Billy Brooks: The Jagged Edge (1974)

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Billy Brooks: The Jagged Edge (1974)
Not a lot of people could say they were signed to Ray Charles' label and had the great man himself there co-producing with them.

Enter longtime trumpeter Billy Brooks who could not only claim that but had done time in Charles' band and also played with Lionel Hampton, Cal Tjader and others.

Brooks had very good company on his Windows of My Mind album which comes on with the swinging and punch of big band sounds: bassist Larry Gales (who played with Thelonious Monk), drummer Clarence Johnston, guitarists Jef Lee and Calvin Keys, saxophonists Herman Riley and Wilbur Brown . . .

In 1990 A Tribe Called Quest sampled Brooks' Forty Days here for their Luck of Lucien.

But we single out this remarkable piece of ensemble playing from that album – which has just been reissued on vinyl, and which you can hear on Spotify here – just because it is so good in its sleazy film-noir elements.

Check out the whole album though.

Brother Ray knew what he was doing.

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For more one-off or unusual songs with an interesting backstory see From the Vaults

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