Versatile Records, operating out of New York City in 1977-78, was an ambitious little label modeled after Creed Taylor's highly successful CTI label that revolutionized the Jazz industry by producing records that attempted to reach a wider audience via modern production techniques and an attempt to make jazz more accessible for the masses.
Versatile Records mimicked many of the same production techniques of CTI: lots of orchestration, modern pop tunes done in a jazz style, but with an added emphasis on funkier rhythms. In essence, the Versatile recordings sounded well, funkier.
The selections on this disc feature an impressive array of jazz stars: superstar vocalist Carmen McCrae, first call New York City session bassist Buster Williams; the funkiest guitar player in NYC Cornell Dupree; saxophonist Hank Crawford; young trumpet virtuoso Jon Faddis; the funky organist Richard "Groove" Holmes, Cuban jazz superstar Chico O'Farrill and jazz guitar legend Grant Green whose last recorded session before he died was for Versatile - Not a bad roster for such a short lived label.
01. Nighttime in The Switching Yard - Grant Green (5:11)
02. I'm Coming Home Again - Carmen McRae (4:21)
03. Everything Must Change - Jon Faddis (4:47)
04. Breezin' - Hank Crawford w/ Calvin Newborn (3:55)
05. Betcha By Golly Wow - Buster Williams (6:36)
06. How Deep Is Your Love - Cornell Dupree (6:29)
07. New York State Of Mind - Carmen McRae (7:42)
08. Misty - Richard "Groove" Holmes (12:52)
09. Easy - Grant Green (7:57)
10. Baker Street - Jon Faddis (7:16)
11. Centerpiece - Hank Crawford w/ Calvin Newborn (5:12)
12. How's This For Closers? - Chico O'Farrill (5:44)