The Chuck Rainey Coalition – The Chuck Rainey Coalition (Remastered) (1972/2019) [FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

The Chuck Rainey Coalition – The Chuck Rainey Coalition (Remastered) (1972/2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 33:00 minutes | 634 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Skye Records

Although Chuck Rainey was among New York’s most ubiquitous and in-demand R&B and pop session players of the 1960s and ’70s, he didn’t record very many albums on his own. The Chuck Rainey Coalition gives us a glimpse of the electric bassist in the driver’s seat. Rainey doesn’t do that much stretching, and most of the time, this collection of instrumental jazz/R&B simmers without really igniting. Nonetheless, there are a few cuts that stand out. Rainey really digs into a funky interpretation of the “Theme from Peter Gunn,” and his soul-minded arrangement of “Harlem Nocturne” is fairly imaginative. Meanwhile, uptempo tunes like “Get It Together,” “It’s Gonna Rain” and “The Lone Stranger” are kind of catchy, though hardly mind-blowing. Overall, this isn’t a bad album, but it could have been much better.

Here’s a tight set of funky soul-jazz grooves served up hot by electric bassist and studio kingpin Chuck Rainey (born 1940). First released on the Skye label in 1968, it’s the first of only three discs (I think) the bassist released under his own name during a long career that’s included playing with Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Quincy Jones, Steely Dan and many, many others.

The overall sound will be familiar to anyone who enjoys Atlantic jazz records from this period. That’s mostly because this set features all of Atlantic’s house musicians (Richard Tee, Cornell Dupree, Eric Gale, Bernard Purdie, etc). But the groove also suggests a blueprint for the “Blaxploitation” sound that would become familiar just a few years later and, more significantly, lay the foundation for the Saturday Night Live spin-off band Stuff (three Stuff members are heard here). The guitarists (Dupree, Gale or Billy Butler) usually carry the melody. But Rainey’s distinctive and familiar string slurs are prominent throughout and he sounds appealing the few times he takes the lead (“Harlem Nocturne”). Highlights include Rainey’s “First Love” (later covered by Richard Tee on his excellent 1979 Tappan Zee debut, Strokin’ ), “How Long Will It Last” (covered by Cornell Dupree on his 1973 Atlantic debut, Teasin’ ), “Genuine John” (with Selwart Clarke’s great string arrangement) and “The Lone Stranger.” Good stuff, if you’ll pardon the pun. And – despite its short 33-minute playing time – it’s inexpensive and worth hearing.


01. Eloise (First Love)
02. How Long Will It Last
03. Genuine John (Colors)
04. The Rain Song
05. Got It Together
06. The Lone Stranger
07. Harlem Nocturne / Zenzile
08. It’s Gonna Rain
09. Theme from Peter Gunn


Billy Butler, guitar
Cornell Dupree, guitar
Eric Gale, guitar
Richard Tee, organ, piano
Montego Joe, percussion
Specs Powell, percussion
Warren Smith, percussion
George Stubbs, piano
Trevor Lawrence, tenor saxophone
Melvin Lastie, trumpet
Chuck Rainey, bass
Bernard Purdie, drums
Herb Lovelle, drums
Jim Johnson, drums
Ken Rice, drums
Selwart Clarke, strings conductor