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Feels So Good

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Album Review

The aptly titled and much-sampled Feels So Good represents the creative apex of Grover Washington, Jr.'s sublime electric funk sound. Its shimmering, soulful grooves refute the argument that smooth jazz is little more than mere ambience, combining expert playing and intricate songwriting to create music that is both compelling and comforting. Arranger Bob James is in top form here, creating the spacious, rich milieus that are his trademark, but regardless of the name above the title, bassist Louis Johnson is the real star of the show. His supple rhythms percolate like coffee, adding oomph to the bottom of highlights "Hydra" and "Knucklehead" while Washington's cream-and-sugar soprano sax solos soar over the top.


Born: 12 December 1943 in Buffalo, NY

Genre: Jazz

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

One of the most popular saxophonists of all time, Grover Washington, Jr. was long the pacesetter in his field. His roots were in R&B and soul-jazz organ combos, but he also fared very well on the infrequent occasions when he played straight-ahead jazz. A highly influential player, Washington pushed himself with the spontaneity and risk-taking of a masterful jazz musician. Grover Washington, Jr.'s, father also played saxophone and was his first influence. The younger son started playing music when...
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