McGriff, Jimmy – 100% Pure Funk – New CD
CD. COMPACT DISC. CD. COMPACT DISC. CD.
While I never got to witness McGriff in person, he did turn me on to soul-jazz. I was working at a shop in Michigan, bored with the butt-rockers that dominated the radio airwaves at that time (early 80s) and with a suggestion from my boss George, decided to broaden my horizons and give jazz a try. For the most part, I just didn't get it, and if I did, I still didn't like it, but then this cat came on with this groove sound and I was hooked. I waited for the set to finish with grease marker in hand to write down the name of that cat with the crazy funky organ, and when the announcement came, I wrote down that name on the flange of a four-inch pipe, Jimmy McGriff. I felt really good that day.
One of the all-time giants of the Hammond B-3, Jimmy McGriff sometimes gets lost amid all the great soul-jazz organists from his hometown of Philadelphia. He was almost certainly the bluesiest of the major soul-jazz pioneers, and indeed, he often insisted that he was more of a blues musician than a jazz artist; nonetheless, he remained eclectic enough to blur the lines of classification. His sound -- deep, down-to-earth grooves drenched in blues and gospel feeling -- made him quite popular with R&B audiences, even more so than some of his peers; what was more, he was able to condense those charms into concise, funky, jukebox-ready singles that often did surprisingly well on the R&B charts.