Doc Powell – 97th & Columbus
(Heads Up – 2003)
by Carmen Miller
Powell’s newest offering reads like a who’s of of Jazz… George Duke, Patrice Rushen, Harvey Mason and Marcus Miller, with guest appearances by the likes of Benny Maupin and even R&B crooner Luther Vandross. The Flavour is an original, latin-tinged track where Doc plays both the guitar and keyboards. Made famous by G. Benson, Powell’s rendition of Breezin’ is a little more stately and well accented by Patrice’s keyboarding. The title track is smooth and features Sax man Ron Brown. Sun Goddess, written by EW&F’s Maurice White and introduced on the Ramsey Lewis album of the same name, is smooth and true to the original while inheriting something from Doc’s own style.
The appropriately named Let’s Jam again features the sweet keyboarding or Patrice Rushen and some Clarinet and Sax contributions from Benny Maupin. Ode to Chet slows it down a bit, and features a different cast of players like bassist Sekou Bunch, Drummer Lavell Bell and percussionist Erik Zobler. The closer What’s Going On shows how to cover a great, over-played song and keep it interesting. Doc’s fingering and timing are marvelous here. Since signing with Heads Up records, Doc Powell seems to be on the quality track and I’m liking it a lot.