O'Donel Levy

Dawn of a New Day

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Dawn of a New Day expands the Baroque funk horizons introduced on the brilliant Breeding of Mind, O'Donel Levy's previous collaboration with arranger Manny Albam. A bigger, bolder effort, Dawn's panoramic sound also borrows much from blaxploitation cinema. Joined by collaborators including trumpeter Cecil Bridgewater and organist Charles Covington, Levy's remarkable leads seem to cut and paste elements from across the history of jazz guitar, most closely recalling the lean, mean genius of Wes Montgomery and Grant Green. His solos are graceful yet muscular, each note crackling with energy. The material here is also excellent, sidestepping the usual Groove Merchant soul and pop warhorses in favor of material including "Maiden Voyage" and "People Make the World Go Around." Levy's originals are also strong, in particular the title cut.

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