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Various Artists - Hit The Rhodes, Jack

Alternately loved and loathed since its creation, the fender rhodes has been a staple of groove oriented music for decades.  Hit The Rhodes, Jack is a showcase for 17 Fender-dominated songs that is either a cause for celebration or will send you running from the room, depending on your opinion.  The selections run the gamut from hard-hitting classics like Patrice Rushen’s “The Hump,” “North East South West” by Kool and the Gang and Donny Hathaway’s majestic “Valdez In The Country” to the highly questionable inclusion of Cedar Walton’s version of “Low Rider.” Smothered between are obscure numbers by Dizzy Gillespie (“Last Stroke Of Midnight”), Lonnie Liston Smith (“Get Down Everybody It’s Time For World Peace”), and Roy Ayers (“Aragon”) which make for interesting if not essential listening.


The only non-jazz act included is Latimore, represented by his underrated “Sweet Vibrations.”   Of course, the trademark mellow tones of the Fender are front and center throughout.  For the great attributes of the instrument, continued innovation by its players wasn’t one of them, so you may get tired of the sameness after a few songs.  But if you’re a Fender freak, this should definitely be on your wants list.

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