Monday, November 30, 2009

Billy Cobham - B.C. 1979

Billy Cobham is an excellent jazz fusion drummer, but more than that he is a great composer too.  My favorite albums from him are "Crosswinds" and "Focused".  But this LP was made in the height of the disco era and gets looked over.  I bought this LP when it was first released in  1979 and it was fresh and relevant to me then, and still sounds great today.  The driving rhythms in the first cut "Oh Mendocino" are fantastic.  Many jazz artists in that area tried to fuse too much disco sound into their music, but Cobham showed restraint here, but nonetheless, there are some casualties on this LP. By the  way, cover illustration by Elizabeth Fenimore.  I have never seen this album ever released on CD or digital download, so this is a rare one...please enjoy!

Bass - Nathaniel Phillips (tracks: A1 to B3)
Cello - Douglas David* (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B2) , Paula Hochhalter (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B2) , Robert Adcock* (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B2) , Selene Hurford (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B2)
Congas - Vance 'Mad Dog' Tenort* (tracks: A1, A4, B1)
Drums - Billy Cobham (tracks: A2, A3, B2 to B4)
Electric Piano - Bobby Lyle (tracks: A1 to B3)
French Horn - David Duke (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B2)
Guitar - Michael McGloiry (tracks: A3, B1 to B3)
Harp - Catherine Gotthoffer (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B2) , Dorothy Remsen (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B2)
Percussion - Billy Cobham (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B2)
Producer - Billy Cobham , Wayne Henderson
Synthesizer [Arp Quadra] - Bobby Lyle (tracks: A2, A3, B2)
Trombone [Tenor] - Garnett Brown (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B2)
Trumpet - Oscar Brashear (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B2)
Trumpet, Flugelhorn - Steve Madaio (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B2)
Tuba, Trombone [Bass] - Ernie Tack (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B2)
Violin - Bonnie Douglas (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B2) , Carroll Stephens (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B2) , Clayton Haslop (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B2) , Glenn Dicterow (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B2) , Gordon Marron (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B2) , Ilkka Talvi (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B2) , Israel Baker (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B2) , Jack PepperJames Getzoff (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B2) , Janet Lakatos (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B2) , Nathan Ross (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B2) , Stephen Bryant (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B2)
Woodwind - Ernie Watts (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B2) , Peter Christlieb* (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B2) , Bill Green* (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B2) (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B2) 

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Esther Satterfield "Once I Loved" 1974

As from my other post on Esther Satterfield on "The Need To Be" LP, I only recently became familiar with this LP.  I am posting this LP, because from my Sitemeter, it is clear that more people download Esther Satterfield's LP, than any other on this blog, and since I could not find this recording anywhere else, it was time to find the LP and archive it.
This was her debut solo LP in which Chuck Mangione produced both of her LP's.  He used her first as a vocalist for his LIVE album "Land of Make Believe".  She sang on three tracks "Lullaby for Nancy Carol" and "As Long As We're Together" and on the title track  "Land of Make Believe".  These three tracks alone are some of her best recorded vocal work (in my very humble opinion).  In the liner notes, for  "Once I Loved" Chuck Mangione states "Arrangers are often called upon musically to dress up a vocal by adding all kinds of instruments and sounds.  There are few voices so pure, so distinct, that one dares to let them stand alone-naked.  Esther's is that exception".
I purchased this album from eBay and was fortunate to receive a MINT condition LP so very little post -processing was needed to eliminate the clicks and crackles.  The cover art was also in MINT condition, again little photo-shopping was required.  I have not settled in on favorites yet, since it is new to me, but her voice is so pure and clean.  It is amazing to try to compare it today's pop artists and hear the difference.   It does remind me of the late Eva Cassidy's voice....Please Enjoy!

Engineer - Mick Guzauski
Producer, Arranged By, Flugelhorn - Chuck Mangione
Guitar - Don Potter
Electric and Acoustic Piano - Gap Mangione
Sax and flute - Gerry Niewood
Bass-  Al Johnson
Conga - Ron Davis

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Booker T. and the MG's - "Universal Language" 1977

What can I say, I am really not a big Booker T. fan, although I believe that much of their music was very innovative and fresh in the sea of traditional rock. Much of their fame came with the hit "Green Onions" in 1962.  They were considered "Southern Soul" or "Memphis Soul" with their instrumental renderings and that funky Hammond B-3 organ sound.  The group pretty much disbanded in 1971.

However, they did a reunion album with Asylum Records in 1977, but the sound had changed somewhat.  This pretty much explains why this album never really met with any commercial success, but it is a reason why it did receive some radio airplay on some jazz stations. Both cuts "MG Salsa" and "Reincarnation" were played somewhat over the airwaves and I really enjoyed that "Memphis Soul" sound mixed in with the 70's jazz fusion sound. But the album was never released on CD (that I am aware of) so I am posting this landmark of music from the MGs...I purchased this LP when it was released in 1977, and it still sounds pretty decent, the album cover scan took a fair amount of photo-shopping to 'clean-it' up...I love the album cover artwork and design, and it is credited to Jonathan Seay.  I am pleased with the results.  Enjoy and post with comments!
Update:  CD now finally released...please patronize the artists! (Download link removed)

Bass - Donald "Duck" Dunn
Drums, Percussion - Willie Hall
Guitar - Steve Cropper
Keyboards - Booker T. Jones
Producer, Written-By - Booker T & The MG's

Monday, November 2, 2009

Herb Alpert - "Beyond" 1980

Herb Alpert's most fame came from his music as Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass which was very popular in the early to mid 60's.  His solo work did not start till 1966 with Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66. His first major hit was the recording of Burt Bacharach's "This Guy's In Love With You" (1966) which hit #1 on the pop Billboard charts.  His next major hit did materialize till 1979 with "Rise" (instrumental) also hit #1 on the pop Billboard charts.  Herb Alpert to date is the only artist to hit #1 with both a vocal and an instrumental tune.  One of my favorite songs at the time was "Rise".  It does have a somewhat disco beat to it (it was era-appropriate at that time), but his playing hits very big notes with emphasis and power, but yet keeping all the notes in the upper part of the staff (high A is the highest note).  Since I play the trumpet, I would try to mimic that full expressive sound he would get from his horn (not as easy as it seems).  This album "Beyond" came out  the year after "Rise", but there was no follow-on hit that made it big from this LP.  However, it has some nice compositions from HA. Not sure on this LP (it did not mention), but for most of his career, HA played a Benge Chicago and Benge Burbank model trumpet. This was released on CD but has been out of print for sometime now.  There is one used one for sale on Amazon for $147.  Thus I have made this posting.  My favorite cut from this LP is "Interlude for Erica".....Enjoy!

Mastered By - Bernie Grundman