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Reviewers: Don Mather, Tony Augarde, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby

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Right Turn on Blue

Telarc CD 83366



1. Next Time You See Me
2. Maggie
3. Red Top
4. Daddy's Home
5. Right Turn on Blue
6. Teach Me Tonight
7. The Masher
8. But on the Other Hand
9. Back at the Chicken Shack


Jimmy McGriff Hammond B-3 Organ
Hank Crawford - Alto sax
Rodney Jones - Guitar
Jesse Hameen - Drums

Jimmy McGriff and Hank Crawford are old hands at no-nonsense jazz: the sort which is firmly based on the blues and insists on swinging infectiously. yet this is not to say that the music lacks substance - i n fact it is much subtler than it may appear on the surface. Both Jimmy and Hank use bluesy tunes to provide familiar structures but they build various subtleties on these bases. Note, for instance, how their solos stride across the pulse, crossing the bar-lines with ease - even sashaying cheerfully through them. Guitarist Rodney Jones fits in well with this approach, making you want to tap your feet but throwing in some surprises along the way. And drummer Jesse Hameen keeps the music moving (aided by McGriff on the organ pedals) while throwing in just the right accents, fills and solos.

This album was actually recorded in a New York studio in 1994 but it has the relaxed good-time atmosphere of a club date. Much of the credit must go to Jimmy McGriff, who often introduces a tune alone on the Hammond B-3, setting the mood and even the theme for all four musicians. But all four work superbly together. As an example of their togetherness, take Percy Mayfield's But on the Other Hand, which Rodney Jones introduces with some fine B. B. King-style blues guitar, followed by fervent preaching from Hank Crawford's saxophone. Jimmy McGriff's solo veers from restraint to passion, while Jesse Hameen accentuates when necessary and holds back when advisable.

The best Hammond organ recordings make you feel good while enticing you to tap your feet and even snap your fingers. This album does exactly what it says on the tin.

Tony Augarde


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