The Roadhouse, where every tempo is perfect for dancing together and every musical mood is suffused with passion, is the perfect metaphor for Hank Crawford’s art. As saxophone soloist and composer/arranger with Ray Charles’s legendary Fifties septet, and as musical director of The Genius’s subsequent big band, Crawford provided the punctuation in Charles’s definitive soul music, then carried the torch forward with his own little-big-band sessions. He is in that tradition with like-minded friends on this 1985 date, including both old partner David "Fathead" Newman and Houston Person on tenors, funkmaster Melvin Sparks on guitar, and Dr. John, who plays keyboards throughout as well as contributing two compositions and a vocal. While a new (and still-thriving) partnership with organist Jimmy McGriff was launched shortly after this session, Roadhouse Symphony confirmed that Crawford also knew how to make an old familiar format sound fresh.
with Dr. John, Melvin Sparks, Wilbur Bascomb, Jr., Bernard Purdie, Randy Brecker, Alan Rubin, Howard Johnson, Houston Person, David "Fathead" Newman