Richard "Groove" Holmes

Groove's Groove

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When 32 Jazz acquired the Muse catalogue in the late 1990s, the New York label had a goldmine of hard bop, post-bop and soul-jazz to reissue. Organ combos were one of Muse's strong points, and the company generally did right by Richard "Groove" Holmes, who signed with Muse in the 1970s and stayed there up until his death from a massive heart attack at the age of 60 on June 29, 1991. Released in 1997, this compilation spans 1977-1988 and points to the fact that the organist's Muse output wasn't much different from his Prestige dates of the 1960s. At Muse, Holmes excelled not by breaking new ground, but by sticking with what he did best: aggressive hard bop, groovin' blues and romantic ballads. Ranging from the fast, intense swinging of "Broadway" and "Good Vibrations" to the romantic ballad playing of "My One and Only Love" to the funky blues of "Blues All Day Long," Groove's Groove paints an impressive picture of Holmes' late period. The title tune shouldn't be confused with the "Groove's Groove" that opens his 1965 Prestige date Soul Message, although both are 12-bar blues numbers. Muse often united Holmes with Houston Person, and the tenor titan is in good-to-excellent form on most of the CD's ten selections. For those exploring Holmes' Muse output for the first time, Groove's Groove wouldn't be a bad starting point.

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