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Fly Dude

Jimmy McGriff

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Album Review

Soul-jazz and Hammond B3 pioneer Jimmy McGriff made the Groove Merchant record label his home base for the better part of the 1970s, releasing the often overlooked Fly Dude in 1972. This is McGriff at his most varied. Working with Ronald Arnold on tenor saxophone, George Freeman and John Thomas on guitars, and Marion Booker Jr. on drums, McGriff tackles a Jimmy Smith tune ("Jumping the Blues"), a Memphis Slim classic ("Everyday I Have the Blues"), and a bop touchstone by sax great Charlie Parker ("Yardbird Suite"). The most interesting tracks, however, are McGriff originals, including a churchy blues called "Cotton Boy Blues" and two proto-funk pieces, "The Groove Fly" and "Butterfly." With Freeman and Arnold trading off lead lines with McGriff, Fly Dude has an ever-shifting perspective, and more than enough groove to keep everything sharp, all with a firm blues base. This CD reissue is from Japan's P-Vine label, and as always, they know quality when they hear it.

Customer Reviews

Great Tunes but a VERY poor mix.

I love Jimmy McGriff and bought this album after hearing about how great it was. Impeccable playing but poor sound engineering. On "It's you I Adore" the saxaphone solo drops out almost out of nowhere. It happens on other tracks with the guitar too. I'm not sure if this was an iTunes problem or not. Not a seemless mix at all. Some of the best bass pedal work I've every heard. Too bad about the mix.

oh my goodness!! Fly Dude

this album is a favorite of my parents from about thirty years ago, remember is well during dinner partys, good to see it here.

Favorite McGriff album.

So many hot licks on 'Everyday I Have the Blues', 'Jumpin' the Blues' and 'Yardbird Suite'. Yes, the mix is just OK. However McGriff's organ tone is unbeatable. A titan of the Hammond organ. Rarely has there been anything better.


Born: April 3, 1936 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Jazz

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

One of the all-time giants of the Hammond B-3, Jimmy McGriff sometimes gets lost amid all the great soul-jazz organists from his hometown of Philadelphia. He was almost certainly the bluesiest of the major soul-jazz pioneers, and indeed, he often insisted that he was more of a blues musician than a jazz artist; nonetheless, he remained eclectic enough to blur the lines of classification. His sound — deep, down-to-earth grooves drenched in blues and gospel feeling — made him quite popular...
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Fly Dude, Jimmy McGriff
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