Jimmy McGriff

Collectables Classics [Box Set]

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This four-CD box set combines Jimmy McGriff's first four albums, originally released by Juggy Murray's New York-based Sue Records, in one package (McGriff also recorded a Christmas album for Sue that is not included here). McGriff's Hammond B-3 playing is uniform throughout, but the label had him trying out a variety of approaches, from gutbucket soul-jazz to orchestrated jazz standards to sides that come dangerously close to easy listening. McGriff is McGriff, though, which means he stays pretty cool and funky no matter what format is thrown at him. Included are the complete sequences of the albums I've Got a Woman (1963), Topkapi (1964), and At the Apollo and Blues for Mister Jimmy (both from 1965). It's nice to have all four albums in one package, but this easily could have been a two-disc set, or better yet, boiled down to a succinct and dynamite single-disc best of Sue Records compilation. In 1966 McGriff left Sue Records and signed with Solid State.

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