Guitarist Doc Powell remembers the days where he was struggling in small night clubs to make a living on his first release for the Head's Up label 97th and Columbus.…
Guitarist Doc Powell remembers the days where he was struggling in small night clubs to make a living on his first release for the Head's Up label 97th and Columbus
. That was the address where Powell started his career in the early 80's at a place called Mikell's in the upper west side of Manhattan. Powell pays tribute to a couple of the influences that he had over those early years, but also shows his songwriting abilities as well. 97th and Columbus
is Powell's strongest showing to date and his originals hit the mark perfectly. From the title track to the deeply moving Two Hearts
, Powell shows his versatility in both material and in depth. He gets some great backup help from bassist Marcus Miller, pianist Patrice Rushen, drummer Harvey Mason and keyboardist George Duke.
Doc Powell also uses 97th and Columbus
to musically thank the people and music that have helped him move away from being a backup musician to people like Luther Vandross, Aretha Franklin, Teddy Pendergrass, Jeffrey Osborne, Dionne Warwick, Grover Washington Jr. and Bob James and have a great solo career. He pays tribute to fellow guitarist George Benson with his 21st century spin on Benson's classic Breezin'
to legendary pianist Ramsey Lewis with Sun Goddess
and the influence of Motown with Powell's take on Marvin Gaye's What's Going On
, which features Vandross helping out on vocals. Powell also pays tribute to another guitarist that influenced him, Chet Atkins, by penning Ode to Chet
which shows just how underrated Atkins was to many guitarists of other music genres. 97th and Columbus
is Doc Powell's tribute to where he was, where he is now and where he is going in the future. That place where he is going is to the top of the smooth jazz charts. Powell might have a future at the top, but he will never forget where he came from and 97th and Columbus
shows that he is on solid ground.