Bobbi Humphrey – “Harlem River Drive”

Now how many flute players do you know who can get down like Bobbi Humphrey?

An underrated musical phenom, the Texas-born flautist was discovered while still in university by the legendary bandleader Dizzy Gillespie and became the first woman to be signed to the storied jazz label Blue Note Records in 1971. That decade Humphrey came to the fore for her easygoing mix of jazz and funk. She worked with heavyweights like George Benson and even Stevie Wonder, guesting on Songs In The Key of Life. Her solo efforts are pretty stellar too.

1973’s Blacks and Blues is one of Humphrey’s signatures, a breezy release that’s right at home on a lazy Sunday, and “Harlem River Drive,” named for the Manhattan thoroughfare, is the perfect listen for an afternoon drive. This listen right here is an evocative, laid-back affair that gets your mind right from the moment you hear the vocalists harmonizing. The bass lick comes in strong, and Humphrey gets to work with the flute, and you’re suddenly in a world of bliss. The way this song builds and grows in intensity and drive…it’s beautiful, and a trip you won’t easily forget.

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