George Howard

Attitude Adjustment

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As one of the pioneers of the sound, the late George Howard was one of the most consistent rhythm and jazz saxmen over the last decade in terms of offering a smooth, light-funk melody that keeps to the status quo without going too far beyond it. Just as we thought he was staying on cruise control, his 1996 release offers a major Attitude Adjustment (GRP) to sizzling effect. There's still a smattering of the soprano silk-o-rama on the ballads, but mostly his horn hits the street at breakneck speed. He may go overboard in incorporating vocal effects, but more important is the fact that the party (a celebratory street scene emphasizing the best of African American culture) never lets up. The title of "A Whole Lotta Drum in Me" sums up the electrified production values, world percussion often meeting industrial punch and ultra-slick hip-hop. Even if the best tunes work better environmentally than harmonically, it's hard to argue with this much joy, which finds Howard more aggressive and tenacious than ever before.

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