PW: egroj

lunes, 29 de mayo de 2017

Reuben Wilson • Blue Mode

Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
If Love Bug skirted the edges of free jazz and black power, Blue Mode embraces soul-jazz and Memphis funk in no uncertain terms. Opening with the cinematic, stuttering "Bambu" and running through a set of relaxed, funky grooves -- including covers of Eddie Floyd's "Knock on Wood" and Edwin Starr's "Twenty-Five Miles" -- Blue Mode isn't strictly a jazz album, but its gritty, jazzy vamps and urban soul-blues make it highly enjoyable. Reuben Wilson has a laid-back, friendly style and his supporting band -- tenor saxophonist John Manning, guitarist Melvin Sparks, and drummer Tommy Derrick -- demonstrate a similarly warm sense of tone. While none of them break through with any improvisations that would satiate hardcore jazz purists, they know how to work a groove, and that's what makes Blue Mode a winner.

1. Bambu
2. Knock on Wood
3. Bus Ride
4. Orange Peel
5. Twenty-Five Miles
6. Blue Mode

JOHN MANNING, tenor sax

Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, December 12, 1969.

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