Flashback 1973-Bobbi Humphrey’s Harlem River Drive


This classic and future-forward  jazz funk song (not to be confused with Eddie and Charlie Palmieri’s 70’s supergroup) appears on flute legend Bobbi Humphrey’s 1973 album “Blacks and Blues”. Ms Humphrey herself was from Texas but got her break at the Apollo Theater’s Amateur night at the urging of Dizzy Gillespie.

The song was composed and arranged by New Jersey music masters the Mizell Brothers and was actually recorded in California but it is quintessential Summer in New York driving music, flying up the FDR Drive, the river sparkling in the sun, and merging seamlessly onto Harlem River Drive.

The Drive itself originated in the late 19th Century as a horse racing track and leisure area called the Harlem River Speedway . In 1964 under Robert Moses, it was opened as a parkway to connect the George Washington Bridge and the East River Drive (now the FDR Drive).

A few years ago, Ms. Humphrey’s updated her hit in a Harlem-centric video.