21. Grant Green / Live at the Club Mozambique (2006)
Green's guitar style is fully developed in this live doc from 1971. His band vamps eminently danceable figures that give him carte blanche to work his trade. Green likes concise licks that accentuate the rhythm and carry the groove. He's fond of double-picked notes and fat slides, staccato figures that stop on a dime, or bluesy runs that play between the bars in cleverly syncopated phrases. It's full speed ahead from "Jan Jan" on, and the energy never subsides. The horns are really tight, and my favorite track is Thomas' composition "Farid," which has room for both tenormen, the dark and swirling organ work of wildman Ronnie Foster, as well as a heavy helping of Idris Muhammad, rattling like a mystical machine gun on the traps, both melodically and rhythmically. The formula here is a far cry from Grant's First Stand and doesn't quite touch Alive, but it absolutely sizzles with a new strain of soul that fearlessly carries the Green into the new decade. Many of these are R&B staples, but restated and renewed. Try the euphoric "Walk on By" and you'll see what I mean.