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Melvin Sparks Band: What You Hear Is What You Get

Like ol’ fashioned American gospel, Melvin Sparks’ music immediately induces a good feeling. His countrified guitar plucking and greasy solos have become staples in the soul-jazz canon, and What You Hear Is What You Get proves that he still has the power to turn a session into a soulful revival.

Fronting a band consisting of alto saxophonist Joe Hrbek, organist George Papageorge, drummer Carter McLean and bassist Tim Luntzel, Sparks plays the testifyin’ preacher on a handful of originals that sound like old instrumental sermons lifted from some dusty soul-jazz bible. The horn riffs cut deep, the pumping organ and bass lines drive the groove with bristling intensity and Sparks does what he does best-give up the funk, blue-collar style.

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