VA - Street Grooves (2002)
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VA - Street Grooves (2002)

Artist: Various Artists
Title Of Album: Street Grooves
Year Of Release: 2002
Label: Fantasy / FCD-7715-2
Genre: Funk, Disco, Soul, Jazz
Total Time: 1:17:09
Format: Mp3 / FLAC (tracks +.cue, log-file)
Quality: CBR 320 kbps / Lossless
Total Size: 185 mb / 525 mb
This is a solid, top-to-bottom compilation of the crossover jazz that blossomed in the 1970s, also known as groove jazz. Different than the soul-jazz of the 1960s it grew out of, the groove jazz that came out of the '70s and '80s was deeply entwined in funk and R&B -- in many cases inseparable from it. Perhaps the best case for this is on the album's opener, "Happy Music" by the Blackbyrds, a group who grew out of Donald Byrd's album by the same name and was led by trombonist George Bohannon and saxophonist Ernie Watts and featured Merry Clayton on vocals. "Happy Music" was a smash 12" that was played on dancefloors all over the country and in Europe, but also featured enough of the jazz idiom in its rhythmic sophistication to not be called a straight funk number. On the following "Black Byrd" by Donald Byrd, we can see just how far the trumpeter was willing to take his integrated vision of jazz, funk, and soul. Produced by Larry Mizell, "Black Byrd" is the most quintessential Detroit jazz funk track, rooted in a step-down groove, with killer piano fills by Joe Sample (one of two electric pianos on the cut) and Byrd's trumpet providing an in-the-pocket groove mode for hand percussion and Harvey Mason's slip-beat drumming. Byrd's trumpet is placed through layers of effects bleats like Miles Davis' on Bitches Brew, but carries the outside melodic fringe the whole way. Other cuts here are also classics of the genre: Patrice Rushen's awesome "The Hump," with its off-kilter bassline; Stanley Turrentine's "Hope That We Can Be Together Again Soon"; the Hank Crawford/Jimmy McGriff collaboration "The River's Invitation," built on Percy Mayfield's original vocal number; and McGriff's excellent read of Fats Domino's "I'm Walkin'," which is drenched in funky soul power. The album closes with the Three Pieces' Philly-drenched "I Need You Girl," a vocal track with a harmony chart that is as sophisticated as any in jazz. The music here may be commercial music, or at least it was then, but it is full of a quality of presentation and musical sophistication that keeps it well within the jazz family album.
TRACKLIST:
01. Happy Music - The Blackbyrds
02. Black Byrd - Donald Byrd
03. Future Now - Pleasure
04. Always There - Ronnie Laws
05. Always There - Side Effect
06. Straight To The Bank - Bill Summers
07. The Hump - Patrice Rushen
08. You're Gonna Lose Me - Freddie Hubbard
09. Rock Creek Park - The Blackbyrds
10. Hope That We Can Be Together Soon - Stanley Turrentine
11. The River's Invitation - Jimmy McGriff
12. I'm Walkin' - Jimmy McGriff
13. I Need You Girl - Three Pieces
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