Beautifully arranged work from David Murray – an important early large group recording, one that really helped point the way to some of his later genius! The session features Murray leading an all-star octet that includes Henry Threadgill on alto, Olu Dara on trumpet, Butch Morris on cornet, George Lewis on trombone, Anthony Davis on piano, Wilbur Morris on bass, and Steve McCall on percussion. Tracks are a very hip set of original compositions that display an incredible range of soulful feeling and expression – and which open a door to a whole new chapter of Murray's career. Titles include "Ming", "Dewey's Circle", "Jasvan", "The Fast Life", and "The Hill". (Very heavy vinyl – with bonus CD too!)  ~ Dusty Groove


Great work from one of the grooviest pianists of the 60s – a player who could always keep things lively and swinging, even in a small combo session! The album's one of Pete Jolly's gems for the Ava label – a follow-up to his semi-hit Little Bird, and like that one, a record done with some slight additional help from Howard Roberts on a few tracks. But this time around, Roberts' work is only on a few of the titles – leaving Pete's core trio to take over most of the grooves themselves, building strongly from warmly rolling rhythms by Chuck Berghofer on bass and Larry Bunker on drums, topped by Jolly's surprisingly soulful lines on piano – all in a blend that reminds us of the great balance between lyricism and groove we always find in the best work of Vince Guaraldi. Titles include "Sweet September", "Can't We Be Friends", "Any Number Can Win", "Soft Winds", "Oleo", "Yours Is My Heart Alone", "I'm Beginning To See The Light", and "Kiss Me Baby". ~ Dusty Groove


A wonderful album by Odell Brown – recorded years after he broke up with his Organizers group, with a sweet electric groove that's very different than his Chess LPs – and also quite a bit different from other records on Paula in the mid 70s! Odell's playing electric piano on the set – grooving in a mellow funky way that reminds us of some of the early 70s Young-Holt albums, no surprise, since Odell and the Young-Holt team came out of the same scene. The tracks are nice and long, and nearly all originals. It kicks off a killer cover, though: an 11 minute jazzy soul take on Stevie Wonder's "I Love Every Little Thing About You" – and it also includes "South of 63rd", "Simizzoke", "Song Theme" and "Tasha". ~ Dusty Groove