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Reuben Wilson

Movin' On (Savant)

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After several albums for the Blue Note and Groove Merchant labels in the '60s and '70s, soul-jazz organist Reuben Wilson retired. But a '90s interest in old-school grooves -- sparked by such groups as Brand New Heavies and Medeski Martin & Wood -- inspired his return. Movin' On finds the 71-year-old Wilson not only looking like an ace mack daddy, but at the top of his game.

While not as BBQ-bluesy as Jimmy McGriff or as improvisational as Jack McDuff, Wilson's approach to the Hammond B-3 keyboard is assertive on the surface, yet mellow at its core. His band here features the chunky guitar of Grant Green Jr. (whose iconic padre also jammed with Wilson), the rippling bass of Wilbur Bascomb, Robert Chaseman's hearty sax, and drummers J.T. Lewis and Shawn Hill, both of whom absolutely crackle. Split between jovial, funky struts ("Slick Willie") and gorgeously grooving balladry ("Miss Mansfield"), this platter sounds like a total party.

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