Catalyst – Catalyst

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People living anywhere other than southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or New York in the ’70s missed the Catalyst experience. Catalyst, a four-man jazz combo from Philadelphia, played a gourmet of avant-garde, contemporary bop, soul, and funk at the dawn of the big fusion explosion. The originals were Eddie Green (keyboards, vocals), Sherman Ferguson (drums, percussion, marimba), Odean Pope (sax, flute, oboe), and Al Johnson (bass). Tyrone Brown replaced Johnson after Catalyst’s self-titled debut album on Cobblestone Records in 1972. Producer Skip Drinkwater discovered them playing at the Aqua Lounge in West Philly; this resulted in a contract with Cobblestone Records, with Drinkwater producing. Green was a disciple of the Bud Powell school of pianism, and was instructed on chord changes by Powell’s brother, Richard. Pope was tutored by Ray Bryant, Benny Golson, and others; strains of John Coltrane are revealed when the aggressive sax player expands. Ferguson was a bop drummer whose effortless tempo changes and impeccable timing kept Catalyst tight. Johnson, who joined Weather Report after Catalyst’s first album, was self-taught, but influenced by classical music.

They rehearsed hard and inspired one another to push farther into unknown territories where all the music they liked could be wrapped into a holistic sound. Jazz clubs in Philly were plentiful in the ’70s, which may account for the group’s lack of trips outside the region. The band’s eponymous funk-jazz debut, Catalyst, is highly regarded as a fusion masterpiece.

little preview:

Tracklist

01. Ain’t The Truth
02. East
03. Catalyst Is Coming
04. Jabali
05. New-Found Truths
06. Salaam

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5 Responses to “Catalyst – Catalyst”

  1. untchble says:

    Test driving this one today. Thanks for the share as always!

  2. frank says:

    top, top album…

  3. DJ Hannibal says:

    This is some of that winter drivin’ music. The Catalyst track Uzuri was on my all time illest breaks list. Thanx for this one.

  4. d. says:

    holy shit thanks…any other odean pope?

  5. Joseph says:

    Hi where can we find this one now please ?? awesome preview track

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