O'Donel Levy - Simba | RECORD STORE DAY
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Proudly presenting a new series of Mr Bongo reissues exploring the incredible back catalogue of Sonny Lester's iconic Groove Merchant record label. First up, the spellbinding funk-fuelled, soul jazz album 'Simba', by guitar maestro O'Donel Levy. Baltimore-born, Levy was already well regarded as one of the best up-and-coming jazz guitarists at the time of Simba's release. Having toured with George Benson and Jimmy McGriff, as well as featuring on McGriff's Black Pearl album on Blue Note, he went on to sign with Sonny Lester's Groove Merchant. A masterclass in tight yet effortlessly funk-driven rhythms, the tracks showcase these musicians at their zenith. Album opener 'Bad, Bad, Simba' wouldn't have been out of place on a Lalo Schifrin '70s car chase soundtrack. Levy's playing is brilliant, bright and slick, with an infectiously exuberant energy that is complimented perfectly by Gadd's supreme drumming : every track on 'Simba' is a winner.