Calvin Keys

Proceed with Caution!

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This date followed Calvin Keys' first, Shawn Neeq, by about two years. Hazy, psychedelic, post-bop is the order of the day here as well, but as most soul-jazz collectors will tell you, there's always a chance for some monster funk on a Black Jazz record so, as predictable as these releases may be on the surface, you never really know until you hear them. In this case, the bomb drops at the beginning of Side Two with "Aunt Lovely." While probably a little too 'out there' for most dance floors, "Aunt Lovely" begins like some of the best funky Grant Green of the era. As the track progresses, though, it gets more than a little hectic -- especially during Charles Owens' Pharoah Sanders-esque soprano solo. Kirk Lightsey's overdriven and distorted electric piano only serves to add to this tension later. Otherwise, Proceed With Caution moves along rather like most good Black Jazz and Strata-East dates: a touch of straight bop here, some sustained and swirling Rhodes organ there. Keys may not blow you away with his licks, but he certainly never disappoints. This is a fine record very much in tune with the idiom of the day. Fans of early-'70s dates by Grant Green, Lou Donaldson, and Cannonball Adderley will likely find this session enjoyable as well.

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