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May 2000

Cecil Brooks III
For Those Who Love To Groove
Savant

On this delightful, no-frills album drummer Cecil Brooks III introduces his remarkable group, CB3 Band, finally on disc, where they celebrate the infectious magnetism of groove. Although they don't introduce any new ideas, the band plays with such emotional conviction that the tried and true music swings with unfettered elation.
Organist Radam Schwartz keeps the eight-year-old quintet steeply grounded in soul jazz. On the enchanting "Sweet Summer Breeze," he insulates Riley Mullins' taut, muted trumpet melody with thick chords that smolder like humid air over a delta evening. Both he and Brooks often ground the proceedings with interlocking rhythms that sometimes recall organist Charles Earland's heyday, especially on the covers of the contemporary R&B hits: Janet Jackson's "I Get Lonely" and Tevin Campbell's "Can We Talk." Brooks, one of the most tasteful drummers on the scene today, knows how to keep a sheer sense of swing flowing, while simultaneously breaking up time and dropping stink bombs of funk, as evident on his originals like the jubilant "Lukumbe's Theme" and the deep-in-the-pocket funk ballad, "Adreena." The three-horn foil, comprised of tenor saxophonist Don Braden, alto saxophonist Bruce Williams and trumpeter Riley Mullins, delivers tight melodies and harmonies that often give way to sumptuous solos. Collectively, the end result is a neck-popping album that entertains with each listen.

Originally published in May 2000
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