Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Roots of Jazz Funk Volume One [MVP, 1997]
Hitting their stride in the pre-Beatles '60s as lounge loafers diddled their hi-fis, the solid young jazzmen twixt bop and free figured out how to do Bird without getting so intellectual about it by devising midtempo heads from straightforward riffs and mining gospel for changes. Movement leaders Blakey, Silver, Morgan, Adderley, and Hubbard all contribute a signature song to this overdue summation, as do the market-ready Hancock-Montgomery-Smith and the art-thirsty Coltrane-Rollins-Mingus. A wealth of soulful sidemen--Joe Henderson, Bobby Timmons, Bob Cranshaw, Billy Higgins, on and on--never let up. A+