What a jumble. Nearly a decade and a half of groove morphology compressed into an EP, and overlaid with new components to show, at once, how rhythmically pioneering Davis was-as if this needed reiteration-in a Sly Stone/James Brown sense, and how much influence he still exerts in rap and R&B. An old soul informing our new soul music. But wouldn’t you know: This brief set mostly works, if you can orient yourself to what’s essentially a tour-de-force of amalgamation, a testament to the recording studio and what can be done with old session tapes as much as that original music itself.
Guitarist Ray Crawford, best known for his associations with pianist Ahmad Jamal and organist Jimmy Smith, only led one session in his early years. Because the Candid label soon went bankrupt, the set went unreleased altogether until this 1988 CD. Comprised of five Crawford originals, the session finds the guitarist playing fairly advanced hard bop with trumpeter Johnny Coles, baritonist Cecil Payne (in top form), pianist Junior Mance, bassist Ben Tucker, and drummer Frankie Dunlop. Everyone sounds fine, making one regret that this set fell between the cracks for so many years.
Standard CD reissue of this 2010 album from the New York-based instrumental fusion band. With the release of the TELL YOUR FRIENDS (and the 2012 follow-up album GROUND UP), Snarky Puppy has gone from an underground secret to one of the most internationally respected names in contemporary Jazz. Over the last four years of touring, the group has gained a reputation for putting on a live show unparalleled in energy, virtuosity, and musicianship. They seamlessly fuse a deep knowledge and respect for the Jazz tradition with sonic and conceptual innovation in a way that is able to reach the most critical - or most carefree - audience.
Musillami's band gets bigger with each installment of his Playscape trilogy. On part three, Groove Teacher, the ensemble grows to a septet with the inclusion of tenor saxophonist Ralph Moore. Trumpeter Claudio Roditi replaces Randy Brecker from the previous album, Mar's Bars; bassist Charles (Chip) Jackson also comes on board for the first time. The four who have remained steady throughout are guitarist Musillami, pianist Kent Hewitt, drummer Steve Johns, and alto saxophonist/flutist Thomas Chapin. Hewitt and Chapin are particularly brilliant on this record, having had ample opportunity to absorb Musillami's concept as a composer and bandleader.