Jimmy McGriff

Main Squeeze

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Like so many Jimmy McGriff albums, Main Squeeze percolates but never quite boils over. It's a collection of short, sharp and oh-so-sincere funk workouts performed with both style and skill, the album simply plays its cards too close to the vest, controlling the groove but never giving in to it. Paired with guitarist Jimmy Ponder and altoist Connie Lester, McGriff moves effortlessly from originals ("The Worm Turns") to standards ("Stella by Starlight") to soul-jazz signifiers (Jimmy Smith's "The Sermon"), vamping and wailing but never letting go -- the tracks are more short stories than epic poems, tightly controlled and frustratingly limited in both style and scope.

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