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Bob James

℗ 1976 Creed Taylor Inc. Records CTI 6063

℗ 2013 barin.livejournal.com BR LLK 18612

Bob James • 1976 • Three

By Three, Bob James - the pianist, composer, and arranger - was deep into jazz-funk. The five tracks here reflect his obsession with hard, danceable grooves that take as much from the soul-jazz book as they do his years with CTI. Using many of the same session players he bonded with at his former label - including Eric Gale, Hugh McCracken, Hubert Laws, Will Lee, and Harvey Mason - and a large host of stellar horn players (among them Lew Soloff and Jon Faddis), James offers five selections of simple but fun jazz-pop. On 'One Mint Julep,' Grover Washington's tenor goes head to head with James' Rhodes and synths. 'Women of Ireland' is a solid take on the ballad with fine guitar work from Gale as a contrast to the watershed of strings. The laid-back, space groove contains another killer solo by Washington, while 'Westchester Lady' borders on disco without ever falling headlong into it. The closer, 'Jamaica Farewell,' is another shimmering ballad with a whistle solo by Washington playing the melody. The faux-reggae rhythm and slippery bassline are the only things that keep it from slipping into a lightweight ether. Unfortunately, the Koch CD reissues do not contain the bonus track 'Look Look.' The remastered sound is welcome, though, and while the sound here is somewhat dated, the feel is timeless.

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Westchester Lady