Sadly, There's a Riot Goin' On -- his installment in Blue Note's Cover Series -- turned out to be George Howard's final recording. That said, it's not a bad final statement from the saxophonist. Howard smooths out the rough edges of Sly & the Family Stone's original, replacing Sly's stoned, weary nihilism with friendly, smooth urban grooves. Some fans of the original may view this as sacrilege, but the results are surprisingly entertaining. Certainly, this version doesn't have the social or musical impact of the original -- Sly was about taking risks, Howard is celebrating the past -- but this There's a Riot Goin' On is an affectionate salute to one of the greatest musical innovators of his era.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine