A great little CD that combines material from Dick Griffin's 1974 Strata East album, plus his later record for Trident Records! First up is the full batch of tracks from The Eighth Wonder – an overlooked gem from the glory days of Strata East – extremely soulful work from trombonist Dick Griffin, who only made a handful of records as a leader! The group is a wonderful one that has Griffin in the company of Sam Rivers on sax and flute, Ron Burton on piano, Warren Smith
on vibes, Cecil McBee on bass, Freddie Waits on drums, and Leopoldo F Smith
on percussion – all very hip players who really match the righteous energy of Griffin's music. Tunes aren't as high concept as on other Strata sessions, but still have a really deep soul overall – very much in the territory of Clifford Jordan's work for the label, and the percussion on the bottom adds a really organic quality. Titles include "Girl I Really Love You", "It Could Be", "Flying Back Home", "Come Be With Me", and "Jakubu's Dance". The last 4 tracks on the CD are from the album Now Is The Time – a rare post-Strata East session by trombonist Griffin, recorded with a super hip group and a very righteous sound! The album grooves with a great mix of modal and electric styles – strong solos out front, and some incredibly wonderful rhythms driving the whole set along. Players include Clifford Jordan on tenor, Donald Smith
on flute and piano, Hubert Eaves on piano, Billy Hart and Freddie Waits on drums, and Lawrence Killian on percussion – and one track features some great vocals by Donald Smith
, who sung on some of the best 70s albums by his brother Lonnie Liston Smith
! Great all the way through – and a massive record that's up there with the best on Black Jazz and Strata East at the time. Titles included here are "Waltz My Son", "Multiphone Blues", "Oree Me II", and "Now Is The Time".
(Out of print, CDr release.)