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My, my, my it seems like only yesterday when I first heard the colorful and rhythmic flavors of Blacks and Blues. This tasty gem was adopted as a reoccurring theme often seen and heard throughout the inner city landscape, it was hip, cool and definitely vibrant and scored by the truly remarkable flutist named Bobbi Humphrey. The fabulous Mizell Brothers [Larry & Fonce] rose to the occasion by invoking their hybrid intensity as it reflected the idealism of the urban jazz sound into “Blacks and Blues.” Even today, this recording by Ms. Humphrey has virtually the same impact on the jazz culture by blending over into the universal audience as it once did back in the day. ~ The Urban Flux

Bobbi Humphrey | Blacks and Blues – [Blue Note Records, 1973] – The Weekend Spin

Bobbi Humphrey

Bobbi Humphrey

Bobbi Humphrey scored her biggest hit with her third album Blacks and Blues, an utterly delightful jazz-funk classic that helped make her a sensation at Montreux. If it sounds a lot like Donald Byrd’s post-Black Byrd output, it’s no accident; brothers Larry and Fonce Mizell have their fingerprints all over the album, and as on their work with Byrd, Larry handles all the composing and most of the arranging and production duties. It certainly helps that the Mizells were hitting on all cylinders at this point in their careers, but Humphrey is the true star of the show; she actually grabs a good deal more solo space than Byrd did on his Mizell collaborations, and she claims a good deal of responsibility for the album’s light, airy charm. Her playing is indebted to Herbie Mann and, especially, Hubert Laws, but she has a more exclusive affinity for R&B and pop than even those two fusion-minded players, which is why she excels in this setting. —Steve Huey

Source: AllMusic.com

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