Of all of the records that I have collected over the last 10 plus months I have been most impressed with the gems I have found on the Verve record label.
Typically in the jazz genre, some are fantastic, most are very good and all are at least interesting.
If I find a playable looking Verve record in a local thrift store I’m going to buy it.
Here’s my latest:
Spanish Grease from a fellow named Willie Bobo.
How can you go wrong buying an album from Willie Bobo?
Willie was a timbales player from Spanish Harlem and worked with many well-known outfits of the day. He gained recognition playing in Cal Tjader’s Modern Mambo Quartet which had a big hit with an album called Soul Sauce.
Willie went out on his own after that and this is his first of several records on Verve.
The opening song/title track, Spanish Grease is recognizable from many of the interpretations done by those like a Santana over the years.
It’s also got a couple of contemporary pop songs including It’s Not Unusual, which is done on side A with a vocal in on side B as an instrumental!
The final track is an interesting mixture of the R&B standard Shotgun combined with the Herbie Hancock tune Blind Man, Blind Man.
Although not a perfect copy, this record almost sounds right with some scuff and crackle… like some late night food cooking in Spanish Grease!