Jazz The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/jazz/2070.html Thu, 18 Apr 2024 03:40:26 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Bobbi Humphrey - Flute In (1971) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/jazz/2070-bobbi-humphrey/16643-bobbi-humphrey-flute-in-1971.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/jazz/2070-bobbi-humphrey/16643-bobbi-humphrey-flute-in-1971.html Bobbi Humphrey - Flute In (1971)

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01. Ain't No Sunshine 2:30
02. It's Too Late 3:05
03. Sidewinder 6:13
04. Sad Bag 5:05
05. Spanish Harlem 3:45
06. Don't Knock My Funk 4:36
07. Set Us Free 5:45

Bobbi Humphrey - flute
Lee Morgan - trumpet (tracks 3 & 5-8)
Billy Harper - tenor saxophone (tracks 3 & 5-8)
George Devens - vibes, marimba, percussion
Hank Jones (tracks 1, 4, 7 & 8), Frank Owens (tracks 2, 3, 5 & 6) - piano, electric piano
Gene Bertoncini - guitar
George Duvivier - bass (tracks 1, 4, 7 & 8)
Gordon Edwards - electric bass (tracks 2, 3, 5 & 6)
Jimmy Johnson (tracks 2, 3, 5 & 6), Idris Muhammad (tracks 1, 4, 7 & 8) - drums
Ray Armando - conga
Wade Marcus – arranger

 

Last time out we looked at two particularly neglected Blue Note gems from keyboard man Ronnie Foster which actually got me to thinking about the present state of that iconic jazz catalog. While the Connoisseur and RVG series have brought to light many of the best items from the vaults, the fact remains that there are still a small number of releases that have yet to make it to CD and deserve to be heard once again. So for the next few months, our efforts will be spent on uncovering those few remaining Blue Note titles that have somehow managed to remain just under the radar of current reissue projects.

While she spent a brief stay at Epic Records in the late '70s and recorded a few recent sides that find her still in peak form, the cornerstone of flutist Bobbi Humphrey's career is squarely built upon the half dozen albums she cut for Blue Note beginning in 1971. A native of Texas, Humphrey impressed such jazz luminaries as Dizzy Gillespie and Duke Ellington while she was still in her teens. Although not generally lauded by critics, Humphrey garnered a good deal of popular appeal with a style that mixed elements of funk and jazz and which yielded maximum crossover appeal.

Only two of Humphrey's six Blue Note sides are presently available and the transcendent Blacks and Blues is fortunately easy enough to find these days. This 1973 classic is really the best place to start for the uninitiated, deftly mixing all the best elements of Humphrey's style and possessing a strong program of original material. Still, as debut sets go, Bobbi's Flute-In is hard to beat and its current scarcity is really unfortunate. For starters, it says something about the youngster's talents that she holds her own in the heavy company of Lee Morgan and Billy Harper. Secondly, the smart program arranged by Wade Marcus mixes pop hits and original material in a manner that should appeal to both diehards and those with more commercial tastes.

As for the pop ditties, "Ain't No Sunshine, "It's Too Late, and "Spanish Harlem each get peppy arrangements that put Bobbi up front for some fine soloing. In a smart new makeover, Morgan's "The Sidewinder sounds totally fresh and Humphrey makes the most of its boogaloo beat. They often say that a ballad is the truest measure of a jazz musician's substance and if that's so, Humphrey proves her worth with "Sad Bag, a particularly engaging performance that is worth the price of admission alone. Another highlight is the expansive "Journey to Morocco, which contains an extended solo spot from Bobbi. It's here that you can really appreciate her superb tone, sense of storytelling, and ability to pace herself.

At a time when Blue Note's fortunes were definitely on the decline, Bobbi Humprhey's Flute-In reminds us that there were valuable trinkets to be found here and there among the label's lesser efforts. You just have to look harder to find them. ---C. Andrew Hovan, allaboutjazz.com

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Bobbi Humphrey Sat, 04 Oct 2014 15:42:36 +0000
Bobbi Humphrey – Dig This! (1972) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/jazz/2070-bobbi-humphrey/20150-bobbi-humphrey--dig-this-1972.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/jazz/2070-bobbi-humphrey/20150-bobbi-humphrey--dig-this-1972.html Bobbi Humphrey – Dig This! (1972)

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01. Lonely Town, Lonely Street (Withers)
02. Is This All? (Johnson)
03. Smiling Faces Sometimes (Strong-Whitfield)
04. Virtue (Mouzon)
05. I Love Every Little Thing About You (Wonder)
06. Love Theme from “Fuzz” (Grusin)
07. Eo Mundo de Maravillas (A World of Beauty) (Mouzon)
08. Nubian Lady (Barron)

Bobbi Humphrey (Flute); 
George Marge (Oboe, English horn); 
Seymour Berman, Paul Gershman, Irving Spice, Paul Winter (Violin); 
Julian Barber (Viola); 
Seymour Barab (Cello); 
Eugene Bianco (Harp); 
Harry Whitaker (Electric piano); 
Paul Griffin (Electric piano, clavinet); 
William Fontaine, David Spinozza (Guitar); 
Ron Carter (Bass); 
Wilbur Bascomb Jr. (Electric bass); 
Alphonse Mouzon (Drums, bell tree, arranger); 
Warren Smith (Percussion); 
Wade Marcus, Horace Ott (Arranger).

 

Dig This, recorded and released in 1972, is the second of Bobbi Humphrey's seven Blue Note albums; it is also her sophomore recording. The album was produced by then-label president George Butler. He had signed Humphrey and helmed her debut, Flute In, the previous year. Recorded at A&R Studios, the young flutist was teamed with bassists Ron Carter and Wilbur Bascomb, Jr., powerhouse drummer Alphonse Mouzon, guitarists David Spinozza and William Fontaine, and keyboardists Harry Whitaker and Paul Griffin. While the album’s formula didn’t deviate that much from her debut -- an easy, tasty balance of soul, pop, and jazz tunes -- the material, production, and Humphrey’s confidence all stand out here. Check her reading of Bill Withers' “Lonely Town, Lonely Street,” as she stretches the melody to meet Bascomb's and Spinozza’s funky grooves. While strings swoop and hover, threatening to overtake the mix, her plaintive style goes right at them with meaty, in-the-pocket phrasing. Her version of Whitfield and Strong’s “Smiling Faces Sometimes” is well-known in pop culture for the sample that appeared on Common’s “Puppy Chow,” but taking the tune in full, Humphrey’s gift as a soloist is revealed in full, as she winds around and through funky clavinets, Rhodes, strings, guitars, and Mouzon’s popping snare. The reading of Stevie Wonder's “I Love Every Little Thing About You,” with its bubbling basslines and Humphrey’s understatement of the melody, make this a bright, shining jazz-funk number. “El Mundo de Maravillas (A World of Beauty),” is one of two fine Mouzon compositions to appear here, this one commences with a cello in a spacy, soulful ballad that showcases Humphrey’s classical chops before it moves into funk terrain and then back again. The set closer is a souled-out reading of Kenny Barron's “Nubian Lady,” with chunky guitars, Bascomb’s Fender bass, shuffling drums, and Humphrey adding air and space to the knotty groove. While Dig This is not the revelation that Blacks and Blues is (it appeared two years later), it is nonetheless a stone killer example of jazz-funk in its prime, and should be considered an essential part of the canon. ---Thom Jurek, Rovi

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Bobbi Humphrey Sat, 06 Aug 2016 13:04:22 +0000
Bobbi Humphrey – Fancy Dancer (1975) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/jazz/2070-bobbi-humphrey/7457-bobbi-humphrey-quintet-live-at-montreux-1973.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/jazz/2070-bobbi-humphrey/7457-bobbi-humphrey-quintet-live-at-montreux-1973.html Bobbi Humphrey – Fancy Dancer (1975)

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1. Uno Esta
2. The Trip
3. You Make Me Feel So Good
4. Fancy Dancer
5. Mestizo Eyes
6. Sweeter Than Sugar
7. Please Set Me At Ease

Bobbi Humphrey - Flute, Vocals
Dorothy Ashby 	- Harp
Oscar Brashear 	- Trumpet
Mayuto Correa 	Congas
Roger Glenn - Marimba, Vibraphone
Tyree Glenn - Sax (Tenor)
Bobbi Humphrey - Flute, Vocals
Harvey Mason, Sr. - Drums
Craig McMullen - Guitar
Fonce Mizell - Clavinet, Conductor, Solina, Trumpet, Vocals
Larry Mizell - Arranger, Conductor, Piano, Piano (Electric), Solina, Synthesizer, Vocals
Jerry Peters - Arranger, Piano, Piano (Electric), Synthesizer
Julian Priester  - Trombone
Chuck Rainey - Bass, Bass (Electric)
John Rowin - Guitar
Skip Scarborough - Arranger, Clavinet, Piano, Piano (Electric)
Jess Acuna, Rosario Dávila, Katherine Lyra, Augie Ray, Sonia Tavares - Vocals (Background)

 

The third and final collaboration between flutist Bobbi Humphrey and Larry Mizell also marked the end of Humphrey's five-album run with Blue Note Records. Humphrey began recording with Larry and his brother Fonce (who provides arrangements and plays clavinet and trumpet here) in the aftermath of Donald Byrd's Black Byrd, the collaborative jazz-funk effort that resulted in a massively successful (and influential) commercial breakthrough for the trumpeter and the label. While not as well known as her Blacks and Blues album, her stellar debut with the pair from 1973, Fancy Dancer is every bit its aesthetic equal. The Mizells lined up a serious crew of studio aces for the date, including trumpeter Oscar Brashear; trombonist Julian Priester; Tyree and Roger Glenn on saxophone and piano, respectively; pianists Skip Scarborough and Jerry Peters (who were part of an army of them on this date); drummer Harvey Mason; bassist Chuck Rainey; and even the great Dorothy Ashby on harp. Recorded at their Sound Factory studio in Los Angeles, Fancy Dancer is a seamless collection of seven tracks that cruise the distance across soulful fusions of funk, Latin grooves, electric jazz, and gauzy vocal choruses that offer a hint as to what the underground dancefloor scenes of Los Angeles and New York were offering in at the predawn of the disco era. Humphrey's flute playing feels effortless as she hovers around and plays through the layers of spacy keyboards, shimmering rhythmic pulses, and seductive textures provided by lilting voices, hand percussion, and breaks. The set comes popping out of the gate with the glorious "Uno Esta," featuring bank upon bank of warm bubbling keyboards, roiling basslines, and hand drums courtesy of Mayuto Correa's congas. Craig McMullen and John Rowin contribute some bright chunky guitars, and Larry lays a fine horn chart in the cut as Humphrey begins the first of three solo breaks. When the chorus comes in, the rhythm shifts; the vibe get funkier but never loses the sheen and polish in the mix.

Following this is the stunning Chuck Davis number "The Trip." Commencing with a cut-time funk break, wah-wah guitars, and three different synth harmonic lines all painting a nocturnal spaced-out groove, Humphrey begins to play fills around and through them. A Rhodes enters and the drums become more pronounced in the mix, just as a guitar begins to play contrapuntal fills under her flute. This is one of the greatest tracks in her catalog because it is simultaneously dreamy and sensual and offers enough head-nodding funk to seduce an army. The title track feels more laid-back at first with its gentle chorus. But some flipped-out psychedelic soul finds its way through in waves of Latin percussion that build a shelf under Roger Glenn's vibes break, which in turn sets up Humphrey's burning flute solo prefiguring a salsa piano line and furious hand drumming in syncopated grooves. "Mestizo Eyes" is a steamy, lusty babymaker with simmering, ratcheted intensity as Rainey's fat-bottom electric Fender bassline belies the chunky wah-wah guitars and synth strings and Dorothy Ashby's harp floats through the center. A chorus of male voices softly chants the title and Humphrey goes to town, rhythmically undulating her solo through the entire mix. There isn't anything approaching a middling moment here -- this is all killer, no filler. Jazz critics may have had their troubles with this set, but no one cared; Humphrey and The Mizells were creating a new kind of largely instrumental funk that was inclusive of everything they could weave in from world music to soul-jazz to club music to pop -- and the public responded. [In 2008, Fancy Dancer was released domestically on compact disc as part of the Michael Cuscuna-produced Blue Note Rare Grooves series.] --- Thom Jurek, Rovi

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Bobbi Humphrey Sat, 20 Nov 2010 11:13:40 +0000