The sauce is a Thanksgiving culinary staple, a condiment appreciated for its rich, creamy flavor. And shouldn’t your holiday soundtrack be as sweet and funky as the gravy on your potatoes? We have what you need. Compiled for your listening pleasure, we present ten soul-jazz tracks that combine blues soul inflections and a solid jazz foundation to set the mood. Whether you’re cooking, dining, or stretching out on the sofa watching the night fast approaching, let these delicious classics overwhelm you.
1. Lou Donaldson’s Gravy Train
All aboard! Climb aboard the “Gravy Train” with tenor saxophonist Lou Donaldson, who released the track from the album of the same name on Blue Note Records in 1961.
2. Oscar Peterson’s juice waltz
Has the sauce ever made you want to dance? Hug a loved one in your arms and dance to the beat of “Gravy Waltz,” which features pianist Oscar Peterson in conjunction with bassist and songwriter Ray Brown from this 1962 album release Affinity.
3.) Gravy Blues by Ray Brown and Milt Jackson
Ray Brown is also featured on this track in collaboration with vibraphonist Milt Jackson, “Gravy Blues” from their 1964 album Much in common. I know I would be sad without some sauce on my tofurkey this year!
4. Wavy Sauce by Kenny Burrell
Hello to an awesome Thanksgiving because guitarist Kenny Burrell (who also plays on Gravy Blues!) Midnight blue, also released on Blue Note Records.
5.) Groovy Gravy by Quincy Jones
Maestro producer Quincy Jones has brought this group of musicians together for an uplifting mix of soul and jazz on this 1968 track, “Groovy Gravy”.
6.) Gravy for offal by George Benson
George Benson named his entire 1968 album “Giblet Gravy”. Whether you like gravy made with organ meats, turkey breasts, or vegan protein aggregates, this title song is sure to get your foot stomped and your stomach rumbling!
7.) Is the sauce not good? by Duke Ellington and Cootie Williams
Let’s go further in time with “Ain’t the Gravy Good? By Duke Ellington and Cootie Williams. recording in 1939. As Cootie sings, “your cookies are not hot, you are a cobbler is not sweet… but the sauce is not good! Saucy!
8.) Grits, Gravy and Groove by Jimmy McGriff
Jimmy McGriff lends his signature organ style to this track, “Grits, Gravy and Groove,” keeping the soul-jazz flame alive in this 2008 release. McGriff’s house party.
9.) Pass the sauce through Plas Johnson and Red Holloway
Two other soul-jazz revivalists, tenor saxophonist Plas Johnson and Red Holloway ask you to please “Pass the Gravy” from their 2001 album Keep the groove on!
10.) Gravy Lickers from Popkorn of Feer!
Local soul-jazz revivalist Popkorn of Feer brings the genre into the 21st century, with this single, “Gravy Lickers”, which updates the genre with more contemporary concerns, both musically and lyrically. Delicious!
Can you think of any other soul jazz songs as a sauce? Post in the comments section below!