Album: Hank Crawford

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The Independent Culture

Jobbing alto sax players all over the world owe a debt to Hank Crawford, whose funky, soulful, split-reed wail was copied by David Sanborn on 'Young Americans', after which everyone else copied the copy. This compilation from the Memphis sax-man's LPs for the Atlantic label – mainly from the Sixties, when he was with Ray Charles – contains some absolutely stonking honks, including a moody "Angel Eyes", a jump-blues version of the Rascals' "Groovin'", two Percy Mayfield covers and a couple of smoochers . What's unmistakable is how close Hank sounded to Ornette Coleman, who was playing his blues to beatniks.

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