Are You Ready
02. High Heel Sneakers [Bonus Track]
03. Quick City Revisited
04. Quiet Nights (Corcovado)
Recorded Live at Montreux, Switzerland.
Harold Alexander – soprano saxophone, flute
Neal Creque – piano
Cornell Dupree – electric guitar
Victor Gaskin – bass
David Lee, Jr. – drums
Recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival with a stellar backing band including bassist Richard Davis, keyboardist Neal Creque, and drummer Bernard Purdie, “Are You Ready?” further expands the cosmic jazz-funk horizons established by Harold Alexander’s seminal Sunshine Man. Comprising three epic performances, including a lively rendition of the stalwart “Watermelon Man” and the side-long funk jam “Quick City Revisited,” the album burns like a slow fuse– Alexander doesn’t create grooves so much as he inhabits them, exploring their nooks and crannies to embrace the full scope of their inherent possibilities.
Reedman Harold Alexander cut very few albums as a leader – and this is one of the best! You’re likely to hear Alexander’s work in the background on other sessions, but at the time of this record he was also a visionary leader – perfect for the open, freewheeling vibe allowed by the Flying Dutchman label – in kind of a fusion between earlier 60s soul jazz modes, and some of the spiritual currents of the time! Harold blows both flute and soprano sax here – on a set of long tracks that also feature lots of great work from Neal Creque on piano – himself another musician who only got a bit of time to shine in the spotlight around this time, after a great legacy with Pucho & The Latin Soul Brothers. Cornell Dupree also plays guitar on the album – which features just three nicely long tracks – the funky “Quick City Revisited”, a sweet cover of “Watermelon Man”, and a ten minute jamming take on “High Heel Sneakers”.
A real rare groove masterpiece. Harold Alexander has this amazing skill of shouting whilst playing the flute, so you get this out-there scat thing going on. All three tracks are an absolute pleasure. I cannot recommend this album enough if you like rare groovy stuff.