Hoo-wee!! Absolutely smoking soul-jazz from altoist Donaldson with some help from Lonnie Smith on Hammond & George Benson (pre-"On Broadway") on guitar. Leo Morris on drums and Melvin Lastie on cornet round out the quintet.
from Alligator Boogaloo, available on CD (Blue Note)
One of the few succesful attempts at using a gospel choir on a jazz recording (along with Max Roach's "It's Time" LP from the previous year...which, coincidentally, featured the same chorus), Byrd's "A New Perspective" album was the first time it was really attempted with a small group setting (Roach's was backed by an orchestra). This, the opening track, begins with a vocalese scat by the choir that calls to mind old slave work songs. From there, the incredible band (featuring a very young Herbie Hancock and Kenny Burrell, among others) strikes up, and begins to follow a basic riff with the chorus that takes you through the remaining nine-plus minutes with various tempo changes throughout. An equally impressive edited version appeared as a b-side to the single of "Cristo Redentor", which got to be a minor hit on the pop charts.
from A New Perspective, available on CD (Blue Note)
Beautiful samba, with great mellow sax playing from one of the masters of the Coleman Hawkins-influenced tenor on his final album. The counterpoint of Kenny Burrell's guitar and Garvin Masseaux's gentle percussion with Quebec's long warm tones really make this track.
Greatest instrument of this song is Marlena's voice and the story it tells about being a mother and getting along in ghetto. I haven't heard any as improvising singer than she is and I know there is not many as versatile as she is and that is the reason You need to get this song. During eight minutes that this song lasts you may find yourself singin' "I'm woman of the gheeetto...", even if you are not and you there may also raise urges to feed a baby. This is a warning.
This song goes to same category as Marvin Gaye´s and Curtis Mayfield´s political material, but what makes this different is that this song does it by the point of view of a woman. And lord that woman is strong one.
from Spice of Life (Cadet) available on CD - Blue Break Beats Volume Four (Blue Note)