Wednesday, June 25, 2008


You'll never mistake Al Hirt for Blue Mitchell, but Soul in the Horn is nevertheless a surprisingly genuine and expressive detour into soul-jazz that captures an energy otherwise absent from the trumpeter's ho-hum catalog. The slinky "Harlem Hendoo" is the standout -- sampled by De La Soul for the Buhloone Mindstate cut "Ego Trippin Pt. 2"; it's also the reason why the record is so scarce and commands such high prices among crate diggers. No less soulful is the opening cover of Booker T. & the MG's "Honey Pot" or the bluesy "Sweetlips". It's a shame Hirt never made another record quite like Soul in the Horn -- with the right material and the right intentions, his talent was fierce. "Harlem Hendoo" below.

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