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Inner City Blues Import, Original recording remastered

4.9 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, Original recording remastered, April 22, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Washington's best-selling, star-making soul-jazz debut from '71, out of print for years! Bob James did the arrangements and Grover shines on tenor, alto, soprano and electric piano on his R&B hit Inner City Blues ; sweet versions of Georgia on My Mind; Mercy Mercy Me; Ain't No Sunshine , and more.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 22, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B0015KGIP0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,019 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
In December of 1976, my apartment was destroyed by fire. One of the treasures I lost was Grover Washington Jr's., Inner City Blues, record album. With so much to do after the fire, I did not have a chance to replace the destroyed albums. When I finally began replacing albums, Mr.Washington had changed record labels and I could not find Inner City Blues; until today, on Amazon.Com, nearly 23 years ago to the day that I lost it in the fire! The music has stayed with me all these years, and I eagerly await the CD that I just ordered.
The music was haunting, energetic and blusey. How ironic that I sought and found his music again, just days, sadly, after his passing.
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Format: Audio CD
This 1971 release was Grover Washington, Jr's debut for Motown (or was it CTI/Kudu?) and sees the saxophone virtuoso in soulful but raw form. He tackles the Motown-era song catalogue with gusto and I guess one could call it smooth jazz but make no mistake: this is not the lazy kind of smooth jazz as is done by the likes of Kenny G, George Howard, Dave Koz, Marion Meadows (shudder) or even Kirk Whalum (who I can just about tolerate, in places). As opposed to merely covering other people's songs, think of this as reinterpreting them. His take on Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)" is a jazz-funk masterpiece as is the shorter "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology). His version of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" (at 8mins 33secs, the longest song here) almost brings tears to the eye. It is simply beautiful.

Produced by Creed Taylor and arranged by a young Bob James, GWJ (on alto and tenor saxophone) is joined by an all-star cast, including James himself on electric piano, Richard Tee on organ, Idris Muhammed on the drums, Eric Gale on guitar and Airto Moreira on percussion. There are only six songs and the whole affair is over in just over 35 mins but it is so worth it - if you're either a GWJ fan or a fan of early saxophone jazz fusion.

My collection of GWJ CDs is almost complete! All I need now is "All The King's Horses", his 1972 follow-up to this album (was selling here for an eye-watering $105.00 but is no longer available) and his 1979 album Skylarkin' (on offer for a hysterical $350.00) and I'll have the full set. I have the former on vinyl and the latter on cassette so I can afford to wait. They are sure to be re-issued sooner or later.
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Format: Audio CD
This fine CD was Grover's mesmerizing debut on the scene in '72. The orange graphic and the covers of Marvin Gaye tunes pulled me into taking a chance on a new artist instead of replacing a scratched Led Zeppelin II LP.
Oddly enough,the title tune didn't do much for me, but all that followed was a milestone in my wholly tortured adolescence. Grover seduced me further into jazz, and even into free-form eventually, and to this day I still enjoy listening to his reinditions of "Until Its Time for You to Go" and "I Loves You Porgy," which takes miraculous flight mid-way through its duration.
However, it's truly sad that Motown has not seen fit to re-issue one of Grover's shining moments from the same year as heard on the Johnny Hammond Smith Kudu LP, "Breakout", wherein Grover cut loose with a five minute sax solo on "It's Too Late" (yes, the old Carole King standard)with Hammond-Smith's cool acid-jazz organ swirling underneath. Hello Motown, hello???
Thanks Grover, and rest in peace.
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By A Customer on November 15, 1998
Format: Audio CD
Grover Washington has a unique skill that makes him stand out amoung sax players. As a sax player myself I am looking to perfect the kind of gift that he has. He has the technical ability to play difficult riffs and patterns and change key rapidly and smoothly, but at the same time his improvisation is very musical and interesting as well as enjoyable to listen to. Many Jass artists are so far out on the edge that they have lost the listener's ear. If the music is not enjoyable, why listen? This CD has a good variety of styles of songs, and Georgia on My Mind could make you cry! It is just a great CD to have if you love the sax, or jazz.
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Format: Audio CD
As far as I'm concerned, this is one of the best soul-jazz albums ever. Listen to Grover wail on the title track with the sirens and dirty wah-guitar and then take things to a slow simmer on "Ain't No Sunshine". His superb rendition of "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" should make even the most jaded jazz snob's head bob--and check out that dual fender rhodes interlude by Bob James and Richard Tee! People complain that Grover Washington (like virtually every other jazz great post-1974) got too smooth and commercial. But on this, his debut, he has the space (and the charts) to showcase his lyrical improv skills, as well as show a gritty side as well. A funk masterpiece.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is vintage Grover Washington in all his melodic genius and mellow tones. Grover's soulful style and creative riffs will entice new listeners to this genre as it continues to amaze and delight longtime jazz and soul fans since it's release in 1971.
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Format: Audio CD
I purchased this album after hearing it on a local radio station out of Philadelphia back in 1971. My claim to fame is that I introduced it to my home town. This recording was only the beginning many great ones to follow. However I no longer have this gem in my pocession. This is one of several collectables I hope to buy again in the near future, thanks to Amazon.com
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