187

Bernard Purdie: Soul To Jazz II

Douglas Payne By

Sign in to view read count
Once you're a legend, it must be a legendary drag living up to your own reputation. After years of setting distinctive beats for King Curtis, Aretha Franklin, scores of Atlantic sessions and almost every acid-jazzer, drummer Bernard Purdie has a legendary reputation as the funk drummer. Trouble is the man earned his rep while he was young. Now, no matter how good his grooves get, they all have to measure up to his funky past.

Soul To Jazz II isn't much of a funk disc. But it's a successful soul-jazz exploration – which is exactly what it sets out to be – and something of an improvement over last year's Soul To Jazz.

The guests make Soul To Jazz II what it is. Check it out: Stanley Turrentine ("Motherless Child," "La Place Street"), Hank Crawford ("La Place Street," "Nobody Knows," "Joshua," "Mr. Magic" and "Amen") and Vincent Herring ("New Orleans Strut," "Jubilation" and "Shaft"). Plus, soul stalwart Junior Mance trades places with Benny Green in the piano chair; Atlantic sessioneer Cornell Dupree is on guitar, and former David Murray funk partner Stanley Banks is on electric bass.

Themes favor spirituals, from such traditionals as "Motherless Child," "Nobody Knows," "Amen" and "Joshua" to Mance's more contemporary "Jubilation." The soul tunes (Turrentine's "La Place Street," "Mr. Magic" and "Shaft") celebrate the powerhouse soul the sax leads generate.

The best bits are, of course, funky: Jack DeJohnette's "New Orleans Strut" and "Joshua" (which starts just like Grant Green's 1962 version and even has Crawford starting his solo the same way the guitarist did). But, annoyingly, there are times when the groove seems to drag so deliberately ("Mr. Magic," "Shaft"), you just want to kick these guys into gear somehow.

Reminiscent of the Bob Porter Milestone productions of the last ten years, Soul To Jazz II isn't as earth-shattering or hip-shaking as the premise promises. But the ultimate joy is hearing three soul sax giants (Hank Crawford especially) waxing eloquently in their own mighty soulful way.

Tracks:Motherless Child; New Orleans Strut; La Place Street; Nobody Knows; Jubilation; Joshua; Mr. Magic; Theme From "Shaft"; Amen.Collective

Personnel:

Collective Stanley Turrentine: tenor sax; Hank Crawford, Vincent Herring: alto sax; Howard Johnson: baritone sax; Jack Waltrath: trumpet; Junior Mance, Benny Green: piano; Cornell Dupree: guitar; George Naha: rhythm guitar; Stanley Banks: electric bass; Bernard Purdie, Jack DeJohnette: drums; Pancho Morales: congas; Benny Diggs Singers: vocals.

| Record Label: ACT Music | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Eos CD/LP/Track Review Eos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 28, 2017
Read More Than This CD/LP/Track Review More Than This
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "MG50 Peace & Fire" CD/LP/Track Review MG50 Peace & Fire
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 12, 2016
Read "Away With You" CD/LP/Track Review Away With You
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "Fellowship" CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "3 Compositions (EEMHM) 2011" CD/LP/Track Review 3 Compositions (EEMHM) 2011
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 27, 2016
Read "Evergreen (Canceled World)" CD/LP/Track Review Evergreen (Canceled World)
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 4, 2017
Read "Live in Tokyo" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Tokyo
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 18, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!