212

Reuben Wilson: A Groovy Situation & Boogaloo to the Beastie Boys

By

Sign in to view read count
You can safely bet that a Reuben Wilson record will be a jumping situation. These two sessions offer up grooves that reflect the popular rhythms of their eras.

Reuben Wilson
A Groovy Situation
Blue Note-Water Music
2004 (1970)

A Groovy Situation comes from 1970 and features alto saxophonist Earl Turbinton, guitarist Eddie Diehl and drummer Harold White with organist Wilson. It is a very enjoyable encounter with the '70s funk: finely crafted tunes; hard-driving rhythms (and not from a drum machine); hot, yet thoughtful, solos; and variations in mood from tune to tune.

In such a pop-laden context, Wilson is a model of restraint. He does not overplay and he does not resort to open up the organ full bore to create walls of sound. Rather, his solos and accompaniment are organic to the songs. He builds his solo on "If You Let Me Make Love to You Then Why Can't I Touch You" patiently, riding on White's backbeat before giving way.

Chart-topping hits like the title tune, "Happy Together" (the most straight ahead treatment here, all involved at their most expansive) and Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed Delivered, I'm Yours" are explored, not merely covered.


Various Artists
Boogaloo to the Beastie Boys
Scufflin' Records
2004

Boogaloo to the Beastie Boys reflects a 21st century approach and rhythmic sensibility. Its grooves run deep, yet with the focus so much on the rhythmic aspect of the music, harmony and melody take a backseat. There is hardly a bad note played on this session, especially the moody "So What'cha Want." Wilson and his cohorts Andrew Beals (saxophones), LaFrae Olivia Sci (drums), Don Munro (guitar as well as producer), and Bernie Worrell (Fender Rhodes) mine fine improvisations on "Cooky Puss." But after a while, it begins to wear. The lack of a more nuanced melody and harmony becomes pronounced, even when there are variations in tempo and mood.

Herein lies the dilemma that jazz faces today when approaching hip-hop. The music is so infectious that it is hard to sit still when the band really catches fire. But an entire session of rap-based material can grow thin, even when it is played this well.

The good news remains, however, that Reuben Wilson's ears are wide open, attuned not only to the jazz eras that nurtured him, but also to the possibilities that continue to unfold in modern music. No matter the setting, Wilson's situation is always a groovy one.


A Groovy Situation

Tracks: 1. While the World Lies Waiting (5:13); 2. Sweet Tooth (6:55); 3. (If You Let Me Make Love to You Then) Why Can't I Touch You? (6:20); 4. A Groovy Situation (8:47); 5. Happy Together (5:32); 6. Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours (6:20).
Personnel: Eddie Diehl: Guitar; Earl Turbinton: Alto and Soprano Saxophones; Harold White: Drums; Reuben Wilson: Organ.

Boogaloo to the Beastie Boys

Tracks: 1. Namaste (5:42); 2. Something's Got to Give (7:13); 3. Sabotage (5:59); 4. Shadrah (7:57); 5. Brass Monkey (6:30); 6. So What'cha Want (6:24);; 7. Hey Ladies (5:20); 8. Intergalactic (6:50); 9. Egg Raid on Mojo (7:39); 10. Shake Your Rump (9:31); 11. Cooky Puss.
Personnel: Reuben Wilson: Hammond Organ; Andrew Beals: saxophones; LaFrae Olivia Sci: drums; Don Munro: guitar; Bernie Worrell: Fender Rhodes.


Shop

More Articles

Read Another Timbre’s Canadian Composers Series Multiple Reviews Another Timbre’s Canadian Composers Series
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2017
Read 440 Keys: A Batch of Piano Delights Multiple Reviews 440 Keys: A Batch of Piano Delights
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 21, 2017
Read Anat Cohen's Brazilian Bonanza: Outra Coisa and Rosa Dos Ventos Multiple Reviews Anat Cohen's Brazilian Bonanza: Outra Coisa and Rosa...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 17, 2017
Read Duke Ellington on Storyville Records Multiple Reviews Duke Ellington on Storyville Records
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 20, 2017
Read Lee Morgan On Music Matters Multiple Reviews Lee Morgan On Music Matters
by Greg Simmons
Published: March 6, 2017
Read Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago Multiple Reviews Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Rich Robinson: Solo Reissues" Multiple Reviews Rich Robinson: Solo Reissues
by Doug Collette
Published: April 30, 2016
Read "Two  Scandinavian Jazz Orchestras" Multiple Reviews Two Scandinavian Jazz Orchestras
by John Eyles
Published: May 23, 2016
Read "Jan Lundgren: Swedish Ballads... & More...  Quietly There" Multiple Reviews Jan Lundgren: Swedish Ballads... & More... Quietly...
by Chris Mosey
Published: July 13, 2016
Read "Five New From Konvoj Records" Multiple Reviews Five New From Konvoj Records
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 16, 2016
Read "Another Timbre’s Violin +1 Series" Multiple Reviews Another Timbre’s Violin +1 Series
by John Eyles
Published: June 9, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

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!