Me too. I'm never heard Higgins play with anything other than taste and finesse, and yes, an intense, swinging drive. When I see a recording with Billy in the drum chair, I always have a good feeling about the music, even before I hear it. In fact, I will buy a recording based solely on the fact that Billy's the drummer. One of my all-time favorites.
Well, ok, but I'm an UNabashed lover of Higgins from those years.
A-frickin'-men, brothers! And especially
when he's playing with Jackie!!!
Having said that, this album's taken forever for it to grow on me. Make no mistake: I love this album; but moreso for the rhythm section than for Jackie. Those high-end squeals just rip my eardrums to shreds! I know for a lot of people, that's part of the charm of this record (and, FWIW, it works for me on "Omega!").
I wish I could remember where I read that Billy only had one drum on this whole record, either a snare or a tom, but I can't remember. Either way, he gets more out of ONE drum than a lot of other guys get with 10+ drums (did someone say "Neil Peart?" Hmmm, must've been ME!
Kevin B gave me his McMaster years ago, that's how much he couldn't stand this album. I wasn't crazy about the McMaster, and for me the RVG really smoothes out those high-end squeals!
And then there's "Omega!" As in "oh, MEGA!!!" That is one HELLUVA beat goin' there, and Walter Davis's piano solo is definitive soul-jazz-in-an-outward-setting. Those chords, gimme more of those CHORDS!!!!
One more thing about Billy & I'll shut up: Billy always sounds happy when he plays. In fact, the picture of him in the Fickle Sonance
RVG pretty much sums up how I always envision Billy when he's playing. And this album is definitely no exception!!!
Been listening while I was typing, and "Omega" is on. So, gotta run; GOTTA SWING!!!