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Jazz Fusion/Soul/Prog


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Grover Washington, Jr. • Soul Box [SACD Hybrid Multi-Channel] Reviews for the product - Grover Washington, Jr. • Soul Box

[SACD Hybrid Multi-Channel]
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1 Product Reviews - Average rating 5 / 5 (Best Rated | Worst Rated | Most Recent | Oldest)

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Box of Bliss

- 06/17/2021

Maybe i'm just a sucker for a 70's Quad mix, or maybe it's the Creed Taylor production with full-blown orchestral swells, or the killer Bob James-led jazz band, or . . . ALL of the above combine to make me love, Love, LOVE this release!

It starts off so soft and sweet with Washington's poignant and delicate take on "Aubrey," given wonderful support around the quad horn from the work of Taylor and James (and check out all of the luminaries in the band that back Washington throughout: Ron Carter, Richard Davis, Idris Muhammad, Billy Cobham, Hubert Laws, Richard Tee, Airto, Eric Gale, Randall Brecker, . . . et al!). The 3:50 run of "Aubrey" is followed by an absolutely epic take (13:25) on Norman Whitfield's "Masterpiece," and masterpiece it is! The quad mix drops me right into the midst of the deep funk swirl with Washington delivering his own soulful take in wave after wave up front; the whole is a discrete sonic bliss trip! And when i didn't think it could get any better: next up is nearly 16 minutes of Marvin Gaye's "Trouble Man"–DAMN! Despite the previous song's title, for me this is really the album's masterpiece! Some of Washington's best work, spinning smoldering and soulful chorus after chorus, taking his game to the next level all behind great accompaniment and interspersed with stellar solos from Eric Gale on guitar and Richard Tee on organ. Truly the album's centerpiece, but that's not to say the rest is not worth your time–this release is ALL killer, NO filler! Next up is the second shortest cut at 6:06–a mercurial and masterful take on Stevie Wonder's "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life." Washington demonstrates his depth by next taking on two ballads. "Don't Explain" clocks in at just over 11 minutes, and Washington's majestic and lyrical lines in the midst of the deep, dark, brooding accompaniment really shine. This is followed by nearly 10 minutes of a nearly otherworldly"Easy Living," on which Washington picks up the soprano saxophone to deliver some lush wonderfulness as Taylor and James take the accompaniment on some unexpected turns (the cut is actually a medley with "Ain't Nobody's Business If I Do") with more great support from Gale and Tee. Billy Cobham takes over on the kit for his composition, "Taurian Matador." A great, funky 8:10 workout to bring this big, beautiful Soul Box to closure--put a lid on it, baby!

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