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Blacks & Blues
     

Blacks & Blues

by Bobbi Humphrey
 

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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

Overview

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/09/1999
Label:
Blue Note Records
UPC:
0724349854222
catalogNumber:
98542
Rank:
9279

Related Subjects

Tracks

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   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
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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