Charles Kynard

Wa-Tu-Wa-Zui

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Kynard is joined by luminaries from Prestige's soul-jazz stable -- Rusty Bryant on tenor sax, Melvin Sparks on guitar, Jimmy Lewis on bass, Virgil Jones on trumpet, and Idris Muhammad and Bernard Purdie on drums -- for a solid album that occasionally catches fire. In particular, the eight-minute title track is not just a highlight of Kynard's discography, but a stellar moment for soul-jazz in general. Sparks sets the pace on that number with superb James Brown-style rapid-strum choke guitar, Lewis lays down a "Get Ready"-style bassline, and everyone really cooks when it comes time to solo, including Kynard; he takes a while to make his presence known, but then unleashes passages with uncharacteristic, unrestrained passion. The ten-minute cover of the Beatles' "Something" does a lot more with the overdone standard than many people have, Kynard again shining with some imaginative and unexpectedly lengthy, exuberant soloing. The album has been paired with a previous 1970 Kynard album, Afro-Disiac, on the single-disc Legends of Acid Jazz.

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