Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

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Review

Melvin Sparks : Live At Nectar's

Melvin Sparks

9

6.2

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UK release date 27.04.2017

Melvin Sparks releases his posthumous live album and what a stone cold classic it is.The high intensity never drifts off course. His grooves are set in roughly hewed granite grits and gravy is definately this man's staple! No wonder he is considered one of the main guitarists of the soul-jazz movement which was born in the mid-1960s. This revered axeman cut his teeth on the early r&b scene with the likes of Jackie Wilson, Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye and then later joining the nascent scene of soul-jazz playing with Lou Donaldson, Leon Spencer, Bernard Purdie, Jack McDuff, Jimmy McGriff, Idris Muhammad, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Charles Earland, Grover Washington Jr., Reuben Wilson amongst others. His credentials justly speak for themselves!

If you are a lover of Grant Green you'll certainly dig this.His soloing is to die for too, melding a funky classic jazz blues thing with great harmonic depth too as he veers sweetly out on the first cut 'Miss Riverside' showing us just what mighty chops this master has and the addition of the Grippo horns adds raspy sweetness especially on the soultastic 'Ain't No Woman (Like The One I've Got)'.

Organist Beau Sasser and drummer Bill Carbone complete the picture with blaring hammond and tight funk fuelled drums especially on monster jams such as 'Fire Eater' 'Cranberry Sunshine' and 'Whip Whop' smooth, smoky, and cool as they come. It all makes for a terrific album that ranks in Sparks' uppermost echelon and a fitting final testament to the man.Props to Eddie Roberts (New Master Sounds ) for seeing this through and getting Melvin's message across.
Words Emrys Baird

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