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Rodney Jones: Soul Manifesto

Jim Santella By

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A handful of originals and several classic tunes give Rodney Jones' latest album soul. By pairing saxophonists Maceo Parker and Arthur Blythe, the guitarist has created an interesting environment. With the organ sound pervading, the two alto veterans serve up funk, soul, and a few sensitive looks at the ballad. Jones plays from the heart and has deep respect for his jazz guitar forefathers. His work has always held a special, spiritual quality. Here, he's allowing himself to loosen up, share the good times, and still express his inner feelings.

The deep blues of "Soup Bone" and "One Turnip Green" merge with the hard-driven funk of "Soul Manifesto" and "Mobius 3" to instill variety. Blythe's feature on Mal Waldron's "Soul Eyes" adds a refreshing ballad dreamscape to the session. Parker and Blythe take turns soloing on the spirited "Soul Makossa" with lively interpretations. The session hinges on "Groove Bone," in two movements. Idris Muhammad's up-tempo back beat flies below several tricky rhythms that belie dancing feet. Organ and horns take brief solo breaks, and Jones' guitar moves in and out of the rhythmic backdrop. While the piece does become tedious and repetitious, Jones has succeeded in capturing the feeling that comes through this music. It's one of his best albums to date.

Track Listing: Groove Bone, part 1; Soul Makossa; Wake Up Call (interlude); Soul Manifesto; Roll Call (interlude); One Turnip Green; Ain't No Sunshine; Mobius 3; Soup Bone; Soul Eyes; Groove Bone, part 2; Last Call (interlude).

Personnel: Rodney Jones- guitar; Maceo Parker, Arthur Blythe- alto saxophone; Dr. Lonnie Smith- Hammond B-3 organ; Lonnie Plaxico- electric bass; Idris Muhammad- drums.

Title: Soul Manifesto | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Blue Note Records

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