Richard "Groove" Holmes

Groovin' with Groove

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This killer little Groove Holmes date was produced by the mighty Sonny Lester, and features a big band arranged and conducted by Manny Albam. Other than Holmes, the only other soloist credited here is Eddie Daniels on tenor and flute. The material here is curious upon first glance, with covers of Gerry Goffin's "Go Away Little Girl," Stevie Wonder's "You've Got It Bad," and Carole King's "It's Going to Take Some Time" situated around some hard soul-jazz numbers by the organist, including "Groove's Groove," along with Norman Gimbel's sweet ballad "How Insensitive" and slippery little soul tune "Meditation." Add to this deep soul readings of Al Hague's standard "Young and Foolish" and Armando Manzanero's Latin bouncer "It's Impossible," and you have a program that might not work at all. But it does. Holmes is in fine form, slippery and breezy as ever, never bogging down. Albam's arrangements are not overly ornate and Daniels, normally a pristine and very studied player, lets loose a bit here -- especially on tenor. One would wish for credits on who the session's guitarist is, but alas, it's not to be -- but whoever he is, he's a burner too, able to trade licks with Groove without seams or cracks. For Holmes fans, this is a taste of something different to be sure, but it's also a great listen.

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