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The Soul Book/Mocha Motion by Freddie Roach

A dramatic departure from organist Freddie Roach’s Blue Note recordings, he is experimental, soulful and pensive. While the Blue Note sessions were notable and worthy, these two Prestige outings are far better in terms of creativity, foresight and direction. From "The Soul Book," the opening cut "Spacious" is meditative and has a sound similar to Larry Young at the time. One thing is clear, however, Roach is his own man, but he does have his heroes. "Avatara" is equally as interesting as Roach explored new depth and color on the Hammond. "Tenderly," a standard, definitely meant for the jukebox, bears obvious resemblance to "Groove" Holmes treatment of such tunes while aiming toward a more commercial sound. Roach shares the spotlight with tenor player Buddy Terry, guitarists Skeeter Best and Vinnie Corrao and drummer Jackie Mills who tastefully follow his lead while turning out some the best tones in town. The second part of this desk (originally "Mocha Motion") begins with the Brazilian classic, "Samba de Orfeo," It’s appropriately festive samba and Roach was effective in making the point. "Good Morning Time" combines Latin rhythms with other textures throughout this mellow cocktail-like cut. His colleagues on this session included Vincent Corrao (present on both sessions who also worked with organist Don Patterson), conga player Ralph Dorsey and drummer Eddie Gladden. Some of the other tunes had less impact and for that reason, I don’t mention them. However, Roach was truly prolific, though not well known, and these projects were far more ambitious than any at Blue Note. A treasure for soul-jazzers.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Freddie Roach
  • CD Title: The Soul Book/Mocha Motion
  • Genre: Other
  • Year Released: 1966
  • Record Label: Unknown
  • Rating: Four Stars
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