Richard "Groove" Holmes

Book of the Blues, Vol. 1

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This 1964 date pairs organist Richard "Groove" Holmes with an uncredited studio big band for a set of funky steamers. Onzy Matthews arranged and conducted the band that overdoes it in extremis, making it all sound overly dramatic and cheesy. Holmes, however, was in fine form here and his performance is flawless. Readings of "See See Rider," "Your Old Wagon," and "Roll 'Em Pete," would have been stellar if the accompaniment had been fitting. This disc is for Holmes completists only.

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