Groove Jammy: Rare Groove Classics from the Muse Catalog

Various Artists

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Groove Jammy: Rare Groove Classics from the Muse Catalog Review

by Qa'id Jacobs

Although the packaging of this compilation album, Groove Jammy is somewhat transparent (with its modern photo melange of 12" turntables on the cover and back), the songs which make up this collection will truly encourage authentic grooving. Each of the ten selections on this compilation was taken from an album on the Muse label, an acquisition of the 32 Jazz label. However, far from being monotonous, Mocean Worker has produced a collection of songs from the mid- to late '70s using titles from Catalyst, Eddie Jefferson, Kenny Barron, Roy Brooks, and Buster Williams that are particularly exciting to hear. Higlights include the first track off the CD, "Uzuri," by Catalyst, which creates a serene introduction to this album. As Mocean Worker puts it in the liner notes, this song "contains classic '70s elements of liquid electric piano, chimes, and the exotic texture of sleigh bells."Kenny Barron is represented with "Swamp Demon," an electric piano- and percussion-heavy track: emotional, technically challenging, and altogether similar to something Herbie Hancock would have been part of during the time period. Barron also contributes the keyboard solo piece "Hellbound" to this compilation. Roy Brooks contributes a 12:15 jam session with Woody Shaw on trumpet, George Coleman on tenor sax, Hugh Lawson on piano, and Cecil McBee on bass in "The Free Slave." Brooks' drums are steady and funky, even if the dramatic refrain becomes somewhat boring by the fourth repetition. Catalyst ends the album with two selections: "The Demon Pt.2" and "Perception." Catalyst represents with the most groovable funk on this album, and "The Demon Pt. 2" exemplifies their strengths as Tyrone Brown (electric guitar and acoustic bass), Eddie Green (Moog synthesizer and vocals), Sherman Ferguson (drums), Odean Pope (tenor sax) and Sharon Scott (vocals) collaborate on this prophetic jam. "Perception," features another spacy sound-effect intro that is followed by more funky, free, and could-be-improvisational orchestration. Hurt only by its short, 54-minute duration, Groove Jammy, because of its accurate selections, is likely to inspire further research into the Muse catalog.

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