Buddha's Sho Nuff Groove: The Best of Harvey Mason is an excellent 12-track compilation, featuring all of the fusion musician's biggest crossover smooth jazz and lite funk hits, including "Marching on the Street," "Set It Free," "Till You Take My Love," "What's Going On," "Liquid," "Don't Doubt My Lovin'," "How Does It Feel," and the 12-inch mix of "Groovin' You." This doesn't give a full picture of his talents as a sideman and producer, but it is a concise chronicle of his solo recordings and a welcome addition to his catalog.
Groove Holmes and Gerald Wilson – a wonderful combination on this late 60s session – in a style that's everything great about mainstream LA jazz at the time! Wilson really has a way with the charts on the session – and although the group is large, they've got a lean, clean sound that bounces along nicely – slightly funky at times, always soulful at others – a perfect backdrop for the well-played Hammond lines that Groove brings to the set! The album's not as much of an all-out organ wailer as some of Holmes' albums for Prestige – but that's a-ok with us, because Wilson's group features some other great players too – including Dennis Budimir on guitar, Tony Ortega and Arnie Watts on saxes, and Paul Humphrey on drums!
Skull Snaps is a legendary funk album that has long been shrouded in obscurity. The band recorded their self-titled debut and a handful of singles in 1973, then vanished without a trace. In recent years, their vinyl has become ubiquitously sampled and highly collectible. The monstrous break that opens up their classic cut, “It’s A New Day,” furnished the beat for countless hip-hop hits of the mid-‘90s. But despite all their widespread influence, there’s been almost no information available anywhere on the Skull Snaps. “It’s become a very mystique thing about us,“ says bassist and singer Samm Culley. “I think everybody who stole our music must have thought that we fell off the face of the earth because they didn’t hear anything from us at all. But we’re here, and ready to be heard.
Although this is billed to Wes Montgomery, it is in fact a combination of two early-'60s LPs by the Montgomery Brothers – The Montgomery Brothers and The Montgomery Brothers in Canada – onto one disc. (Also note that it's almost entirely different from the Montgomery Brothers' Milestone double LP that also bears the name Groove Brothers, which mostly features material from their Riverside LP Groove Yard.) With Wes on guitar, Monk on bass, and Buddy on piano (Larance Marable fills out the quartet on drums), The Montgomery Brothers (1960) is a boppish set of five lengthy tracks, divided between both originals (penned by either Wes or Buddy) and standards. "June in January" is a particularly good vehicle for Wes' fluid single-note runs, while "D-Natural Blues" is one of his more enduring and good-natured compositions from the period. Buddy Montgomery, who often played the piano with the Montgomery Brothers, sticks exclusively to vibes on The Montgomery Brothers in Canada, which in addition to Wes and Monk has Paul Humphrey on drums.