Album Reviews: A Mix Bag of Jazz & R&B

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1. Jimmy SmithRespect: Recorded, June 2 & 14 1967 on Verve.  Released in 1967, Respect was fairly commercial during it’s initial run, peaking at number 60 on Billboard Top 200, number 3 on Billboard Top R&B Albums and number 5 on Billboard Top Jazz Albums.  ••• out of 5


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2. Jimmy Smith & Wes MontgomeryThe Dynamic Duo: Recorded, September 21, 23 & 28, 1966 on Verve. Released in 1966 to favorable reviews by critics and considered a jazz classic by fans. Guest musicians include the like of: Ray Barretto on congas, Clark Terry on trumpet, Richard Davis on bass, Phil Woods on reeds and Melba Liston on trombone. •••• out of 5



3. MaxwellUrban Hang Suite: Released, April 2, 1996 on Columbia and was Maxwell’s debut album.  Maxwell’s break-through hit was the funky second single Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder), which received heavy rotation on r&b and pop radio stations. Urban Hang Suite is a 90’s neo-soul masterpiece and has helped the new genre obtain commercial visibility.  Urban Hang Suite peaked at number 37 on Billboard Top 200 and number 8 on Billboard R&B Albums.  ••• out of 5


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4. Les McCann & Eddie HarrisSwiss Movement: Recorded, June 21 1969 at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Released, 1969 on Atlantic Swiss Movement is a soul-jazz live classic. The impromptu concert between McCann & Harris produced the mega hit “Compared To What“. Swiss Movement peaked at number 1 on Billboard Jazz Albums, number 2 on Billboard R&B Albums and number 29 on Billboard Top 200.  •••• out of 5

5. Charles Lloyd Quartet – Love In: Recorded, January 27, 1967 on Atlantic. Released at the end of 1969, this live album showcases the Charles Lloyd Quartet blend of soul and jazz. Alongside Charles Lloyd  on tenor saxophone & flute; Keith Jarrett on piano, Ron McClure on bass and John DeJohnette on drums.  •••• out of 5
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6. Massive AttackMezzanine: Released, April 20, 1998 on Circa – Virgin and is the third studio album. Mezzanine is the group most successful trip hop album; a unique blend of rock, hip-hop and dub.  A darker album than two previous albums and Horace Andy the legendary reggae artist is also featured throughout the album.  Mezzanine topped charts in Europe and Australia, however peaking at number 60 on Billboard Top 200. Four singles were released from Mezzanine: “Risingson“,Teardrop“, “Angel” and “Inertia Creep“. •••• out of 5


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7. Carmen McRaeJust A Little Lovin: Released, March 1970 on Atlantic and was McRae’s fourth and final record for the label. During the late sixties, early seventies a lot of jazz vocalist were making pop oriented record: striving to capture the young generation of that time. McRae, made her share of pop records, however, Just A Little Lovin has more of an soul edge. Musicians on the Atlantic session include: The Dixie Flyers Studio Band, King Curtis and The Sweet Inspirations.  ••• out of 5


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