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Lyman Woodard Organization: Don’t Stop The Groove

1 LP 33 rpm 180 gr PRECINTADO

IVA incluido



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Lyman Woodard Organization

Don’t Stop The Groove

PURE PLEASURE LP

HIFI Choice Review December 2020 4/5*by JK

ORGAN PLAYER EXTRAORDINARE

Lyman Woodard was a Detroit-based jazz musician who played with a variety of Motown artists and was the musical director for Martha And The Vandelias, so he was no stranger to R&B. On this recording from 1979 he plays with a big band that includes guitar player Robert Lowe and Saxophonist Alan Barnes, and they certainly don't restrict themselves to playing any one style.
The vibe is a umptious fusion of latin percussion, funk and disco beats and jazz grooves.
The horn arrangements are very R&B but the pressence of sax, keyboard and guitar leads brings in the jazz element to great effect.
The backbeat keeps things solidand danceable much to the delight of a vocal audience that opens up the soundstage whenit enjoys a particular bit of playing.
The sound is pretty clean and it's easy to follow individual members of the band -the bassline is often masked by other instruments, but its not always. The balance is slightly on the leasn side, but on the opening title track there is lots of space and really phat bass guitar sound.

There is good variety across the five tracks and some playing all around. Jason Kennedy

When Cobb's Corner nightclub owner Henry Normile was murdered, followed by the in-street shooting and death of Eddie Jefferson, the heart of the Detroit jazz scene was ripped apart. Through the advent of the Labor Day Montreux-Detroit Jazz Festivals starting in 1980, things picked back up measurably, but the club scene has never been the same. This live recording of the Lyman Woodard Organization, which was taped the day before Normile was killed in his next door apartment, more than any other album or event exemplified the never say die spirit of Motor City jazz. It also was a hallmark for a unique style of the music, an urban rhythm & blues infused contemporary jazz that stood tall for both listeners and dancers during the tail-end of the disco movement.

Woodard was in his prime, determined that his idea was singular, and went beyond soul-jazz into a realm where only he could claim ownership. With guitarist Robert Lowe and saxophonist Allan Barnes, who would both go on to national acclaim as leaders, the Organization was a powerhouse in live performance not to be denied, and for sure a solid sending crowd pleaser. A much better recording than his studio cult classic "Saturday Night Special", this live set laid the groundwork for the continuation of Woodard's career for decades to come, and showed his fellow Detroiter's that better days lay ahead. Where the title track is happy and a bit more commercial than the rest with its slinky, straight, fingerpopping, sublime beat and seductive vocal line, "Disco Tease" prances along in a hard rock vein with conga accents from Lorenzo Brown and chicken scratch, dramatic guitar chords from Lowe. "Down Lowe" is a concrete, fatback groove from the guitarist, while "Djarum" turns the wick down in a slow, sexy nightshade visage, with Kerry Campbell's soprano sax expanding the horn section with Woodard's organ in stretched out phrases.

The appropriately titled "Theme In Search Of A Sports Spectacular" is the killer track, as trumpeter Marcus Belgrave joins the band in an Olympic sprint, an irresistible melody that is catchy, infectious, memorable, and anthematic as any warrior clarion call to battle in the athletic arena. This driven, tenacious, forceful piece of music still stands the test of time for its ferocious attitude and champion-like strut. This recording documents not only the darkest days, but the bright hope a financially strapped Detroit offers to the rest of the world, and the determination Woodard always exemplified.

Personnel: "Don’t Stop The Groove" - Lyman Woodard (org); Marcus Belgrave, Ron Jackson (tp); Kerry Campbell (ss); Allan Barnes (ts); Robert Lowe (g, voc); Leonard King (dr); Lorenzo Brown (perc. voc); Leroy Emmanuel (voc)