Boogie to the Top

Idris Muhammad

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Boogie to the Top Review

by Andrew Hamilton

Pure jazz artists and lovers of the genre hated LPs like this. The most puzzling thing is that the album is in Idris' name. Muhammad is a drummer, but solos are rare, he only does a brief one on the title cut, and he didn't write, produce, or arrange anything. The rhythm play on "Boogie to the Top" is Muhammad's brightest moment, the tune drives like a Jaguar with all the gears out -- it's 11 minutes of funky, percolating ear blasts, instigated by Idris' stimulating rim shots. "Slow and bluesy" best describes "Bread," sounds the drummer heard daily while growing up in Louisiana; Hiram Bullock's intermittent guitar solos are scorchers. A peppy "One with a Star" has charm but changes directions so much it loses its flavor. "Stick It in Your Face" is whatever concept producer Dave Matthews had for Idris at its worst; the tune doesn't get interesting until the vocalists stop singing the irritating chorus, which they only do for 15 seconds before returning as annoying as ever. Horns are listed on this session but are so far down in the mix they're barely audible, except on "S-E-X," where they should have deep-sixed the obnoxious vocals.

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