Leon Spencer

Legends of Acid Jazz

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Leon Spencer, an organist heavily influenced by Jimmy Smith, recorded four albums for Prestige from 1970-73 before largely dropping out of the music scene. The music from his first two LPs (Sneak Preview and Louisiana Slim) have been reissued in full on this 1997 single CD. Spencer's swinging solos on these mostly grooving tunes are quite appealing. The sidemen (the underrated trumpeter Virgil Jones, the young Grover Washington, Jr. on tenor, guitarist Melvin Sparks, drummer Idris Muhammad and Buddy Caldwell on conga) are excellent, and the material, although mostly blues-oriented, is quite strong. Washington's flute is surprisingly effective on "Our Love Will Never Die." It is a pity that Spencer's career ultimately went nowhere, for he holds his own with his contemporaries throughout this recommended soul-jazz release.

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