Jimmy McGriff: Electric Funk

No one doubts Jimmy McGriff’s prowess on the organ, and hearing him lay into the popcorning cross rhythms that pepper it on the reissued Electric Funk (Blue Note, CDP 0777-7 84350-2-0, 32:36) is pure joy. But those grooves are just as important as the guy dancing on top of them, and since the only other credited player on this date is keyboardist-arranger Horace Ott, (the liner notes from the 1969 date list the rest of the band as “unknown”), we’ll just have to guess at the identity of the rhythm section. Not that you spend a lot of time wondering. McGriff’s greasy bleats and Jimmy Smith-influenced right hand runs steal the show, as expected. But also give a listen to the deadly drum figure that opens “The Bird Wave,” the Meters-influenced “Chris Cross,” the joyous recasting of Blood Sweat and Tears’ “Spinning Wheel,” or the brass section that decorates the proceedings throughout.