- Released: April 22, 2003
- Label: Savant
JazzTimes - 4/03, p.105
"...While this skilled ensemble jams with palpable good spirits throughout the recording, it's Sparks' sturdy rhythm support and dexterous Grant Green-esque solos that really highlight the tracks..."
- 1.Another Joe
- 2.What You Hear Is What You Get
- 3.The Governor
- 4.Funky Good Time
- 5.Turnin' Point
- 6.Matter of Time
- 7.Get N' It
- 8.Money (That's What I Want)
Melvin Sparks Band: Melvin Sparks (vocals, guitar, bass); Joe "Herbie J." Hrbek (alto saxophone); George Papageorge (Hammond B-3 organ); Tim Luntzel (acoustic & electric basses); Carter McLean (drums).
Additional personnel: Topaz (tenor saxophone); Reuben Wilson (Hammond B-3 organ).
Recorded at Tedesco Studios, Paramus, New Jersey on December 3-5, 2001. Includes liner notes by Bob Putignano.
Personnel: Melvin Sparks (vocals, electric bass); Joe Hrbek (alto saxophone); George Papageorge, Reuben Wilson (organ).
Recording information: Tedesco Studio, Paramus, NJ (12/03/2001-12/04/2001).
Photographer: Dino Perrucci.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Pete Fallico; Leon Spencer; Ronny Jordan; Stanley Banks; Bernard "Pretty" Purdie.
What You Hear Is What You Get, guitarist Melvin Sparks' first session as a bandleader since 1997's I'm a Gittar Player, finds the guitarist in fine form, showing off his soul-jazz licks with funky aplomb. Since the release of I'm a Gittar Player, Sparks' native style underwent a huge renaissance, especially in New York City. John Scofield's sessions with Medeski, Martin & Wood, Soulive's recordings, and a variety of New York club acts helped find a new audience for the form. From these ranks, Sparks draws Topaz, a saxophone player (and leader of an eponymous unit) who blows on three cuts, including "The Governor," "Funky Good Time," and "Money." Also joining Sparks' quintet for a trio of tracks is his old friend, organist Reuben Wilson. The music is restrained and tasteful throughout. Sparks' playing is crisp and spot-on, though it rarely ventures into experimental territory. If Sparks comes across as hopelessly lodged in the past during some moments, it more often feels like, simply, he never went away. ~ Jesse Jarnow