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From The Heart by Hank Crawford

They don't make 'em like Hank Crawford [and David "Fathead" Newman!] anymore -- guys drenched in "roots music" (blues, R&B, wot-ever) as much as jazz, capable of playing with darn near anyone including B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Ray Charles and Buster Williams. While thought of primarily as a blues-based player (which of course he is), he's more recently gotten in touch with his Inner Beboper -- however, this long-lost-now-renewed set is from 1962, when the Light of The Ray was shining upon him still. (Crawford was once musical director for the late 50s/early 60s Charles outfit.) Which is to say From The Heart straddles the (overlaping) borders between old-old-school R&B (think Earl Bostic, Arnett Cobb, even Louis Jordan) and big band jazz. Heart features tight, swinging arrangements of (mostly) bluesy originals with prominent overtones of Ellington and (especially) Basie, with Crawford's big, demonstrative, piquant, always-Midnight-somewhere alto sax getting the lion's share of the solo spotlight. One interesting, rather-uncommon-for-the time factoid about this set: there's NO piano or keyboards, and there's guitar on only three of the nine tracks. While nothing startling, this IS a solid-sender stash of some fine meat-&-potatoes/biscuits & gravy instrumental music -- soulful 60s chill-out stuff, if you will.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Hank Crawford
  • CD Title: From The Heart
  • Genre: Soul / Funk Jazz
  • Year Released: 2004
  • Reissue Original Release: 1962
  • Record Label: Collectables
  • Musicians: H.C.: alto sax; David Newman: tenor sax; Leroy Cooper: baritone sax; John Hunt, Phil Guilbeau: trumpets; Bruno Carr: drums; Edgar Willis: bass; Sonny Forrest: guitar.
  • Rating: Three Stars
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