During the 1960s and '70s, jazz was a universal commodity and reverberated continuously across the airwaves of radio, especially so in a style of music known as soul jazz. Artists such as Jack McDuff, Richard "Groove" Holmes, Jimmy McGriff, Stanley Turrentine, David "Fathead" Newman, Charles Earland and a host of others established a beach head in jazz that included funk activated rhythms and riffs. That style of music became a hit on numerous jazz and R&B radio stations, as well as in dance clubs everywhere. From the moment on when funk and soul became yet another jazz staple in the 1960s and '70s, the spotlight illuminated many artists; further examination revealed the development of a "Jazz Renaissance."
Although the so-called funk/soul jazz phenomenon only lasted approximately 12 years at best, the music made a significant contribution to the careers of past, present and future artists. Ultimately they became known as funk meisters and with that the overall scope of jazz experienced another evolution. But since the 1970s the popularity of these musicians has diminished to a very large extent, but as history has seen time and time again, trends are often re-visited. Consider the 2006 release of Night Crawlers Presenting on the Cellar Live Record Label.
As a jazz import hailing from Canada, this outstanding b3 organ quintet has re-visited the funk soul jazz phenomennon that was once extremely popular. What is just as significant is the Night Crawlers have put into play a classic signature of their own. In many ways they have re-introduced one of music's most prolific styles to an entirely new generation of jazz aficionados. From beginning to end through eight dynamic tracks of funk activated grooves and rhythms, 'Presenting' sets a standard not readily heard during recent times. Simply stated, anytime a b3 organ is put into the mix the perspective will generally be beyond the scope of the conventional line of thinking. When listening to this CD, Night Crawlers' sound is a reflection of the funk and circumstance exhibited by such artists as Jimmy Smith, "Brother" Jack McDuff and Booker T. & The MG's, where horns and rhythm came together under one commonality of funk.
When putting 'Presenting' in perspective, the Night Crawlers have placed their own indelible stamp on a style of jazz that continues to prosper in spite of smooth jazz radio's reluctance to highlight the contributions of the music's pioneers. Tracks such as J.J. Jackson's "But It's Alright" and others tunes composed by John Patton, Horace Silver and McDuff are funk activated milestones. That in itself shows jazz aficionados, beginners and connoisseurs alike where the genre has been and the music's continued evolution. Kudos to the Night Crawler's ability to keep hope alive in jazz as an art form that is uniquely qualified to be sustained as a powerful musical force.