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Blacks and Blues

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Huey
Bobbi Humphrey scored her biggest hit with her third album Blacks and Blues, an utterly delightful jazz-funk classic that helped make her a sensation at Montreux. If it sounds a lot like Donald Byrd's post-Black Byrd output, it's no accident; brothers Larry and Fonce Mizell have their fingerprints all over the album, and as on their work with Byrd, Larry handles all the composing and most of the arranging and production duties. It certainly helps that the Mizells were hitting on all cylinders at this point in their careers, but Humphrey is the true star of the show; she actually grabs a good deal more solo space than Byrd did on his Mizell collaborations, and she claims a ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Huey
Bobbi Humphrey scored her biggest hit with her third album Blacks and Blues, an utterly delightful jazz-funk classic that helped make her a sensation at Montreux. If it sounds a lot like Donald Byrd's post-Black Byrd output, it's no accident; brothers Larry and Fonce Mizell have their fingerprints all over the album, and as on their work with Byrd, Larry handles all the composing and most of the arranging and production duties. It certainly helps that the Mizells were hitting on all cylinders at this point in their careers, but Humphrey is the true star of the show; she actually grabs a good deal more solo space than Byrd did on his Mizell collaborations, and she claims a good deal of responsibility for the album's light, airy charm. Her playing is indebted to Herbie Mann and, especially, Hubert Laws, but she has a more exclusive affinity for R&B and pop than even those two fusion-minded players, which is why she excels in this setting. Mizell is at the peak of his arranging powers, constructing dense grooves with lots of vintage synths, wah-wah guitars, and rhythmic interplay. Whether the funk runs hot or cool, Humphrey floats over the top with a near-inexhaustible supply of melodic ideas. She also makes her vocal debut on the album's two ballads, "Just a Love Child" and "Baby's Gone"; her voice is girlish but stronger than the genre standard, even the backing vocals by the Mizells and keyboardist Fred Perren. Overall, the album's cumulative effect is like a soft summer breeze, perfect for beaches, barbecues, and cruising with the top down.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/9/1999
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • UPC: 724349854222
  • Catalog Number: 98542
  • Sales rank: 41,102

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Bobbi Humphrey Primary Artist, Flute, Vocals
King Errisson Conga, Background Vocals
Chuck Rainey Electric Bass
David T. Walker Guitar, Electric Guitar
Ron Brown Electric Bass
Harvey Mason Sr. Drums
Fonce Mizell Trumpet, Background Vocals, Clavinet
Larry Mizell Conductor, Background Vocals
Freddie Perren Synthesizer
Jerry Peters Piano, Electric Piano
John Rowin Guitar, Electric Guitar
Stephanie Spruill Percussion
Technical Credits
John Arrias Engineer
Michael Cuscuna Reissue Producer
Ron McMaster Mastering
Fonce Mizell Vocal Arrangements
Larry Mizell Arranger, Producer, Vocal Arrangements
Leonard Brown Liner Notes
Bob Cato Artwork
John Mills Engineer
Chuck Davis Producer, Engineer
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