Blacks and Blues was recorded in 1973 when American jazz flutist Bobbi Humphrey was just 23 years old, two years after becoming the first African-American female instrumentalist signed by Blue Note. And yet, the only indication of her age is her sweet sugary timbre as she makes her vocal debut. The success of Blacks and Blues (including its many incarnations as hip hop samples) is no surprise given the ingredients: Blue note session musicians, the writing/producing/arranging genius of the Mizell brothers who masterminded Donald’s Byrd’s legendary album Black Byrd, and the fresh, bubbling talent of Bobbi Humphrey. So talented in fact that she improvised every blow of the flute over already fully written and recorded tracks. The vibe is funky, loose, fun, and free. A true jazz funk masterpiece ripe for summertime listening under the sun or the stars. Especially perfect for road trip cruising with the windows down, and the outside breeze flowing right into the air of Humphrey’s carefree flute.
– Lauren Fay Levy
Recommended – A2 Harlem River Drive, B3 Baby’s Gone
Tags: Jazz-funk / Mizell Brothers / Soul-jazz