Most John Patton albums are hard-driving, edgy soul-jazz and funk, and the title of Accent on the Blues makes the record seem like it would be no different than his other sessions. Of course, that isn't the case. Accent on the Blues is among the most atmospheric music Patton has ever made. While it stops short of being free, it's hardly funky soul-jazz, and that may disappoint some fans of his rip-roaring style. Nevertheless, the album is a rewarding listen, primarliy because it displays a more reflective side of his talent, demonstrating that he can hold his own among the likes of guitarist James Blood Ulmer and saxophonist Marvin Cabell.
Soul-jazz and Hammond B3 pioneer Jimmy McGriff made the Groove Merchant record label his home base for the better part of the 1970s, releasing the often overlooked Fly Dude in 1972. This is McGriff at his most varied. Working with Ronald Arnold on tenor saxophone, George Freeman and John Thomas on guitars, and Marion Booker Jr. on drums, McGriff tackles a Jimmy Smith tune ("Jumping the Blues"), a Memphis Slim classic ("Everyday I Have the Blues"), and a bop touchstone by sax great Charlie Parker ("Yardbird Suite").
This late 1980’s album is a gem. 40 year old Tommy Chase was an experienced bandleader who worked with younger musicians and harnessed their energies to create an outfit who were at the forefront of the 80’s resurgence in modern jazz. They played hard bop to a younger audience who were only too ready to respond on the dance floor. Sadly, even by the time this came out, many of the great modern jazz originators had died, were no longer active or had moved on to play in different styles, but at least Tommy and co were there for us.
A mad mix of Latin and funky rhythms – a 70s classic from the Belgian group Chakachas! The album's best known for its title hit "Jungle Fever" – an insane cut that features heavy drums, choppy guitar, and a stop/start action that's peppered with sounds of female pleasure! The track was a worldwide hit, and continues to be a funky classic today – thanks to a heavy sample history, and a life in playlists worldwide – but the rest of the album's pretty darn great too, and even weirder. Some tracks mix easy Euro grooving with heavy conga, others have kind of an LA Chicano funk approach, and still others throw in some mad horns to complicate matters with nice jazzy riffing. Really great throughout – and maybe one of the best funky albums to ever come out on a major label!
Recorded and released in 1975, Seriously Deep is the only album producer, arranger, conductor, and composer David Axelrod recorded for Polydor. Strangely enough, Jimmy Bowen and Cannonball Adderley produced it, not Axe. He did write everything here, and one has no doubt that he hand-selected most of the set's players: Joe Sample on Fender Rhodes, clavinet, and Arp synth; Ernie Watts, Jerome Richardson, Jay Migliori, and Gene Cipriano on reeds and winds; trumpeters Snooky Young and Allen DiRienzo; Jimmy Cleveland and Dick Hyde on trombones; Billy Fender and John Morell on guitars; Jim Hughart on bass; drummer Ndugu Chancler; percussionist Mailto Correa; and concertmaster Jack Shulman for the strings.
Larry Young's third and final Prestige recording (reissued in the OJC series on CD) concludes his early period; he would next record as a leader two and a half years later on Blue Note, by which time his style would be much more original. For his 1962 outing, Young is joined by the obscure tenor Bill Leslie, guitarist Thornel Schwartz and drummer Jimmie Smith for some original blues and two standards ("I Found a New Baby" and "Sweet Lorraine"). Nothing all that substantial occurs, but fans of Jimmy Smith will enjoy the similar style that Larry Young had at the time.