Bernard Purdie - Purdie Good
Even the best session players -- and Bernard "Pretty" Purdie is certainly one of those -- are not necessarily cut out to lead their own sessions. Indeed, it seems like Purdie's much-vaunted ability to play well in just about any style thrown at him is almost a liability on 1971's Purdie Good. Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin'" is done in a calypso fashion that does little for the song (although Warren Daniels and Charlie Brown do manage a passable tenor sax duel), and this version of Bobby Bloom's pop hit "Montego Bay" is even more lightweight and middle of the road than the original. Not all of the album is so disposable; the originals "Purdie Good" and "Wasteland" work up some hot jazz-funk grooves, and the ballad "You Turn Me On" has a slinky charm. But the cover of James Brown's "Cold Sweat" sums up the album's problems: the covers are competent enough, but why listen to them when the originals are far superior? At best, the album only barely lives up to its title.