Reuben Wilson - Blue Mode (1969 funky organ groove)
01. Bambu (Melvin Sparks) 8:03
02. Knock On Wood (Steve Cropper, Eddie Floyd) 6:09
03. Bus Ride (Reuben Wilson) 6:09
04. Orange Peel (Reuben Wilson) 6:36
05. Twenty-Five Miles (Edwin Starr, Johnny Bristol, Harvey Fuqua) 7:11
06. Blue Mode (Reuben Wilson) 7:26
Reuben Wilson, Hammond B-3 Organ
Melvin Sparks, Guitar
John Manning, Tenor Sax
Tommy Derrick, Drums
Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, December 12, 1969
Blue Note label
This CD will go in and out of print. If its in print, grab it, if its out - - pray it comes back or a used copy is posted because this is *THE* definitive funky organ groove CD. Recorded in December of '69, its a strong follow up to Reuben's funky LOVE BUG CD - - despite not having the dream team line up of his previous CD which featured George Coleman, Grant Green, Lee Morgan and Idris Muhammad, this one is actually stronger and funkier, thanks in part to the presence of Melvin Sparks on the guitar. (John Manning on sax, Tommy Derrick on drums) - - The groove is timeless organic Memphis Soul meets JB funk - - Reuben kicks those trademark boogaloo style basslines, while firing all those mean licks with his right hand... John Manning's playing is gritty and wicked - - clearly if you want to go deep down in the vaults looking for the best '60s Blue Note funk you can find, this *is* it.
If Love Bug skirted the edges of free jazz and black power, Blue Mode embraces soul-jazz and Memphis funk in no uncertain terms. Opening with the cinematic, stuttering "Bambu" and running through a set of relaxed, funky grooves -- including covers of Eddie Floyd's "Knock on Wood" and Edwin Starr's "Twenty-Five Miles" -- Blue Mode isn't strictly a jazz album, but its gritty, jazzy vamps and urban soul-blues make it highly enjoyable. Reuben Wilson has a laid-back, friendly style and his supporting band -- tenor saxophonist John Manning, guitarist Melvin Sparks, and drummer Tommy Derrick -- demonstrate a similarly warm sense of tone. While none of them break through with any improvisations that would satiate hardcore jazz purists, they know how to work a groove, and that's what makes Blue Mode a winner.