May 30

Charles Earland – Black Talk! (1970/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 38:36 minutes | 468 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Digital Booklet | © Prestige Records
Recorded: December 15, 1969 at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ
Remastered: 2006, Rudy Van Gelder at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ

The young organist Charles Earland converted the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby” into an anthem called “Black Talk” and came up with one of the huge soul-jazz hits of the early Seventies. In this album, Earland worked the same magic with two other pop songs, “Aquarius” and “More Today than Yesterday,” giving them the urgency and forward movement of R&B but managing to inject them with jazz values. He was greatly aided by a pair of soloists—trumpeter Virgil Jones and tenor saxophonist Houston Person—who added fuel to Earland’s fiery concept. Guitarist Melvin Sparks and the quintessential soul jazz drummer Idris Muhammad helped keep the blaze going. It is not coincidence that his blues composition, and Earland himself, were called “The Mighty Burner.”

Black Talk! went on to become an enormous hit, spending most of 1970 on the best-seller charts.

with Virgil Jones, Houston Person, Melvin Sparks, Idris Muhammad, Buddy Caldwell

This CD reissue of a Prestige date is one of the few successful examples of jazz musicians from the late ’60s taking a few rock and pop songs and turning them into creative jazz. Organist Charles Earland and his sextet, which includes trumpeter Virgil Jones, Houston Person, on tenor and guitarist Melvin Sparks, perform a variation of “Eleanor Rigby” titled “Black Talk,” two originals, a surprisingly effective rendition of “Aquarius,” and a classic rendition of “More Today Than Yesterday.” Fans of organ combos are advised to pick up this interesting set. ~~ AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow

Tracklist:
1. Black Talk 7:50
2. The Mighty Burner 3:04
3. Here Comes Charlie 8:15
4. Aquarius 8:00
5. More Today Than Yesterday 11:10

Personnel:
Charles Earland, organ
Virgil Jones, trumpet
Houston Person, tenor saxophone
Melvin Sparks, guitar
Idris Muhammad, drums
Buddy Caldwell, congas (#2,5)