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Crate Digger’s Gold: Grover Washington Jr. – Inner City Blues

October 14, 2011

Well this album said “pick me” when I found it at Know Name Records (Minneapolis): Grover Washington, KUDU Records (CTI), a Marvin Gaye cover as the titular track, Van Gelder  Studios, an amazing photo of a very funky Grover (with knee high boots) on the back and best of all a $1.00 price tag.

This 1971 release is half funk jazz and half what would eventually be called smooth jazz.  The smooth jazz is fine background music, but the funk jazz is amazing.  The entire side one is brilliant jazz funk and the cover of Gaye’s Inner City Blues really can’t be beat – it is nasty funk and Grover shreds  his solos.  Inner City Blues is highly recommended if you want to exercise the bottom end of you sound system.  This is seven minutes of ecstasy.  Side 2 is above average smooth jazz, but frankly something I can live without.  But side 1 is clearly worth the price of admission (for 10 times my buck price tag).

This was Grover debut.  I believe the back story is that this was supposed to be a Hank Crawford date and Hank had a last minute conflict so Creed Taylor pushed session guy Grover forward to save the date.  This happy accident put Grover on the map and he became a huge star over the next ten years.

One Comment
  1. Liked Grovers work back then

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