One of jazz’s great under-appreciated legends

Trumpet player Billy Brooks’ name may not be embedded deep in music history, but he was central to the evolution of jazz-funk at the end of the 1960’s and early 1970’s. A session musician since the 1950’s, he played with the likes of the Four Tops, Tina Turner, and of course Ray Charles, who co-produced and released Brooks’ 1974 album on his label Crossover Records.

Billy Brooks cult jazz-funk album officially reissued for the first time in decades.

Although often characterized as a jazz-funk classic, the album’s scope is far broader than that. There are moments of big-band jazz, such as on the beautifully slow-going “C.P Time,” and the mid-tempo swing of “Cooling It.” 

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