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Fat Albert Rotunda by Herbie Hancock
Released: Feb 1969
Label: Rhino/Warner Bros.
Long out-of-print, this party platter finds Hancock expanding the rollicking soul jazz soundtrack he cut for Bill Cosby's Fat Albert cartoon series. This is a real pleasure from start to finish, with superb support work from Joe Henderson (sax), Johnny Coles (trumpet), Bernard Purdie (drums) and others. While this set is balanced between 1960s boogaloo and '70s funk, it also includes the lovely Hancock ballad "Tell Me a Bedtime Story," which went on to become a jazz standard. It's hard to believe that music this inventive was once funded by TV networks.
Nick Dedina

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