Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Hank Crawford

Further Notes:

Subjects for Further Research [1980s]: Nobody records r&b instrumentals of more easeful mastery or deeper pocket than the former Ray Charles bandleader and Creed Taylor alto sax peon. Anchored by Crawford's drumming counterpart Bernard Purdie, Dr. John collaborations like Roadhouse Symphony (1985) and Night Beat (1989) will speak to any rock-and-roller. But as someone with zero tolerance for Hammond-organ funk, I'm opened wider by his Jimmy McGriff bands. "River's Invitation," on Steppin' Up (1987), actually taught me to appreciate Billy Preston, who guests on piano.