This third installment in the "Diggin' Deeper: The Roots of Acid Jazz" series, which collects likely funk, jazz, soul, fusion, and disco sides from the deep Columbia/Epic/Sony catalog, includes such gems as Art Blakey's "Cubano Chant" and Lalo Schifrin's "Jaws," a Shaft-meets-Frankenstein hybrid version of the "Jaws" movie theme.
This set moves and grooves from end to end, and even listeners with little interest in the acid jazz movement that surfaced some two decades after most of these tracks were recorded will find a great little alternative dance album lurking here.
The title of this compilation tries to make Montgomery viable for a younger generation, but it's not exactly "acid jazz." Rather, it's an anthology of some of Montgomery's better pop- and soul-oriented material from the mid-'60s. The 16 tracks show Montgomery in both orchestral and small combo settings, a few cuts taken from his collaborations with Jimmy Smith. Purists have long disdained this phase of Montgomery's career. But those who don't measure work by how straight-ahead it is will find much to enjoy here, in either the cuts with Oliver Nelson's orchestra, or the less elaborate sessions with the likes of Smith, Grady Tate, Ron Carter, and Ray Barretto.
Drummer Idris Muhammad's first two albums as a leader (Black Rhythm Revolution! and Peace and Rhythm) are reissued in full on this single CD. The former set has a few worthy tracks (including Muhammad's colorful feature "Soulful Dreams"); the latter recording…has a pair of soul vocals and some R&B material. Trumpeter Virgil Jones and saxophonist Clarence Thomas get in their spots, and the music is danceable.