Über Charles Earland
Philadelphia native Earland may not have struck new ground in the soul/jazz genres, but he helped demonstrate just how funky and gritty a jazz organist could be. To hear his feet dance on the floor pedals is a treat -- his walking basslines propel many classic burners from the '60s on. Though he started on saxophone, Earland switched over to organ after playing in Jimmy McGriff's band, and teamed up with a variety of the best groovers around -- from Lou Donaldson and Pat Martino to Grover Washington, Jr. and Idris Muhammad. His album Black Talk became a commercial and artistic success; Earland found a way to sell many copies without selling out, as many of his peers did. He's passed away, but his music will power many sweaty sessions at smoky bars for years to come.