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More Soul
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  • More Soul is Hank Crawford's first album as a leader, issued in 1960 after he left the Ray Charles band. Leading a septet on a debut is am ambitious feat, but in Crawford's case, it is also an impressive one. The material is sweet, signing and deftly played by an ensemble that includes David "Fathead" Newman on tenor, Leroy "Hog" Cooper on baritone, and a brass section that features John Hunt and Philip Guilbeau. Edgar Willis plays bass and drummer Milt Turner rounds out the proceedings. The material is swinging, front-ended, soul-inflected hard bop with tunes arranged by Crawford -- the lone exception being James Moody's "The Story" (one of two selections by him here) charted by Charles. The union of blues, soul and swing as evidenced by the group's read of the nugget "Angel Eyes," or Bobby Timmons' and Oscar Brown's "Dat Dere," or Crawford's own "Four Five Six" established a signature for the saxophonist, one that he has kept at the forefront of his sound for over 40 years. Crawford's tone as a soloist is sweet yet edgy and raw, full of emotion and warmth. If the material is basic, it nonetheless is timeless and More Soul sounds as true and blue in the 21st century as it did when it was released.. ~ Thom Jurek
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