Monday, October 12, 2015

Cornell Dupree - 1991 "Can't Get Through"

Cornell Dupree's classic guitar sound has been pervasive in popular music for the past four decades, having graced more than 2500 albums by a dazzling array of artists. His work with the superstar session band Stuff was highly praised. More recently, he played on Return to the Wide Open Spaces with saxophonist James Clay and others, drawing uniformly rave reviews. Can't Get Through, recorded in New York City last year, contains nine tracks, most of them instrumental, done with his regular working band in a soul/jazz/funk vein. Titles include "Double Clutch," "Sweet Thing," and "Duck Soup."

A veteran of over 2,500 recording sessions, guitarist Cornell Dupree worked most prolifically in R&B and blues, but he was equally at home in jazz, particularly funky fusion and soul-jazz. Dupree was born in Fort Worth, TX, in 1942, and by the age of 20 was playing in King Curtis' R&B group. He became a session musician soon after, playing on Brook Benton's "Rainy Night in Georgia," as well as records by stars like Lou Rawls, Paul Simon, Barbra Streisand, Harry Belafonte, Lena Horne, Roberta Flack, Joe Cocker, Michael Bolton, Mariah Carey, and countless others. Dupree was also a member of Aretha Franklin's touring band from 1967-1976, and during that time also became a presence on many jazz-funk recordings, the sort that would find favor with rare groove and acid jazz fans in the years to come. Dupree's first jazz session as a leader was 1974's Teasin', which was followed by Saturday Night Fever in 1977, and Shadow Dancing in 1978. During the same period, Dupree was a member of the studio-musician fusion supergroup Stuff, which signed with Warner Bros. in 1975 and recorded four albums. They also reunited periodically in the '80s and spawned a mid-'80s spin-off group called the Gadd Gang, which Dupree also belonged to. Some of Dupree's most rewarding jazz albums came in the late '80s and early '90s; 1988's Coast to Coast was nominated for a Grammy, and funky sessions like 1991's Can't Get Through, 1992's live Uncle Funky, and 1993's Child's Play received positive reviews. 1994's Bop 'n' Blues was his most straight-ahead jazz album, also ranking as one of his best.

After being on over 2500 albums (according to the liner notes) Cornell Dupree's solo CD's aren't always completely riveting - but this one is a keeper. Not quite as spontaneous as "Uncle Funky" - which I think is his best effort; this one has lots of that "concise adn soulful" stuff that he did in, well,.. Stuff. A great way to explore Dupree's later work!

Track Listing:

1. Can't Get Through
2. Southern Comfort
3. Double Clutch
4. Sweet Thing
5. Slippin' In
6. Let the Sun Shine on Me Again
7. Duck Soup
8. Could It Be
9. "7"


Cornell “Uncle Funky” Dupree - Guitar
Frank Canino - Bass
Mitch Margold - Piano
Eric Parker - Drums
Barry Danielian, Randy Andos - Horns
Steve Greenfield - Horn, Sax (Alto)
Windell Capel - Vocals*

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