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Stuff

Live at Montreux 1976

Review by Gary Hill

This release is, as the title suggests, a concert recorded in 1976. It took place at the Montreux jazz festival – and this is a jazz performance – how fitting! You can’t go wrong with this lineup – Cornell Dupree (guitar), Gordon Edwards (bass), Steve Gadd (drums), Eric Gale (guitar), Richard Tee (keyboards) with guest vocalist Odetta. This must have been a great performance to catch live. For those of us who weren’t that lucky it’s a good thing we can still enjoy it. This is great “Stuff,” indeed!

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Foots
We get an extended spoken introduction on this, then the band come up into a countrified sounding jam. As this evolves it feels a bit more like something on the more country side of The Allman Brothers. It’s a fun jam and a great way to start things off.
Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours
Here we are treated to a soulful re-telling of this classic Motown track. This has a definite jazzy texture to it and leads straight into the next number.
The Gadd Solo
This is a drum solo that bridges the gap between two tracks. It’s a good percussion showcase that’s sure to please percussion fans.
Stuff's Stuff
They take us into some fast paced fusion jamming that’s just plain awesome. I like this one a lot and would consider it to be one of the highlights of the CD. Everyone gets a chance to strut their “stuff” here.

That's The Way of the World
This is a smooth and very tasty jazz jam that isn’t far off from the kind of stuff George Benson is known for doing. It’s a great tune.

Feelin' Alright
I’ve always loved pretty much every rendition of this killer tune. This is no exception. It’s bouncy and a bit funky in this jazz performance. We get some exceptionally tasty guitar here.
Lift Every Voice and Sing
This is just a brief piano segue.

Oh Happy Day
Here we get a bluesy jam that has a lot of that old school gospel texture. Of course, they don’t lose sight of the jazz or the funk in the process. This is the only track on the CD to feature vocals and they are very much in an old school gospel sort of style.
Ode to Stuff
This one is bluesy, but also fun and playful. It’s another great tune.
How Long Will It Last
Things become quite light hearted here in this bouncy little jam. It turns toward more serious fusion as they carry on, though. This is a cool tune. It’s another that features some killer guitar work.
It's Your Thing
Funky and tasty, this classic is performed with style, even if they only do it for about thirty seconds as the outro to the previous piece.
You Are So Beautiful
I can never hear this song without thinking of John Belushi doing a Joe Cocker – right next to Cocker – during the tune. Still, this bluesy instrumental rendition isn’t going to be mistaken for that one. I really like this version a lot. It’s especially potent when the guitar “sings” the vocal parts.
Boogie on Reggae Woman
This is another killer jam that includes some funk and some more drum soloing. That portion of the track pulls it into the next number.
Do It Again
Here they give us another smooth jazz type jam much like “That’s the Way of the World.” It’s a great way to end things in a tasteful manner.
 
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