “Piece Of Mind,” features a rather saccharine, yet thoroughly tuneful hook. Here, James’ electric piano work serves as some sort of imaginary shroud for this outing. Perhaps no other musician was as consistently entrenched in Creed Taylor’s line of product than James. Otherwise, Washington provides the required edge via his brilliantly constructed, soul-drenched lines, while performing on soprano sax. The band is conveying vivid notions of serenity and calm on this most intriguing piece, whereas the dual horn section executes warm, breezy choruses on the unforgettably melodic, “Loran’s Dance.” Ultimately, quality wins out over quantity throughout this LP length production as, “EPIC Records has provided a service to the modern-day jazz community, by reinstating these titles from the “CTI” vaults. Emphatically recommended!


Track Listing: 1.Power Of Soul 2.Piece Of Mind 3.The Saddest Thing 4.Loran

Personnel: Idris Muhammad: drums

Title: Power Of Soul | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Epic Records


comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Lala Belu CD/LP/Track Review
Lala Belu
by Chris May
Published: March 23, 2018
Read All Melody CD/LP/Track Review
All Melody
by Phil Barnes
Published: March 23, 2018
Read The Future is Female CD/LP/Track Review
The Future is Female
by Paul Rauch
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Hunters & Scavengers CD/LP/Track Review
Hunters & Scavengers
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow CD/LP/Track Review
Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 22, 2018
Read Transatlantic CD/LP/Track Review
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 22, 2018
Read "Beloved" CD/LP/Track Review Beloved
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: October 10, 2017
Read "Six Easy Pieces" CD/LP/Track Review Six Easy Pieces
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 5, 2017
Read "Thank You For Coming To Life" CD/LP/Track Review Thank You For Coming To Life
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 2, 2017
Read "Sing Me Some Cry" CD/LP/Track Review Sing Me Some Cry
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 20, 2017
Read "Transient" CD/LP/Track Review Transient
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 3, 2017
Read "Déjà Vu" CD/LP/Track Review Déjà Vu
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 20, 2017