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Portrait

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Album Review

With its mix of soulful ballads, blues, and soul-jazz cookers, this is a pretty accurate "portrait" of Crawford, though it doesn't add anything unexpected to his profile. Starting out with the archetypical blues shuffle "Tanya," his big fatback tone illuminating the course of "Count Every Star," or slipping some quotes into "Happy Faces," Crawford remains happily content with his idiom, with no need to change at a time when it was coming back into favor. On three tracks, Crawford is joined by the comfortably compatible David "Fathead" Newman, twice on tenor and once on alto. Johnny Hammond keeps the organ pumping along, even varying the tone quality now and then; guitarist Jimmy Ponder has a few erratic moments; and drummer Vance James is sufficiently adept at propelling the blues shuffle. Though not one of the best latter-day Crawford sessions, Portrait won't let the faithful down. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Biography

Born: 21 December 1934 in Memphis, TN

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

With an unmistakable blues wail, full of emotion and poignancy, altoist Hank Crawford bridges the gap between that tradition and that of jazz more completely than any other living horn player. Born in Memphis, Crawford was steeped in the blues tradition from an early age. He began playing piano but switched to alto when his father brought one home from the army. He claims his early influences as Louis Jordan, Earl Bostic, and Johnny Hodges. Crawford hung out with Phineas Newborn, Jr., Booker Little,...
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Portrait, Hank Crawford
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