113

Hank Crawford / Jimmy McGriff: Road Tested

Douglas Payne By

Sign in to view read count
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.

| Record Label: Fantasy Jazz | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "3 Compositions (EEMHM) 2011" CD/LP/Track Review 3 Compositions (EEMHM) 2011
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 27, 2016
Read "Checking Out" CD/LP/Track Review Checking Out
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 19, 2016
Read "Live At The Troubadour 1969" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Troubadour 1969
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: January 14, 2017
Read "All These Hands" CD/LP/Track Review All These Hands
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 20, 2016
Read "Sunkissed" CD/LP/Track Review Sunkissed
by Jeff Winbush
Published: September 11, 2016
Read "Everybody's Somebody's Nobody" CD/LP/Track Review Everybody's Somebody's Nobody
by John Sharpe
Published: May 27, 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!

Buy it!