George Freeman – 1974 – Man & Woman
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One of the more laidback albums from George Freeman’s early 70s run – but still a great little set that shows the mellower side of his talents! Despite the sexy style of the cover, the sound here is relatively straight soul jazz – small combo work with Harold Mabern on acoustic piano, Kenny Barron on electric piano, Bob Cranshaw on bass, and Buddy Williams on drums – all in support of Freeman’s snakey guitar lines over the gentle rhythms and slinky grooves. George’s sound is slightly less tripped-out than on other records, but still has that undeniable Freeman tone – a raspy edge that’s quite different than most of his contemporaries!
While Man & Woman embraces a mellower approach than guitarist George Freeman’s other Groove Merchant dates, it’s by no means the late-night boudoir record its erotic cover suggests — the stripped-down, nuanced sound instead adheres to a relatively straightforward soul-jazz formula, more focused and earthbound in its orientation than the average Freeman session.
Teaming here with pianists Harold Mabern and Kenny Barron, bassist Bob Cranshaw, and drummer Buddy Williams, the guitarist embraces the change of pace, settling comfortably into the music’s slow, slinky grooves — not only are his solos as imaginative as before, but they also boast a rippling sensuality otherwise absent from his previous records.