Charles Kynard Legends of Acid Jazz: Afro-Disiac / Wa-Tu-Wa-Zui
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by Don Patterson / Booker Ervin ~ Legends of Acid Jazz ~ $17.08
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- Released: July 13, 1999
- Label: Prestige
- 2.Bella Donna
- 4.Odds On
- 6.Chanson Du Nuit
- 7.Wa-Tu-Wa-Zui (Beautiful People)
- 8.Winter's Child
- 9.Zebra Walk
- 11.Change Up
2 LPs on 1 CD: AFRO-DISIAC (1970)/WA-TU-WA-ZUI (1971).
Digitally remastered by Kirk Felton (1999, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).
Personnel: Charles Kynard (organ); Houston Person (tenor saxophone); Grant Green (guitar); Jimmy Lewis (electric bass); Bernard "Pretty" Purdie (drums).
Recorded at Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on April 6, 1970.
WA-TU-WA-ZUI (Beautiful People):
Personnel: Charles Kynard (electric piano, organ); Rusty Bryant (tenor saxophone); Virgil Jones (trumpet); Melvin Sparks (guitar); Idris Muhammad, Bernard Purdie (drums).
Recorded at Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on December 14,
Personnel: Charles Kynard (piano, organ); Grant Green, Melvin Sparks (guitar); Houston Person, Rusty Bryant (tenor saxophone); Virgil Jones (trumpet); Bernard "Pretty" Purdie (drums).
Recording information: Englewood Cliffs, NJ (04/06/1970-12/14/1970).
Arranger: Richard Fritz.
Released in 1999 for Fantasy's popular Legends of Acid Jazz series, this reissue unites two of Charles Kynard's LPs of 1970, Afro-Disiac and Wa-Tu-Wa-Zui, on a single 76-minute CD. Both albums had been out of print for a long time, and copies of the organist's Prestige recordings had grown increasingly hard to find over the years. While the trumpet-less Afro-Disiac unites Kynard with tenor saxman Houston Person, guitarist Grant Green, electric bassist Jimmy Lewis and drummer Bernard "Pretty" Purdie, Wa-Tu-Wa-Zui employs Lewis, trumpeter Virgil Jones, guitarist Melvin Sparks and drummer Idris Muhammad. The albums are quite similar, though, and the emphasis is on accessible, groove-oriented soul-jazz, funk-jazz and boogaloos. Infectious numbers like "Bella Donna," "Trippin" and "Zebra Walk" won't appeal to jazz purists, but if you like your jazz drenched in R&B and funk, this CD is consistently enjoyable. Kynard, like Charles Earland and other B-3 kings of that era, made jazz that was relevant to R&B fans--if you were a Baby Boomer who was digging James Brown, Marvin Gaye and the Temptations but hadn't yet developed a taste for the hardcore jazz of Phil Woods or Charles Mingus, Kynard was the type of artist who could be your introduction to improvisatory music. "Improvisation" is a key word here--while a lot of the quiet storm, crossover and NAC music that came out in the 1980s and 1990s avoided improvisation, stretching and blowing is the rule on this CD. In a nutshell, this is commercial jazz with a brain as well as a backbeat. ~ Alex Henderson
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