By 1980, when Broadway was recorded, organist Richard "Groove" Holmes had already splashed onto the scene as an expansive adherent of Jimmy Smith's soul-jazz gospel, been a player in the music's modern boogaloo-acid jazz phase of the late '60s, and survived disco by dropping synthesizers into the mix. Finally arriving at the Muse label by the late '70s, Holmes settled into a loose amalgam of past proclivities, never forsaking his high musical standards and groove aesthetic. For this, his third Muse release, Holmes enlists fellow organ combo veteran Houston Person to produce and ostensibly co-lead on tenor saxophone; for his part, Holmes sublimely comps behind the soloists, electrifying the session with his fluidly nasty runs and sanctified musings on the B3. He presents a typically varied program of pop ("Moon River"), old standards ("Broadway"), and self-penned ballads and blues ("Katherine" and "Plenty, Plenty Blues"); the program's brevity is mirrored not only in the band's equal panache with both up-tempo and slow groove numbers, but also in the attractively cheesy line they ply with the occasional wind chime flourish, synth line, and disco guitar riffing. Holmes even notches up a little avant-garde cachet with an homage to progressive, Coltrane-inspired organist Larry Young. Throughout this cooking and stylish set, Holmes and Person are expertly supported by guitarist Gerald Smith, drummer Bobby Ward, and percussionist Ralph Dorsey. A great buy for soul-friendly jazz fans.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook