Shirley Scott

Workin'

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A slightly odd, transitional release, 1966's Workin' finds organist Shirley Scott moving away from the small-combo format she worked in (most often with husband Stanley Turrentine) during the early '60s into slightly larger arrangements more in keeping with the mid-'60s trend toward groove-based soul-jazz in which she was the primary, and usually only, soloist. Tunes like "Autumn Leaves," which is practically a solo performance with absolutely minimal bass and drums (perhaps a nod to pianist Bill Evans, who did the tune regularly in a similarly stripped-down fashion), sit next to bluesy vamps like the extended, smoky "Chapped Chops" and gospel workouts like a groove-oriented version of the old church standard "Down By the Riverside," on which Scott sounds uncomfortably like the little old lady who plays choppy, repetitive, bass-heavy organ runs at the baseball stadium. That misstep aside, Scott plays with her typical fluidity and taste throughout. "You're My Everything" even manages the difficult feat of having piano and organ coexist in a small-combo setting without sounding needlessly cluttered, by having Scott trade choruses with Ronnell Bright, each wisely laying out while the other one takes over. Start with the Scott/Turrentine dates first, but check this one out.

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