The versatile Hank Crawford has created a two-track Milestone discography, collaborating with Jimmy McGriff in the venerable organ/saxophone genre that Crawford embraced relatively late in his career and returning to the house-rocking midsize ensembles (like the one heard here) that recall Crawford's formative years with Ray Charles and his own first band. Albums like Down on the Deuce truly show Crawford at his most complete, for they feature the compact explosiveness of his writing for horns as well as the soulful honesty of his alto saxophone. A track like "Through the Years" reveal why Crawford's lean, no-excess concept has been such an important influence in jazz and popular music for nearly 40 years. The entire album benefits from the additional contributions of former Ray Charles bandmate David "Fathead" Newman, featured on flute and tenor sax; keyboard master Cedar Walton; and two of the idiom's preeminent guitarists, Jimmy Ponder and Melvin Sparks, at the top of their game.
with Cedar Walton, Jimmy Ponder, Melvin Sparks, Wilbur Bascomb, Bernard Purdie, Danny Moore, Martin Banks, David "Fathead" Newman, Howard Johnson