Jazz funk is not a genre I’ve explored a great deal but this album suggests it may well be having a bit of a deeper delve…

Idris Muhammad was born Leo Morris in New Orleans in 1939 and says that he’s a “natural drummer” whose gift came from the “Creator”. He made his recording debut aged sixteen on Fats Domino’s Blueberry Hill and so his credentials are certainly impressive.

Boogie To The Top is a collection of the best of his recording for Creed Taylor’s Kudo label between 1974 and 1978 and there’s some cracking tunes herein. It’s funky (of course), it’s jazzy (needless to say) and it’s very dance floor friendly. Bass lines and guitar chops provide the funk, but there’s horns and keys that lend a jazzy bent and on Power Of Soul (the second track on the album) there’s an absolutely blistering lead guitar line.
There’s some impressive names on Boogie including Grover Washington Jr, Eric Gale, Bob James, Ralph MacDonald…and loads more with all the tracks being produced by Creed Taylor and Dave Mathews, but it’s the music that shines out as being really superlative…could it be anything else with these guys involved…and it’s not a little disco tinged (in a very good way).

House Of The Rising Sun is an absolute classic tune of course, but here it is given a funky workout that elevates it above and beyond…could this be the best version of this I’ve heard to date?

If you like a it of funk, love a smattering of jazz or are a bit of a disco bunny then you’ll love this record…I certainly did!

Stuart Smith

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