JJ 10/82: Grover Washington Junior – Winelight

Forty years ago, Melvin Lyons thought Grover's tasteful and passionate latest should settle any mainstream qualms about jazz fusion. First published in Jazz Journal October 1982

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Grover Washington Jnr spent a brief period in his career flirting with mediocrity, but has regained his senses and reverted back to the qualities that make him one of the best artists in the fusion set. Those qualities include a fine style and, an air of intense passion to im­provised passages, and have been extended further by his mastering of record production.

With the exception of one track, which in itself has some fascinating jazz elements to it, the sound, on the whole, is from the true crossover mould: melodic with steady rhythm and beat, plus some strong accent on the timings. From a nicely executed collection of tunes, the title track stands out due to the outstanding solos from Washington, and the well delivered contributions from his sidemen.

The crossover/fusion sector may cause doubts for some mainstream listeners, but if contemporary musi­cians are looking to achieve what Washington has with this project, one can stand at ease.

Discography
Winelight; Let It Flow (For ‘Dr J’); In The Name Of Love; Take Me There; Just The Two Of Us; Make Me A Memory (Sad Samba)
Grover Washington, Jnr. (ts/ss/as); Marcus Miller (b); Steve Gadd (d); Eric Gale (elg); Ralph MacDonald (pc).
(Elektra 6E-305)