See yesterday's post for the full 411 on McGriff's 70s period and composer/arranger/conductor Brad Baker. I don't find this one as strong as Mean Machine, probably due to the lack of giants such as Joe Thomas and Cornell Dupree on this effort. The Brecker Brothers and veteran session men Jon Faddis & Alan Rubin try their best on the horn side, but it's still a little shy of Joe's blowing.
Jimmy McGriff picks up a few more keyboards than straight Hammond organ -- but that's ok with us, given the great results of the set! The album's got McGriff working on electric piano and clavinet alongside the organ -- plus supporting arrangements from Brad Baker, in that fuller, Kudu-styled approach to jazz funk that Groove Merchant used strongly in the mid 70s -- a slightly smoother sound than before, but still plenty darn great, and definitely filled with more than enough jazz to keep things real! Pat Rebillot plays some additional keyboards on the album -- in that funky style he used well at the time -- and there's almost a spacey Fantasy Records quality to some of the best numbers here! Titles include the incredible tripped out break cut "Space Cadet", plus "Love Is My Life", "Sweet Love", "Big Booty Bounce", "Red Beans", and "Cakes Alive".
RED BEANS was the second of Jimmy McGriff's disco productions guided by Groove Merchant house arranger, Brad Baker (whose best work always featured McGriff). McGriff helms most of the six disco tunes here on instruments other than his familiar Hammond B-3. He leads on clavinet for "Red Beans," piano for "Space Cadet" and "Love Is My Life," electric piano for "Cakes Alive" and, finally gets back to the organ for the regrettably titled "Big Booty Bounce." McGriff riffs well, as expected, on the disco rhythms and, surprisingly, distinguishes himself on other keyboards with the same kind of soul and wit that's made him recognizable on the organ. The moodiest tracks ("Space Cadet," "Love Is My Life") are the best features for McGriff and Michael Brecker is also heard soloing on "Red Beans" and "Cakes Alive." All six tracks of this 1976 LP were issued on a 1994 CD that also included four of the six songs from THE MEAN MACHINE.
Going into the hundreds of sessions the brothers did together and individually would be silly. The best thing would be to check their credits on AMG and see how many albums you already own on which they appear. They're best known for their evergreen single "Some Skunk Funk" which appears on countless jazzfunk compilations. If you're interested in more of their output as a team then you might want to check out the following releases as a duo during their first fertile period: