Grover Washington, Jr., has long been one of the leaders in what could be called rhythm & jazz, essentially R&B-influenced jazz. Winelight is one of his finest albums, and not primarily because of the Bill Withers hit "Just the Two of Us." It is the five instrumentals that find Washington (on soprano, alto, and tenor) really stretching out. If he had been only interested in sales, Washington's solos could have been half as long and he would have stuck closely to the melody. Instead he really pushes himself on some of these selections, particularly the title cut. A memorable set of high-quality and danceable soul-jazz.
These aren't exactly Jim Croce's greatest hits, although most of them–"Operator", "Time In a Bottle", "Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown," and "I'll Have to Say I Love You In a Song" among others–are here. More specifically, 24 CARAT includes the complete YOU DON'T MESS AROUND WITH JIM album, plus the best cuts from LIFE AND TIMES and I GOT A NAME. Better yet, everything's been beautifully remastered in typical DCC fashion, which means that the lower frequencies seem more burnished than ever. The overall clarity is remarkable, and particularly works to the advantage of Croce's signature sound of two finger-picked acoustic guitars playing harmony lines.