MESSIN’ AROUND 3 Tighten Up (Verve) Rating: NNNN
The most adventurous volume yet in the Messin’ Around dance-floor jazz series compiled by unusually open-minded UK DJ Adrian Gibson, Tighten Up takes a sharp turn to the left of predictable organ-combo territory and heads straight for highly percussive Afro-Latin grooves, with brief detours into pounding funk and improv German prog weirdness. If it’s under the Universal umbrella, sounds good and hasn’t previously been comped, Gibson’s used it here. The whole thing works, thanks to burners like Alan Shelley’s hollering Lady Black Wife and the La Clave banger Cocoa Leaf. Unless you already own Manolo’s The One Thing, John Surman’s Dance and Pedro Ruy Blas’s El Jaleo, this is worth grabbing.