Friday, 4 September 2009

Richard ‘Groove’ Holmes ”Groovin’ With Jug” (With Gene Ammons)

Richard ‘Groove’ Holmes

Groovin’ With Jug
(With Gene Ammons)
( LP Pacific Jazz Records, 1961 )
Catalog # 3093

1.Happy Blues (Good Vibrations)
2.Willow Weep For Me
3.Juggin’ Around
4.Hittin’ The Jug (aka Swan Blues)
5.Exactly Like You
6.Groovin’ With Jug
7.Morris The Minor
8.Hey You, What’s That?

Personnel & Credits:
Richard “Groove” Holmes (organ);
Gene Ammons (tenor saxophone);
Gene Edwards (guitar);
Leroy Henderson (drums).
Recorded at The Black Orchid and Pacific Jazz Studio,
Los Angeles, California on August 15, 1961.

Richard Groove Holmes’ trio supports Gene Ammons beautifully on this half-live, half-studio 1961 album. They dig into gems like “Happy Blues,” “Willow Weep For Me” and the title tune with feeling and intelligence. Added to the original album are 2 bonus tracks.
Ironically, Gene “Jug” Ammons tended to be critical of organists; he was quoted as saying that “organ players don’t know any changes.” However, as critical the Chicago tenor saxman might have been of organists — most of them, anyway — he did some of his best work in their presence. When you united Ammons with Jack McDuff, Johnny “Hammond” Smith and other B-3 masters in the ’60s, the sparks would fly. They certainly fly on this excellent album, which finds Ammons and Richard “Groove” Holmes co-leading a soul-jazz/hard bop organ combo that also includes guitarist Gene Edwards and drummer Leroy Henderson. The quartet is heard in two settings on August 15, 1961 — three of the eight selections were produced by Richard Bock in a Los Angeles studio in the afternoon, while the other five were recorded several hours later an L.A. club called the Black Orchid. Ammons and Holmes prove to be a strong combination in both settings, although their playing is somewhat looser at the Orchid, where the delights include some slow blues (Ammons’ “Hittin’ the Jug”), a smoky ballad (”Willow Weep for Me”) and a lightning-fast barnburner (Ammons’ “Juggin’ Around”). However critical Ammons might have been of most organists, it’s obvious that he and Holmes share a lot of common ground on Groovin’ With Jug.
Alex Henderson (AMG)

By Pier

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