Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this music junkie as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. Compact Discs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no files.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Grover Washington, Jr. - Mister Magic (1975)


The smooth jazz pioneer teams up with some top-notch artists on this release, including keyboardist/composer Bob James, percussionist/composer Ralph MacDonald, guitarist Eric Gale, trumpeter Jon Faddis, and legendary producer Creed Taylor. The whole thing has the unmistakable sound of Washington's music, so I like it. This album has become one of Washington's best-loved among his fans, most likely on the strength of the title track. However, all four tunes included here make great late night/early morning listening (when I'm able to stay up that late).

Reviews/ratings:
  • CashBox: "more than a passing acquaintance with Stanley Turrentine, Gene Ammons, Willis Jackson, and, surprisingly, John Coltrane."
  • Billboard: "the mood is definitely righteous jazz"
  • Record World: "The magic's in the music and the music's in Mister Washington!"
  • Stereo Review: "good, if not terribly exciting"
  • The Rolling Stone Jazz & Blues Album Guide (1999): ★★★½
  • The Virgin Encyclopedia of Jazz (1999): ★★★
  • The Penguin Guide to Jazz (5th ed., 2000): ★★★★
Chart peaks:
  • US Billboard Top 200 chart: #10
  • Billboard Jazz LPs chart: #1
  • Billboard's R&B albums chart: #1
  • CashBox album chart: #15

Tracks: As occasionally happens, my least favorite track is the longest: the 12+ minute album opener, Earth Tones. That's followed by a beautifully lush arrangement of Billy Strayhorn's 1941 standard, Passion Flower. The highlight of the album is the laid back funk of the title track, which was edited and released as a single (#54 pop, #16 R&B). The album closes with the slow-burn groove of Black Frost. In my mind, tracks 1 and 4 should have been swapped, but that's just me finding something to complain about.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None

Previously revisited for the blog:
Prime Cuts: The Columbia Years 1987-1999 (1999)
All My Tomorrows (1994)
Time Out of Mind (1989)
Anthology of Grover Washington, Jr. (1985)
Skylarkin' (1980)

No comments:

Post a Comment