JIMMY McGRIFF I’ve Got A Woman (Sue)
On his 1963 debut album the pungent, gutbucket sound of McGriff’s organ surges salaciously through original material and covers such as Lerner and Lowe’s “On The Street Where You Live”, Duke Ellington’s “Satin Doll” and Lionel Hampton’s “Flying Home”. Although not strictly comparable given their lack of keyboards, there seems to be an element of The Yardbirds’ near-contemporaneous rave-up style to the rip-roaring, locked-in, cyclical backing groove of the titular Ray Charles cover. The rest of his trio bring a totally invariant wall of rhythmic propulsion while McGriff supplies all the song’s melodic impetus. His artistic abilities, though, are best demonstrated by Thelonious Monk’s “’Round Midnight”; desolate and bluesy, it’s an arresting performance that never topples over into gimmickry. “That’s The Way I Feel” is probably the finest of McGriff’s own compositions presented here; perky, poppy but gutsy with it, it sounds almost like a Ray Charles pastiche. If his other tunes seem even more like generic vamps in comparison with the standards essayed here, it’s more a reflection of the quality of the competition than any shortcoming on McGriff’s part.
The currently available vinyl pressing of “I’ve Got A Woman” emanates from the mysterious Scorpio Music concern, meaning a pleasing reproduction of what I presume to be the original packaging, right down to the labels (no barcodes here!) combined with a general disinterest in sound quality or the provenance of the source material.