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Hank Crawford: After Dark

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Willie Dixon, the bass-playing bluesman whose “My Babe” opens this disc, was fond of saying that “blues is a feeling.” That feeling is very much present on this blues-saturated disc which features altoist Crawford with a terrific combo: guitarist Melvin Sparks; Danny Mixon, piano, organ and Bernard Purdie on drums with Stanley Banks and Wilbur Bascomb splitting the bass chores. Crawford, whose blues credentials were established 40 years ago during his five-year tenure with Ray Charles, is an emotionally honest player whose lyricism refreshes you with each note. Houston native Melvin Sparks is certainly no stranger to the blues, either, as his “Git It,” a good old funky blues, shows. Purdie, likewise, is no mere novice to the blues (or soul) and says of Crawford that “he takes a song and melts it.” For verification check out Crawford’s very heartfelt playing on “That’s All.”

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