Idris Muhammad – House Of The Rising Sun (1976/2016) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

(Last Updated On: May 19, 2022)

Idris Muhammad – House Of The Rising Sun (1976/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 35:03 minutes | 1,44 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Source: e-Onkyo | Front Cover | © Kudu Records / CTI Records
Recorded: June 18-27, 1975, September 23-October 8 at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

This is yet another fine disc in the latest batch of Creed Taylor productions to once again see the light of day. Like so many of the others it comes from a time when Jazz was becoming a little more pop influenced – in the sense of soul type rhythms and horn riffs. This particular session has some particularly fine backing vocals reminiscent of those found on the Stax label. For all of these more commercial aspects the music herein is always tasteful and great for either listening or dancing to.
Idris Muhammad is one of Jazz’s ubiquitous percussionists, equally at home here or with more avant-garde musicians such as David Murray. The recordings under his own name are always a joy particularly in their diversity of style and influence. Muhammad seems to have technique in abundance but never allows it to interfere with his artistic integrity.
The other players here are all from the top drawer and there are many excellent soloists on display. No credit is given for the particularly fine trombone work but I assume it to be Fred Wesley who is listed amongst the personnel of the ensemble. Sanborn has some good passages and there is much fine guitar playing on display. The material is a good mixture of the original and the popular and the whole project is well worth the remarkably low purchase price. —Dick Stafford, MusicWeb International

Idris Muhammad’s House of the Rising Sun is a legendary soul-jazz album, and for good reason. First there’s the fact that, Grady Tate notwithstanding, Idris Muhammad is easily the greatest of all soul-jazz drummers. Next, it is revealed that label boss and producer Creed Taylor was at his most inspired here, and wasn’t afraid to err on the rhythm and blues side of the jazz equation. The material is top-notch, and David Matthews, who orchestrated and arranged this date with the exception of one track — “Sudan” was written by Muhammad and Tom Harrell, and Harrell arranged it — was on fire. As a bandleader, Muhammad is shockingly effective. Not because one could ever doubt his ability, but because of his reputation as one of the great studio drummers in jazz. Finally, this is the single greatest lineup in Kudu’s history, and features the talents of Don Grolnick, Eric Gale, Will Lee, Roland Hanna, Joe Beck, David Sanborn, Michael Brecker, Hugh McCracken, Bob Berg, Fred Wesley, Patti Austin, and a dozen others playing their asses off. From the title track which opens the album, with Austin reaching the breaking point in her delivery, to the stunningly funky groove in Ashford and Simpson’s “Hard to Face the Music,” to the minor key funk of the Chopin-adapted theme in “Theme for New York City,” to “Sudan”‘s triple-timed drums and killer Eastern-tinged hooks, and a read of the Meters’ “Hey Pocky A-Way,” with Eric Gale’s dirty finger poppin’ bass atop McCracken’s bluesed-out slide work, this is a steaming, no let-up album. Add to this a gorgeous version of the Ary Barroso Brazilian jazz classic “Bahia,” and you have the set for a classic jazz album. But the complete disregard for the political correctness of “Jazz” itself, in order to get the deeply funky and soulful grooves across, is what makes this set so damn special and even spiritual in its inspiration. Jazz purists lost all credibility when they slagged this one off, caught as they were in tainted, even racist views of the past that made no allowances for jazz musicians to actually follow their time-honored tradition of mining the pop music of the day to extend the breadth and reach of jazz itself. Anybody who wants to believe that George Gershwin is somehow more important than George Porter Jr. is already lost in his own cultural fascism. Muhammad, who understands this better than anyone, pulled out all the stops here and blasted out one amazingly tough, funky slab. Brilliant. –AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek

1 House Of The Rising Sun 4:39
2 Bahia 4:38
3 Hard To Face Music 4:50
4 Theme For New York City 3:30
5 Sudan 11:00
6 Hey Pocky A-Way 6:00

Alto Saxophone – David Sanborn (#1,4)
Arranged By – David Matthews (#1-4,6), Tom Harrell (#5)
Backing Vocals (#2) – Hilda Harris, Patti Austin, Debbie McDuffie
Baritone Saxophone – Ronnie Cuber
Cello – Alan Shulman, Charles McCracken, Seymour Barab
Drums – Idris Muhammad
Electric Bass – Eric Gale (#3, 6), Dud Bascomb (#2,4,5), Will Lee (#1)
Electric Guitar – Eric Gale (#1,2,4,5), Hugh McCracken (#2), Joe Beck (#3)
Electric Piano – Don Grolnick (#3,6), Roland Hanna (#4,5)
Electric Piano, Synthesizer – Leon Pendarvis (#1)
Lead Vocals – Frank Floyd (#1,6)
Percussion – George Devens
Percussion [Log Drum] – Idris Muhammad (#1)
Piano – Don Grolnick (#2)
Tenor Saxophone – Bob Berg (#5), George Young (#2,3,6), Mike Brecker (#2)
Trombone – Barry Rogers (#5), Fred Wesley
Trumpet – Tom Harrell
Violin – Charles Libove, David Nadien, Emanuel Green, Harold Kohon, Harry Cykman, Joe Malin, Max Ellen, Paul Gershman
Vocals [Solo] – Frank Floyd (#1,6)


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