From the Music Review Archves: Soul to Jazz II

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APRIL 1998

Bernard Purdie
Soul To Jazz II
Lush Life Records

By Tony Green

Speaking of Cornell Dupree, he’s one of several notables on veteran skinsman Bernard Purdie’s Soul To Jazz II (ACT 9235-2 63:02), yet another reminder of the near limitless enjoyment to be derived from players who understand the nuances and inflections of the Afro-Atlantic tradition, better known as blues and swing. How else could someone breathe a smidgen of freshness into that most clichŽd of soul jazz standards, “Me Magic,” here slowed down to a near-#reggae-fied stroll and greased up with some straight-out-of-the Atlantic catalog sax bleats by Hank Crawford? This date turns some of the most skilled soul jazzers on the planet loose on material close to their hearts-with some, like the set-ending “Amen,” going straight for the gospel uplift. Purdie, Dupree, Crawford, Stanley Turrentine and pianist Junior Mance join Jack DeJohnette, Benny Green and Vincent Herring in a teeing-off session; imagine the Packers’ Gilbert Brown and Reggie White at a porterhouse-eating contest. “(Sometimes I Feel Like) A Motherless Child,” “Nobody Knows (The Trouble I’ve Seen)” as well as DeJohnette’s island-tinged “New Orleans Strutt” all get well thought-out workovers, in a relaxed swinging disc that’s enjoyable from start to finish.

Originally published in April 1998

About whatdoesbabysay

Middle School Teacher in Pinellas County, Florida. Kind of a writer, kind of a musician. Ex-athlete. Just hanging.
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