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Charles Earland: The Mighty Burner

The late Charles Earland displayed a relentless intensity at the B3 right up until his death on December 11, 1999. To commemorate his latter period, label head Joe Fields put together the posthumous release The Mighty Burner: The Best of his HighNote Recordings. Culling from five sessions cut between 1997 and 1999 (the last coming just two months before his passing), this collection features the Philly native in the company of Eric Alexander on tenor sax and Jim Rotondi on trumpet (on Horace Silver’s “Blowin’ the Blues Away” and “Sister Sadie” and Earland’s “The Count Is in the House”) and seasoned organ-group veterans Melvin Sparks on guitar and Bernard Purdie on drums (“Organyk Groove”). Everything feels good here (courtesy of Greg Rockingham’s supportive, swinging drumming), and Earland more than lives up to his legendary nickname.

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