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Best of Richard "Groove" Holmes

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Album Review

After getting started with Pacific Jazz in the first half of the '60s, organist Richard "Groove" Holmes landed at the Prestige label to ride out the remainder of the decade. The association not only produced some of his best sides, but saw the release of one of his biggest hits, "Misty." Holmes' up-tempo rendition of the Errol Garner classic would join many other organ jazz gems as a favorite in black clubs across the country and even cross over enough to give the organist a wider fan base. The cut rightfully kicks off this collection of several of Holmes' most memorable Prestige tracks. With just one other cover here, the set mostly includes Holmes originals like "Soul Power" and "Boo-D-Doo." These organ, guitar, and drum trio numbers are contrasted nicely by the quintet track "Groove's Blue Groove," which features tenor saxophonist Teddy Edwards, guitarist Pat Martino, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Billy Higgins. Additional variety is supplied by the big-band closer, "Super Soul." A fine showcase of one of the top B-3 players to gain fame in the wake of Jimmy Smith's trailblazing work.

Biography

Born: 02 May 1931 in Camden, NJ

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Revered in soul-jazz circles, Richard "Groove" Holmes was an unapologetically swinging Jimmy Smith admirer who could effortlessly move from the grittiest of blues to the most sentimental of ballads. Holmes, a very accessible, straightforward and warm player who was especially popular in the black community, had been well respected on the Philadelphia/Southern New Jersey circuit by the time he signed with Pacific Jazz in the early '60s and started receiving national attention by recording with such...
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Best of Richard "Groove" Holmes, Richard Groove Holmes
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