After a series of sugary soul-jazz dates for Blue Note, Reuben Wilson resurfaced on Groove Merchant with The Sweet Life. The title notwithstanding, the session is his darkest and hardest-edged to date, complete with a physicality missing from previous efforts. Credit tenor saxophonist Ramon Morris, trumpeter Bill Hardman, guitarist Lloyd Davis, bassist Mickey Bass, and drummer Thomas Derrick, whose skin-tight grooves sand away the polished contours of Wilson's organ solos to reveal their diamond-sharp corners. The material, while predictable (i.e., standbys like "Inner City Blues" and "Never Can Say Goodbye"), is nevertheless well suited to the set's righteous funk sound.
Monster funk from Hammond hero Reuben Wilson – an album of hard-burning, bad-walking tunes that are a fair bit different than most of his other work! Although Wilson recorded some pretty traditional organ jazz for the Blue Note and Groove Merchant labels, this album has him working with his "Cost Of Living" group – a combo who only recorded this one album, and which includes Richard Tee on keyboards, Bad Bascomb on bass, Bernard Purdie on drums, and both Houston Person and Pee Wee Ellis on tenor sax! Most cuts have some sort of vocals – sung by either Sammy Turner or Kenny Williams, both of whom really fit the badass spirit of the record, and bring in a nice range of deeper themes from the 70s.
Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and the latest 24bit 192kHz remastering. Reuben Wilson changes up the groove from his previous Blue Note sets – and the result is one of his greatest albums to date! This smoking little set has an edge that you really wouldn't expect – rhythms that move past the simple Blue Funk mode – into a more complicated style of funky jazz that really has Reuben hitting the Hammond in a fresh new way – of the sort he'd explore on his later albums for the Groove Merchant label. The group's a simple quartet – with the unusual lineup of Earl Turbington on alto, Eddie Diehl on guitar, and Harold White on drums – but the sound is a lot fuller and richer, thanks to a free-spirited approach to the rhythms of the tunes.
Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and the latest 24bit 192kHz remastering. Heavy funk from the mighty Reuben Wilson – one of his first few albums for Blue Note, and a solid soulful groover that's right up there with Lou Donaldson's work for the label at the time! Tracks are nice and long, and pretty open – often with that kicking drum sound at the bottom that you'd normally associate with Idris Muhammad, but which is handled here by Tommy Derrick on drums. Melvin Sparks plays some mighty mean guitar – in that great lean early style of his – and the group's completed by John Manning on tenor, a player we don't know at all – but whose lines here are a great counterpart to Wilson's heavy Hammond! Titles include "Orange Peel", "Blue Mode", "Bambu", "Knock On Wood", "Twenty Five Miles", and "Bus Ride".
Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and the latest 24bit 192kHz remastering. Hammond hero Reuben Wilson's on Broadway – and he hits a massively soulful groove that's light years from the cliched sounds of the great white way! The set's one of the tightest cookers from Wilson's early years on Blue Note – and has a vibe that's a bit different than the rest, thanks to some compelling rhythmic elements that push things past a Lou Donaldson groove, and more into that chunky approach to organ jazz that Wilson would explore later on the Groove Merchant label.
Set Us Free, Reuben Wilson's final album for Blue Note, was issued in 1971. Since that time it has become an immortal and much sought classic by beatheads for a single track: "We're in Love." DJ Premier sampled it liberally – for its Hammond B-3 vamps, backing vocals, and decorative percussion – for use on rapper Nas' smash "Memory Lane." Hip-hop fans suddenly had to hear more, and as a result not only is Wilson active again on the circuit, but there has also been terrific interest in his catalog.
The real proof in the pudding of whether the Beastie Boys can really funk it up isn't on their own records. Naysayers have been claiming that it's all a rip, that the grooves are pure sample-happy appropriation. While Dr. Lonnie Smith gave Beck the B-3 treatment on his own Boogaloo to Beck, Love Bug mastermind and killer B-3 boss Ruben Wilson snagged P-Funk keyboard ace Bernie Worrell, saxophonist Andrew Beals, and a rhythm section that includes guitarist Doug Munro and skin popper LaFrae Olivia Sci and dug deep into the Beasties' catalog to let the real soul groove out of the bag.
Reissue. Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and the latest 24bit 192kHz remastering. On Song for My Daughter, his third record for Blue Note, Jack Wilson "changed with the times," to paraphrase one of the record's songs. Like many of his peers on the label, Wilson pursued a pop direction as the '60s drew to a close, which meant he covered pop hits like "Scarborough Fair/Canticle" and "Stormy," and that he recorded the album with a large band augmented by a string section. It is a testament to Wilson's strengths as a pianist that he doesn't get lost in this heavy-handed setting and manages to contribute some typically graceful moments, including the lovely title song.
Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and the latest 24bit 192kHz remastering. A real treasure through and through – one of the most unusual Blue Note albums you'll ever hear, and a set that's one of the best-remembered from the team of pianist Jack Wilson and vibist Roy Ayers! Long before Roy struck out on his own in the world of funky soul, he worked often in the 60s with Wilson – and the pair have this unique way of blending vibes and piano that's completely fresh, and still unmatched all these many years later!