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Feelin It by Jimmy McGriff

Seemingly eclipsed by jazz organ master Jimmy Smith, organist Jimmy McGriff has nevertheless managed to find his own voice in the so-called soul-jazz genre. On Feelin' It, McGriff serves up generous portions of some cooking, meat-and-potatoes soul jazz that makes good use of a contingent of guest-star saxophonists on several tracks--Bill Easley on alto and tenor, David "Fathead" Newman on tenor, and Ronnie Cuber on baritone.

"Stan's Shuffle" is a jumping blues by the late tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine, with whom McGriff performed on occasion. Unfortunately, the two never recorded together. All of the saxophone soloists dig in during their solos, but Cuber steals the show with a gritty and gutsy outing. "Hard Times" is really a bow to Newman, who scores with a laidback tenor solo on the tune, his hit from 1969. McGriff's working group (guitarist Boyd and drummer Williams) takes care of Boyd's boogalooing "Us," a surprisingly sprightly version of Miles Davis's "All Blues," the standard "Just in Time" (the latter is played with a nice Latin touch), and McGriff's own funky "City Lights."

Boyd and Williams are replaced by guitarist Melvin Sparks and drummer Kenny Washington on Sparks's grooving title track and a burning Jimmy Smith tribute called "Sermonizing," both of which also feature the saxophonists, as do the aforementioned "Stan's Shuffle" and "Hard Times." All of the sax players contribute some incendiary solos to these cuts, but it's really McGriff who owns the date with his in-the-pocket organ solos on each track and some always-inspiring comping behind the soloists.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Jimmy McGriff
  • CD Title: Feelin It
  • Genre: Soul / Funk Jazz
  • Year Released: 2001
  • Record Label: Milestone
  • Musicians: Jimmy McGriff (organ), Bill Easley (alto and tenor saxophones), David "Fathead" Newman (tenor saxophone), Ronnie Cuber (baritone saxophone, Wayne Boyd (guitar), Melvin Sparks (guitar), Don Williams (drums), Kenny Washington (drums)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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