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Richard "Groove" Holmes: Groove

Album Notes

When the participants on this CD reissue gathered together in March 1961, it was with the objective of recording a Les McCann vocal album. However, the band had such a good time during their warmup that McCann and the others agreed that it would be a crime to waste the opportunity. Organist Richard "Groove" Holmes, whom McCann had recently discovered, was made the leader; a few jump tunes and originals were agreed upon, and the result is a loose, enjoyable jam session. In addition to Holmes' appealing organ and McCann's typically funky piano, a major bonus is the brilliant playing of tenor saxophonist Ben Webster, whose tone was at its most gorgeous during this period. The five songs on the original LP are joined by a number that was last on a sampler, a McCann vocal track ("Next Spring"), and a previously unreleased version of "Just Friends." The spontaneous and soulfully swinging music, which also features trombonist Tricky Lofton, guitarist George Freeman and drummer Ron Jefferson, is easily recommended. ~ Scott Yanow



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