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The Big Soul Band

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 9, 1990
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Wade In The Water (Alternate Take) (Bonus Track)
  2. Wade In The Water
  3. Panic Room Blues
  4. Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen
  5. Meditation
  6. Holla
  7. So Tired
  8. Deep River
  9. Jubilation


Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 9, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Original Jazz Classics
  • ASIN: B000000YR7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #408,428 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Beverly Praiswater on February 2, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This HOT, HOT, HOT jazz orchestra recorded these deeply-moving sessions in 1960. The real tragedy is that this collection has been seriously overlooked by many as it is in a category all it's own! The first two numbers "Wade In The Water" and the alternate version "Wade In The Water", BLEW me out of the water! Who could possibly choose a favorite between them??? "Panic Room Blues" is a swinging but sophisticated experience. "Meditation" is sultry with a pinch of funk and a pinch of swing. Check out those ivories from Bobby Timmons! "Holla" is an up-tempo cooker. "So Tired" is SO NOT tired! And listen to the rich notes from the deeply emotional "Deep River".

Sure, this is a departure for Johnny Griffin's classic jazz, but what an opportunity to experience his musical roots and his maturity as an artist! (A brilliant artist is always reaching new heights.) This emotionally-charged collection of songs from all of these accomplished jazz artists is a feast for the ears! There is funk, soul, jazz, blues, spirituals, and gospel all wrapped up in one work. If you love jazz orchestras (e.g. Gerald Wilson) then you'll love this one!
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By Jazzcat on October 18, 2004
Format: Audio CD
The booklet anticipate this thing ... "Since this was the very first time Riverside had been involved in anything as complex as eleven men and fully worked-out arrangements, and some of the musicians we had called were not all that experienced in that area, some of the ensemble passages are less than totally smooth. "Wade in the Water" was only the second number attempted, and the previously-unissued performance now added to the album was its first complete take and is admittedly on the ragged side. But it does provide a striking example of how strongly Johnny Griffin was playing and how imaginative were his improvisations over the full band background." Not very encouraging. But probably what you want to know at this point is, "is it true"? Did they record this music with lesser players? Is it this record enjoyable? Does it deserve to be listened? These were the guys involved: Clark Terry, Bob Bryant, Julian Priester, Matthew Gee, Pat Patrick, Frank Strozier, Edwin Williams, Charlie Davis, Bobby Timmons, Harold Mabern, Bob Cranshaw, Vic Sproles, Charlie Persip. I see at least five or six exceptional names, Harold Mabern, Clark Terry, Bobby Timmons, Charlie Persip, Bob Cranshaw, ,,, Johnny Griffin obviously. These are not lesser players for sure. But I don't know the music contained here. The arrangements for this big band album were made by Norman Simmons a young arranger at the time which had Johnny Griffin faith. I'll listen to this music now, and I'll review this album while listening to its music for the very first time. A nice experiment isn't it? I'm curious like you can be. Let's see what this album is all about together, ok? Let's go!

Wade in the water
There are two different takes of this tune which is a traditional. The first version is the alternate take.
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
Totally agree with Beverly Praiswater's review!!!

You don't take a group of jazz thoroughbreds like this, write a tight arrangement and expect them to play in lock-step. You can do that with any group of descent studio musicians. You let them do what they do best--blow their hearts out! And that's just what you've got goin' on with this collection.

The first thing you need to do is read the album cover--The Big SOUL-Band. That should give you a clue right there that it's not about how much music theory you know so you can analyze it to a cold death. Next, turn the lights down low, relax, stretch out with your favorite quaff and let these guys stir your soul!!!!
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