In the few years he recorded and performed (roughly from 1966 to 1978), guitarist Ivan «Boogaloo Joe» Jones (b. 1940) never really got his due as an exciting, rapid-fire R & B plecterist. His sound and style clearly derived from blues. But it was a solid understanding of rock that Jones brought to his style of jazz. The result, outlined on a handful of Prestige albums, was a healthy mix of finger-licking funk, sweet-natured soul and infectious blues.
The second of Jones’s Legends of Acid Jazz collections features his prototypical and unappreciated groove from what are probably two of his best records, 1970’s No Way and 1971’s What It Is. His originals go between the boogaloo of «No Way» and the calling-card groove of «Inside Job» to the funky blues of «Holdin’ Back,» «What It Is» and «Fadin.» The guitarist runs one interesting, meaty line after another. He even covers then-popular hits «I’ll Be There,» «Ain’t No Sunshine» and «I Feel the Earth Move» with more groove than you’d think possible, all the while grinding along a variety of smoking patterns. Other highlights include Jimmy Lewis’s «If You Were Mine» and Butch Cornell’s Sunshine Alley» (covered by Stanley Turrentine a few months later on his CTI record, Sugar ).
Also prominently featured here is the funky tenor of Grover Washington, Jr., heard here only a few months before he made his own solo debut with Inner City Blues (where he again covers «Ain’t No Sunshine» and Georgia on My Mind»). Today’s Grover Washington fans would hardly recognize the sax man here, despite the fact that he’d already crafted his own distinctive sound at this point. He’s loose and funky, ripping through one thick fatback slab after another with energy and evident excitement.
Legends of Acid Jazz: Boogaloo Joe Jones Vol. Two is a great slice of solid forgotten. One can only hope renewed interest in Joe Jones will bring him back onto the scene.
Songs:No Way; If You Were Mine; Georgia on my Mind; Sunshine Alley; I’ll Be There; Holdin’ Back; Ain’t No Sunshine; I Feel The Earth Move; Fadin’; What It Is; Let Them Talk; Inside Job.
Players:Boogaloo Joe Jones: guitar; Grover Washington Jr.: tenor sax; Sonny Phillips: organ, electric piano; Butch Cornell: organ; Jimmy Lewis: Fender Bass; Bernard Purdie: drums; Buddy Caldwell: conga, bongos.