So this next post is a trifecta from the one and only Jimmy McGriff, God rest his soul. I could wax poetic about him for days--that completely untranscribable phrasing, the way he sits at the front edge of a vamp, pushing the tempo just a bit, how those pop tunes that would sound like utter muzak in almost any other jazz musician's repertoire come alive beneath his fingers and feet, how those pop tunes that sound like muzak even when the band behind him is playing them sound great the moment he enters on organ.......
Also included in the same .zip file is Honey, a 1968 Solid State release also produced by Lester. It's got 11 very short tracks, all R&B/Soul covers. The band isn't tight--check out how many times they flub the form on "Since You've Been Gone"--but they are clearly having a good time, playing with admirable energy, especially for a group who is obviously reading some charts for the first or second time, and of course McGriff is doing his thing all over it. The cover of the James Brown classic "I got the Feelin" is worth the album alone.
Finally, I've ripped my copy of the surprisingly great 1986 Hank Crawford and Jimmy McGriff album Soul Survivors. Maybe it's my age--born in the late 70s--but I tend to just assume that jazz from the 80s is going to...well, suck (have a look at that album cover and tell me it didn't make you think the same thing; it looks like a back drop from In Living Color). However, this album just does not. Bernard Purdie's presence on the album is STRONG and though the compositions are a bit run-of-the-mill, the band seems to be thoroughly enjoying themselves. And I'll say it again: McGriff sounds awesome.
The musicians are:
Honey : Jimmy McGriff (org) with tp's, tb, as, prob. Fats Theus (el-ts) bar, g, el-b, d.
New York, 1968
Stump Juice : 2 tp-1, fl-2, Leo Johnson, Jesse Morrison (as,ts) Joe Thomas (ts-4) Jimmy McGriff (org,el-p) Ernest Jones (synt-3) Jimmy Ponder (g) Ralph Byrd (rhythm-g) Andy McCloud (b) Bobby Cranshaw (b-5) Lawrence Killian (d,perc)
New York, 1975 ?
Soul Survivors : Hank Crawford/Jimmy McGriff : Hank Crawford (as) Jimmy McGriff (org,synt) George Benson (el-g-1) Jim Pittsburgh (el-g-2) Bernard "Pretty" Purdie (d) Mel Lewis (d-3)