Song Of The Day 8/23/2016: Charles Earland – “Leaving This Planet”

There's never been a jazz week on Song Of The Day, ever. It's one of the idioms that still intimidates me the most, in terms of writing about it. This in spite of the fact that I spent a good eight years playing it. Possibly because I spent eight years playing it. I also scored an "A" in Jazz History at San Francisco State, but I got "A's" in literally every music appreciation class I ever took. I must've stumbled upon some template on how to score ace papers in college music writing that I never memorized, or went on to forget during the onset of my early twenties. Thank God the internet happened and the content revolution lowered everybody's standards, 'cause now I can pull rabbits like this out of the hat and retire happily.

Charles Earland played the Hammond B-3 organ, an instrument I still mythologize. Earland might have been the best B-3 jazz player there was. Stories abound about his mastery of the walking bass line on the pedals of the B-3, which are things I was never going to get the hang of, no how. "Leaving This Planet" was a 1974 recording that branched Earland out of his very attractive soul-jazz style -- not many people can make "More Today Than Yesterday" swing as believably as Earland -- and put him in the middle of the rock-jazz fusion thing everyone was so ga-ga over in 1974. I can only sympathize.

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