391

Jimmy McGriff: The Dream Team

Douglas Payne By

Sign in to view read count
Jimmy McGriff: The Dream Team Jimmy McGriff returns to Milestone (after a brief sojourn to Telarc) for a better-than-average outing on The Dream Team. This is as good as it gets — at least lately. McGriff, an inventive and exciting blues and funk organist, spent the 1980s on Milestone and produced maybe one exciting performance — "River's Invitation" from 1987's Steppin' Up (with frequent collaborator Hank Crawford). When he strayed to the small label Headfirst in 1991, he got down (and hip) with the terrific In A Blue Mood. But since then, he's been chuggin' out the standards and slogging out ho-hum lounge blues. The Dream Team sort of reunites the cast which initiated McGriff's Milestone tenure in the mid 1980s, The Starting Five : David "Fathead" Newman (who's right on the money here, recalling the glory of his Atlantic days), guitarist Mel Brown and funk trapsman Bernard Purdie. Jazz lost tenor great Rusty Bryant since then. But his replacement, ace alto / tenor man Red Holloway, fits in nicely here.

Things get off to a great start with the ultra-funky jam of David Newman's well-titled "McGriffin" — and all the folks involved rise to the occasion with pure, kick-butt groove. "McGriffin," a great throwback to those early 1970s Prestige jams, seems ripe for sampling but then loses points when it fades after only seven minutes. McGriff and company dig deep into McGriff's jamming "Red Hot `N' New" and bluesy "Fleetwood Stroll." They even rock out Willie Nelson's "Ain't It Funny How Time Slips Away." One wishes, however, that McGriff would quit trotting out warhorses like "Things Ain't What They Used To Be" ("Teach Me Tonight" is another frequently heard McGriff standard). But you can't deny the guy swings — even when it sounds like he's fronting a wedding band. He's even mastered the new Hammond XB-3. Here, unlike his previous outing with Hank Crawford ( Right Turn On Blues ), he focuses the XB away from electronic gimmicks and more toward his classic and wonderfully identifiable B-3 sound. It's nice to hear Jimmy McGriff like this, and I highly recommend The Dream Team to the McGriff mob and those folks into some good contemporary acid jazz...but "McGriffin" makes a better title for this disc.


Title: The Dream Team | Year Released: 1997 | Record Label: HighNote


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Company I Keep CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ma De Re Sha CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ask Seek Knock CD/LP/Track Review Ask Seek Knock
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Air and Light and Time and Space CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Satori" CD/LP/Track Review Satori
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 7, 2017
Read "The Chicago Plan" CD/LP/Track Review The Chicago Plan
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 16, 2017
Read "Rising Colossus" CD/LP/Track Review Rising Colossus
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 28, 2016
Read "Subterranea" CD/LP/Track Review Subterranea
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "Desire & Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "All Things" CD/LP/Track Review All Things
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 26, 2016

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.