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10 Sep 2016

Reuben Wilson: “Blue Mode” 1969 US Soul Funk Jazz

Reuben Wilson: “Blue Mode” 1969  US  killer..! funky organ groovie…..recommended..!
Reuben Wilson “Blue Mode” from Blue Mode (1969) Wilson appeared at the tail-end of the 1960s, releasing a few albums on Blue Note Records that reached for commercial recognition. He got lost in the shuffle only to be rediscovered in the 1990s. His albums are funky and accessible with Blue Mode standing out as one of his strongest efforts. ……..

Jazz organist Reuben Wilson’s & the famous Hammond B-3 organ in probably his best album. Influenced by Richard ‘Groove’ Holmes and Jimmy Smith, Reuben worked with Grant Green, Sam Rivers or Roy Haynes, formed his first group The Wildare Express in 1966 with Tommy Derrick who are also present on this record. The line-up consists of John Manning, Melvin Sparks and Tommy Derrick of course. Titles include huge groove Melvin’ tune, Bamboo, Soul cover by Eddie Flyod (Knock On Wood). All tracks composed by Reuben Wilson except those mentionned. Produced by Francis Wolf and recorded at studio Rudy Van Gelder. …….

More pop than jazz, more funk than bop, Blue Mode catches the Sly Stone vibe. Higher, indeed.
1969 was the grooviest year in a very groovy decade. The Beatles, on the verge of a breakup, urged everyone to get back and come together. The Temptations couldn’t get next to you. And Sly Stone took everyone higher at Woodstock.

At that very moment, in the waning days of 1969, Reuben Wilson funked us up with a classic acid-jazz album called Blue Mode.

If you remember 1969, you already know what Blue Mode sounds like, even if you’ve never heard a lick of it. This is an album created by someone who was definitely listening to James Brown and Otis Redding, with side orders of Jimmy Smith and Jimmy McGriff.

More pop than jazz, more funk than bop, Blue Mode catches the Sly Stone vibe. Higher, indeed.

Granted, organ jazz is an acquired taste. Some never get it. Early Jimmy Smith sounds positively weird, if you’re not already tuned to the vibe. Eventually, Smith got the blues bug and created classics with some fantastic guitarists and saxmen.

This is something different—a mashup of Chicken Shack blues and pop-funk Booker T and the MG’s. The quartet—Wilson on organ, John Manning on tenor, Melvin Sparks on guitar and Tommy Derrick—swing like crazy. The album is part of Blue Note’s Rare Grooves series, which gives you some idea where it fits in the label’s storied history.

This band would have fit in perfectly at Woodstock, maybe right before Santana. 

Every song features a catchy riff and playful solos. The album includes a pair of Motown/Stax covers (Eddie Floyd’s “Knock on Wood” and Edwin Starr’s “Twenty-Five Miles”) and a few hard-edged, wailing sax solos that definitely borrow from Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson and John Coltrane. We don’t hear Sparks’ guitar enough, but when we do, it’s rockin.’

Blue Mode is classic Blue Note on its last legs. In the '50s, Blue Note was home to the best hard bop of all time. In the '60s, it birthed soul-jazz. And as the '60s slid into the '70s, just before the old Blue Note died, it was a swirling nest of acid jazz.

If you like your jazz with funk verging on rock, Reuben Wilson and Blue Mode are for you. They are certifiably groovy. …..all about jazz…….

“This CD will go in and out of print. If its in print, grab it, if its out - - pray it comes back or a used copy is posted because this is *THE* definitive funky organ groove CD. Recorded in December of '69, its a strong follow up to Reuben’s funky LOVE BUG CD - - despite not having the dream team line up of his previous CD which featured George Coleman, Grant Green, Lee Morgan and Idris Muhammad, this one is actually stronger and funkier, thanks in part to the presence of Melvin Sparks on the guitar. (John Manning on sax, Tommy Derrick on drums) - - The groove is timeless organic Memphis Soul meets JB funk - - Reuben kicks those trademark boogaloo style basslines, while firing all those mean licks with his right hand… John Manning’s playing is gritty and wicked - - clearly if you want to go deep down in the vaults looking for the best '60s Blue Note funk you can find, this *is* it.” …

Blue Mode album for sale by Reuben Wilson was released Feb 11, 1997 on the Blue Note label. If Love Bug skirted the edges of free jazz and black power, Blue Mode embraces soul-jazz and Memphis funk in no uncertain terms. Opening with the cinematic, stuttering “Bambu” and running through a set of relaxed, funky grooves – including covers of Eddie Floyd’s “Knock on Wood” and Edwin Starr’s “Twenty-Five Miles” – Blue Mode isn’t strictly a jazz album, but its gritty, jazzy vamps and urban soul-blues make it highly enjoyable. Blue Mode buy CD music Reuben Wilson has a laid-back, friendly style and his supporting band – tenor saxophonist John Manning, guitarist Melvin Sparks, and drummer Tommy Derrick – demonstrate a similarly warm sense of tone. While none of them break through with any improvisations that would satiate hardcore jazz purists, they know how to work a groove, and that’s what makes Blue Mode a winner. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine ……


Reuben Wilson - organ
John Manning - tenor saxophone
Melvin Sparks - guitar
Tommy Derrick - drums 

A1 Bambu 8:03
A2 Knock On Wood 6:09
A3 Bus Ride 6:09
B1 Orange Peel 6:36
B2 Twenty-Five Miles 7:11
B3 Blue Mode 7:26 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..





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