The Original Jam Master, Vol. 2: For the Funk of It

Grant Green

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The Original Jam Master, Vol. 2: For the Funk of It Review

by Thom Jurek

For the Funk of It is the second thematically focused volume in Blue Note's Original Jam Master Series that draws from guitarist Grant Green's late-period recordings for the label, from 1969 to 1972. Some of the players involved in these sessions include drummer Idris Muhammad, saxophonist Claude Bartee, Jr., Cornell Dupree (rhythm guitar), percussionists Hall Bobby Porter and Ray Armando, bassist Chuck Rainey, organist Emanuel Riggins, and many others. The material here is less bombastic than the soul and funk covers on Green's Ain't It Funky Now!, but they are still deep in the jukebox soul-jazz groove that was rapidly disappearing during the era. The set kicks off with a rare Green boogaloo original in "Upshot," from the Carryin' On album, with great solo work from Green, Clarence Palmer on electric piano, and vibist Willie Bivins. Another Green tune, "California Green," with a big band that includes Stix Hooper and Wilton Felder, appears near the end of the set. Of the covers, the read of Ben Dixon's "Cantaloupe Woman" is a stunner, with great interplay between Muhammad and Armando. Not as in-your-face as volume three in the series, but more in-the-pocket and groove-drenched. This is a fine comp for the cash.

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