2 funky jazz classics from Eddie! Free Speech is a nice little record from Eddie's early electric period on Atlantic! The group is a very soulful one made up of Jodie Christian on electric piano, Louis Spears on bass, Billy Hart on drums, and Felix Henry on percussion. The overall sound is more restrained than some of Eddie's other records – but in a way that evokes a very nice mellow soul groove. Includes a great version of "Bold & Black", from the Melvin Jackson album, plus the cuts "Boogie Woogie Bossa Nova", "Wait Please", and "Free Speech". That Is Why You're Overweight continues the funky groove that Eddie begun on Instant Funk, and smoothed out over albums like I Need Some Money – and although jazz fans probably gave him hell for going this way, we think this is actually a pretty darn great album! The record takes all of Eddie's experimentation with groovy styles from the early 70s, and filters it through some tighter playing that actually makes the groove a lot more compelling than before. A number of the tracks have vocals, almost in a humorous Bill Cosby mode – but in a way that also preserves the party feel of the cuts. Players include Bobby Lyle, Paul Humphrey, Buck Clarke, and Bradley Bobo – and one Chicago-recorded track features a great assortment from older years that includes Muhal Abrams, Odell Brown, Marshapp Thompson, Willie Henderson, and Richard Evans. Titles include "Tryin Ain't Dyin", "Ooh", "Exempt", "Live Again", "Flowers", "Why Do You Hurt Me", and "It's All Right Now".
(Out of print.)