113

Hank Crawford / Jimmy McGriff: Road Tested

Douglas Payne By

Sign in to view read count
Hank Crawford / Jimmy McGriff: Road Tested Alto man Hank Crawford and organist Jimmy McGriff are made for each other. Mixing the right brew of blues, swing and funk, they compliment one another's soulful sound in distinctive style. Road Tested, the seventh pairing under both their names, is exactly what you'd expect from these two: the tried and trues of funk and blues. What gives it an edge, though, is Crawford and McGriff riffing in the excellent company of Wayne Boyd on guitar and funkmaster Bernard Purdie on sticks. It takes you to a smoky club of long ago, when this kind of group could be heard by the dozens in any major city.

Road Tested opens and closes with two winners: Boyd's funky "Peanuts" (a carbon copy of "McGriffin" from McGriff's The Dream Team ) and the 24-bar blues of Crawford & McGriff's jam, "A Little Bit South of East St. Louis" (featuring Boyd's terrific Melvin Sparks-like solo). In between, it's a little more predictable. "Happy Feet" (credited to Crawford alone) reheats the overly-familiar "Night Train" theme, while "Hope That We Can Be Together Soon" and the sappy "For Sentimental Reasons" offer the requisite R&B covers. "I Only Have Eyes For You" and "Summertime" serve up the corn in ways that Crawford and McGriff have perfected over the years. But their surprising, soulful redux of John Coltrane's "Mr. P.C" is redeeming and worthwhile.

No Crawford / McGriff album is perfect (although I'd put money on their LRC work from the late 1970s, which was the disco music McGriff claims in this disc's liner notes he "just didn't feel"). But Road Tested offers some reliably soulful sounds and gotcha-groove for both fatback fans and acid-jazzers.

Track Listing: Peanuts; I Only Have Eyes For You; Happy Feet; For Sentimental Reasons; Caravan; Road Tested; Hope That We Can Be Together Soon; Mr. P.C.; Summertime; A Little Bit South Of East St. Louis.

Players:Hank Crawford: alto sax; Jimmy McGriff: Hammond X-B3 organ; Wayne Boyd: guitar; Bernard Purdie: drums.

Title: Road Tested | Year Released: 1998 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Dream Within A Dream CD/LP/Track Review Dream Within A Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Live At The High Noon CD/LP/Track Review Live At The High Noon
by Doug Collette
Published: June 22, 2017
Read As It Should Be: Ballads 2 CD/LP/Track Review As It Should Be: Ballads 2
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2017
Read Karoujite CD/LP/Track Review Karoujite
by John Eyles
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Which Craft?" CD/LP/Track Review Which Craft?
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "Lingo" CD/LP/Track Review Lingo
by Paul Rauch
Published: January 10, 2017
Read "Life and Other Transient Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Life and Other Transient Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 26, 2016
Read "Crowded Solitudes" CD/LP/Track Review Crowded Solitudes
by John Sharpe
Published: July 24, 2016
Read "What Time Is It?" CD/LP/Track Review What Time Is It?
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 6, 2017
Read "Five" CD/LP/Track Review Five
by John Sharpe
Published: August 14, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.