Johnny Hammond – Higher Ground (1974/2016) [e-Onkyo FLAC 24bit/192kHz]

Johnny Hammond – Higher Ground (1974/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 37:04 minutes | 1,56 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Source: e-Onkyo | Front Cover | © Kudu/CTI Records
Recorded: October 31 and November 1, 1973 at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

Massive work from Johnny Hammond – stretching out here in some totally jamming grooves that really transform his style for the 70s! The sound here is a lot hipper and tighter than some of Hammond’s more rough-edged soul jazz of the 60s – a groove that’s a great precursor to his more famous meetings with Larry Mizell a few years later – and equally great! Johnny’s got plenty of space here – and is really taking his time with the grooves, thanks to some open ended arrangements by Bob James, who also plays electric piano on the record! The record is a seminal piece of work in the transformation of the chunky 60s organ sound to a sweeter 70s keyboard groove – and was proof that Johnny, more than most of his 60s soul jazz contemporaries, was ready to embrace the new sounds of the decade with open arms. Includes the great sample cut “Big Sur Suite” – plus “Higher Ground”, “Summertime/The Ghetto”, and “Catch My Soul”.

With Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette, George Benson, Hank Crawford, Joe Henderson, Bob James, and a large horn section. Some of the arrangements seem, well… arranged, but as soon as Smith kicks in, the groove is established. Even Creed Taylor (producer) can’t stop the Hammond B-3. –AllMusic Review by Michael Erlewine

1 Catch My Soul 7:20
2 Summertime/The Ghetto 10:07
3 Higher Ground 10:34
4 Big Sur Suite 9:04

Johnny Hammond, organ, electric piano
Wayne Andre, Tony Studd, trombone
Paul Faulise, Alan Raph, bass trombone
Jon Faddis, John Frosk, Alan Rubin, trumpet
Marvin Stamm, trumpet, flugelhorn
Ray Alonge, French horn
Joe Henderson, tenor saxophone
Hank Crawford, alto saxophone (#4)
Eddie Daniels, clarinet
Romeo Penque, alto flute, oboe
Eli Carmen, bassoon
Bob James, electric piano, organ, mellotron, arranger, conductor
George Benson, guitar (#2-4)
Ron Carter, bass, electric bass
Jack DeJohnette (#4), Steve Gadd (#1-3), drums
Phil Kraus, Ralph MacDonald, percussion