The original version of this was a soulful 1972 smooth jam by Skylark. It’s a nice enough tune, if a little lacking in energy.
There are no such concerns with Hank Crawford’s 1973 jazz cover. His saxophone soars heroically over a dense thicket of buzzing drums and forceful guitars, with the occasional vocal embellishment, triumphant trumpets, and a little bit of Rhodes riffing thrown in for good measure.
The song has a tremendously colourful presentation, but also excels rhythmically. The slap bass makes good on its initial promise here, pulsing with bursts of energy throughout. The funky feeling created by this gives the song a measure of accessibility – along with the catchy sax lead hook.
It’s a great piece of soul-jazz, drawing out a more exuberant facet of the original.
Hank Crawford’s “Wildflower” was released on Wildflower, a 5 song LP mainly comprising sax driven covers.