Richard "Groove" Holmes

Article excerpt

Richard "Groove" Holmes. On Basie's Bandstand. Prestige PRCD-11028-2, 2003.

The title of this album is a bit confusing at first--why would Count Basie have an organist on his bandstand? But the bandstand referred to in the album title was not the one that Basie himself occupied; it was, rather, the one in the Harlem club that Basie owned, a bandstand that was often occupied by top-notch organ trios such as the one led by Richard "Groove" Holmes. When Holmes played the Count Basie Lounge in the spring of 1966, the performance was recorded for release on the Prestige Label (Living Soul, PR 7468 [1966], reissued on CD as one-half of the program on Legends of Acid Jazz: Spicy, PRCD-24222-2 [1999]). This collection consists of performances from that same evening that were not included on the previous compact disc issues, all of them midtempo or up-tempo numbers. Holmes was known to prefer more sentimental material, but he shines on these barn-burning organ showcases, in particular a long and spectacular version of "(Back Home in) Indiana" and an equally fine take on the Coleman Hawkins standard "Rifftide. …