Boogaloo Joe Jones

Legends of Acid Jazz: Boogaloo Joe Jones, Vol. 1

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Something of a B-list player in the annals of soul jazz guitar, Ivan Joseph Jones (a.k.a. Boogaloo Joe) still serves of up one of the more satisfying entries in the Legends of Acid Jazz series with this compilation of 1969's Boogaloo Joe and 1970's Right on Brother. While the "Boogaloo" moniker suggests a style limited to a cruder brand of funk, Jones is actually an articulate and versatile player. More than happy to play bluesy funk -- which he does with clean, irresistible in-the-pocket-riffing and sure-handed rhythm work -- he is also a fleet-fingered soloist, with a good bit of Grant Green and Pat Martino in his approach. Perhaps, his closest stylistic cousin is the early George Benson, but listeners will find that Jones digs down deeper, churns headier grooves, and offers a more committed brand of soul jazz than Benson does in his mid-'60s work.

Tenor saxophonist Rusty Bryant is a reliable presence on both sets; however, the focal point is the axis of Jones, organists Sonny Phillips and Charles Earland, and, above all, drummer Bernard Purdie. Purdie takes the soul jazz drummer's role to a higher plane on these 12 tracks, masterfully exploiting his repertoire of distinctive fills and pick-up beats to punctuate the performances and create the foundation for some state-of-the-art groovesmithing. Amidst the funk is a sprinkling of ballads and blues that provide an effective change of pace while retaining much of the intensity of the more purely funk numbers.

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