Philadelphia's Bill Doggett is most remembered for his huge 1956 hit instrumental "Honky Tonk," but his career was a long and varied one, including stints as an arranger for Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, and the Ink Spots, and as a session man he played organ and piano with a wide array of jazz and pop recording artists, Illinois Jacquet, Johnny Otis, Louis Jordan, and Ella Fitzgerald among them, as well as taking a turn at gospel with Sister Rosetta Tharpe. His solo work flitted smoothly between genres, flirting with rock & roll (without actually touching down there) during his stay at King Records, but generally sticking to a jazz-inflected light R&B approach that at its best made for some classic soul-blues and at its worse generated formulaic, forgettable cocktail jazz. This intriguing set, which features some wonderfully ethereal organ work from Doggett, along with solid contributions from tenor saxophonist Billy Martin and guitarist Benny Goodwin (and some solid vocals from Toni Williams on three cuts), was recorded in Paris in 1971. There's more energy here than there is in a lot of Doggett's recordings, and the emphasis is on the blues, making it a pleasant foray into Jimmy Smith territory, only with a pinch more R&B in the DNA. Doggett will always be measured by his King recordings, but this one shows that he could move into a straight soul-jazz groove without blinking an eye.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett