With longtime stints with Tower of Power and Santana, Chester Thompson is perhaps the most decorated and important keyboardist in all of rock and R&B, let alone the Bay Area music scene. It's no wonder, then, that this 1971 album is one of the rarest and most sought-after albums on the coveted Black Jazz Records label. It's Thompson's debut album, recorded a few years before he joined Tower of Power, with a great band that included fellow saxophonist Rudolph Johnson, along with top-notch drummer Raymond Pounds (Pharoah Sanders, Stevie Wonder, Pointer Sisters) and trombonist Al Hall (Johnny Hammond, Freddie Hubbard, Eddie Harris).
And yes, Powerhouse is rightly titled: it's jazz, yes, but given a shot of electricity by Thompson's Hammond B-3, and with only four tracks spread over two sides, it's a non-stop groove. Remastered and with liner notes that include quotes from Tower of Power member Dave Garibaldi and Bay Area keyboardist Todd Cochran aka Bayeté, testament to Chester Thompson's greatness, this is another long-lost triumph for the Black Jazz label.