Reed Seed [2009]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Reed Seed was Grover Washington, Jr.'s final album for Kudu/Motown. It was also one of two recordings his issued in 1978 -- the other is the stone-killer live set Live at the Bijou. While the saxophonist had been experimenting with funk since 1971's Inner City Blues, by 1975's breakthrough recordings Mister Magic and Feels So Good, he'd perfected his groove. His appeal to fans of more radio-friendly material was ready: he had stellar grooves, very polished production, and accessible arrangements -- not too mention his stellar emotive attack on any saxophone he chose to play. Many straight-ahead jazz fans dug Washington's sound as well because of his technical facility on his...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Reed Seed was Grover Washington, Jr.'s final album for Kudu/Motown. It was also one of two recordings his issued in 1978 -- the other is the stone-killer live set Live at the Bijou. While the saxophonist had been experimenting with funk since 1971's Inner City Blues, by 1975's breakthrough recordings Mister Magic and Feels So Good, he'd perfected his groove. His appeal to fans of more radio-friendly material was ready: he had stellar grooves, very polished production, and accessible arrangements -- not too mention his stellar emotive attack on any saxophone he chose to play. Many straight-ahead jazz fans dug Washington's sound as well because of his technical facility on his instruments. Reed Seed, like its immediate studio predecessor Secret Place is a transition album from jazz-funk to what would become contemporary or, if you will, smooth jazz. That said, it is no less compelling than Mister Magic or Feels So Good. It follows those recordings in formula, beginning with the solidly funky "Do Dat," written by sidemen John Blake keyboards and violin and Leonard "Doc" Gibbs percussion, vocals. Kicking it with a popping, repetitive bassline, Washington's tenor enters on the melody amid handclaps and the sounds of a backing chorus provided by Rita & Lita Boggs. Containing a killer bass solo and bridge, it's a perfect length at 4:27 to be a single, and it was. This is followed by the uptown groover "Step n Thru," introduced by Blake's violin and synths, as well as nice guitar work from Richard Lee Steacker the track's author. But the real prize is a smoking soprano solo from Washington as the tempo begins to move. The title track is a feature for Blake's violin to shine along with killer bass and percussion work, with Grover's soprano being intentionally restrained to providing its own sense of lyrical groove. There's a very fine cover of Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are," and "Santa Cruzin'" sets the template for the direction he would follow in the future. It's a midtempo stepper with lithe funk and lots of acoustic piano and a very simple, direct melody that focuses on atmosphere as much as lyricism. The album's final number, "Loran's Dance," is a nocturnal one with Washington overdubbing his saxophone lines alto and tenor; it develops on a Spanish-tinged theme, and the Rhodes work by Blake is exceptional. When Washington begins to solo, the atmosphere and textures are abundant yet full of space and dimension. It's sexy as hell. Reed Seed was a fitting way for Washington to leave the Kudu/Motown stable; it's a high-quality, wonderfully memorable set of mid- and uptempo funky jazz from a master. In addition, while the charts may not support this assertion, it is, along with his other records for these imprints and CTI before them, arguably the best and most consistent string of albums he ever recorded, as well as the platform that launched him into superstardom first with Elektra and then with Columbia. [Verve reissued this on CD in 2009 as part of their excellent "Originals" series.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/11/2009
  • Label: Verve
  • UPC: 602527068848
  • Catalog Number: 001300102
  • Sales rank: 40,262

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Do Dat (4:27)
  2. 2 Step 'N' Thru (6:15)
  3. 3 Reed Seed (4:53)
  4. 4 Maracas Beach (4:49)
  5. 5 Santa Cruzin (6:54)
  6. 6 Just the Way You Are (4:45)
  7. 7 Loran's Dance (7:37)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Grover Washington Jr. Primary Artist, Flute, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Lita Boggs Vocals
Rita Boggs Vocals
Tyrone Brown Electric Bass, Acoustic Bass
Leonard "Doc" Gibbs Percussion, Vocals
Jeanine Otis Vocals
James Sid Simmons Piano, Electric Piano, Clavinet, fender rhodes
Richard Lee Steacker Electric Guitar, Vocals
John E. Blake Jr. Piano, Vocals, Clavinet, Electric Violin, fender rhodes, Polymoog
Milard "Pete" Vinann Drums
Technical Credits
Billy Joel Composer
Rita Boggs Vocal Arrangements
Tyrone Brown Arranger, Composer
Rudy Van Gelder Mastering
Leonard "Doc" Gibbs Arranger
Kevin Reeves Mastering
Richard Lee Steacker Arranger
Millard Vinson Arranger, Composer
Grover Washington Jr. Arranger, Producer
James Simmons Arranger, Composer
Hollis King Art Direction
John E. Blake Jr. Arranger
D.T. Graves Arranger
James Simmon Arranger, Composer
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