Jazz-Soul Part Three

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I must admit to never having heard of today’s choice until I came across the disc at a record fair about ten years ago, ODELL BROWN & THE ORGANISERS ‘No More Water In The Well’, Cadet 5591. Odell Elliott Brown was born in Louisville in February 1940 and was another relatively late starter in the business after he moved to Tennessee and met up with some likeminded State University music students and got a scratch band together comprising himself, Artee Payne, Curtis Prince, Henry Gibson and Tommy Purvis. His aspiration to enrol for university himself was curtailed when he was drafted into the 179th, 5th Army Band which led to the group disbanding.

Upon his discharge some of them did however reform in Chicago in ’64 where they came to the attention of Chess Records and in 1966 were signed to Cadet, the destination for their various jazz-related artists. Their debut LP, Raising the Roof had such an impact that they received the Best New Group award from Billboard and a couple of years later the Billboard Jazz Award. Their status was never fulltime however and some releases were solo from Odell and he also did plenty of session work alongside Gene Barge, Minnie Riperton and Billy Davis for many Chess legends.

1969 proved to be pivotal as Tommy Purvis and label boss Leonard Chess both died which prompted the group to disband permanently and Odell’s life began an unpredicted new phase in Ostend, Belgium where he hooked up with the estranged Marvin Gaye.

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Cadet Records was also the home of RAY BRYANT and his marvellous ‘After Hours’ #5639. Born Raphael Homer Bryant in Philadelphia in December 1931 he began his musical career in his teens when, at only 14 Mickey Collins signed him to his band.

He soon began touring and recording with Tiny Grimes & his Rocking Highlanders, he then recorded some unissued tracks while with the Jimmy Johnson Band and also became the house pianist at the famous Blue Note Club in Philly. The club was the best in town and the visiting jazz dignitaries encouraged Ray to seek his fortune in NYC where he recorded on Blue Note and Prestige. During the early 50s he toured with most of the jazz greats before he eventually relocated to Detroit and formed a trio which recorded for Columbia and having played in every jazz style over the years he began to develop a jazz/gospel/R&B signature that this 45 captures perfectly.

Despite his considerable vinyl output in the USA, including a stint on Sue he only managed a couple of titles in Britain in 1960 on Pye International and Philips 45s.