Based on this fine album alone, there's definitely a need for reissuing the several soul-infused albums McGriff cut for Solid State. Mixing combo and big-band dates, the organist resided at the label during the latter half of the '60s, scoring hits like "The Worm" and updating his early Jimmy Smith-inspired organ jazz sound with the groove-and-horns aesthetic of James Brown and Stax. For A Thing to Come By, McGriff enlists regular band members like tenor saxophonist Fats Theus and guitarist Larry Frazier, as well as guest trumpeter Blue Mitchell. The first half features top McGriff originals like the up-tempo gospel groover "A Thing to Come By," the slow cooker "Charlotte," and an extended blues "Down Home on the Moon," which features a choice Mitchell solo. McGriff is equally impressive, switching back and forth between organ and piano, always delivering with his fluid runs and a loose, soul-fired tone. The second half of the set nicely expands the stylistic range with a standout cover of Aretha Franklin's "Don't Let Me Lose This Dream" (one wishes McGriff would do a whole album of soul material), the vintage organ grinder "Up There, Down Here," and a joyous rendition of Edwin Hawkins' modern gospel smash "Oh Sunny Day." Along with other quality Sonny Lester-produced titles like Let's Stay Together and Electric Funk, A Thing to Come By is an essential part of the Jimmy McGriff catalog.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook