Wayne Cochrane and the C.C. Riders are a legendary soul band known for the near-hysterical performances of the white-pompadoured Cochrane, whose variations on black soul singers were arresting enough to earn releases on both the Chess and King labels. Cochrane’s histrionics were over the top, but his bands were always of the highest caliber. The Allyn Robinson Project’s Full Circle is a reflection of the quality of those bands. Robinson was Cochrane’s drummer when one of his partners in the rhythm section was Jaco Pastorius.
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The high-powered mix of R&B, funk and electric jazz Robinson plied with Pastorius is carried over to Full Circle, which features another Cochrane alumnus, guitarist Harry Henry Hahn. As you might expect, Full Circle is an expertly made, beautifully performed party album with terrific grooves cut by Robinson and bassist Chuck Archard. Hahn and Archard supply the album’s originals, which are cleverly designed and eclectic but only occasionally stand-alone material. Like many crack backing groups, this band lacks a coherent personality. Nevertheless, Robinson, a sought-after figure on the New Orleans roots music scene, and the rest of the members of his project can be justifiably proud of the outstanding playing on this record.