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Cookin' With the Mighty Burner

Charles Earland

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Album Review

Organist Earland is known far and wide as one of the more inventive, awe-inspiring, soul-sending practitioners of the B-3. On this set, he still sounds like the man to beat, but in many instances he instead allows his bandmates to shine. Those mates include younger firebrands (trumpeter Jim Rotundi and saxophonist Eric Alexander), as well as longtime sidemen (guitarist Melvin Sparks and drummer Bobby Durham), helped by percussionist Gary Fritz. Of course, when Earland wants to burn, he can, and does on many occasions. He recapitulates a piece from Front Burner which was titled "Mom & Dad," but is re-named "Seven of Nine." It's a modal cooker in 10/8 that is even more relentless than the original with a reworked head for the horns. Earland leads the way on Carole King's half-speed "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," but the trumpet and tenor, separately or together, inspire the charge on other cuts; Rotundi quite naturally on "Seven Steps to Heaven," "Milestones," and "Stella By Starlight." Alexander is really hitting his stride, getting fluttery and animated on "Seven Steps" and "Seven of Nine." And Sparks, who is woefully underdocumented these days, proves why he is still one of the all-time greats. His shimmering chords on "Milestones" and fleet single lines in the middle of "Seven Steps" provide plenty of evidence for this contention. At first you think this is a head-solo-tail fest, with the first four cuts running true to predictable form. But then Earland steps forward, turns up the heat, and things cook along nicely until the end. This is one of Earland's better efforts in the last ten years of his life, consistent from start to finish. The burner is in the house, and mightier than ever. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Biography

Born: May 24, 1941 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Jazz

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

Charles Earland came into his own at the tail-end of the great 1960s wave of soul-jazz organists, gaining a large following and much airplay with a series of albums for the Prestige label. While heavily indebted to Jimmy Smith and Jimmy McGriff, Earland came armed with his own swinging, technically agile, light-textured sound on the keyboard and one of the best walking-bass pedal...
Full bio
Cookin' With the Mighty Burner, Charles Earland
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Hard Bop
  • Released: Jul 15, 1999

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