Her early career was guided by Atlanta music legend Sonny Limbo. He connected Sami Jo with Rick Hall in Muscle Shoals, AL, where she recorded two singles that failed to chart. Sonny then got her a deal with MGM South, which led to Sami Jo's first hit, "Tell Me A Lie". In addition to reaching #21 on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart, it also reached #14 on Billboard's Easy Listening chart. Her follow-up single, "It Could Have Been Me", also did well, reaching #46 pop and #31 easy listening. Her first album, also entitled It Could Have Been Me, peaked at #33 on the U.S. Country Albums chart.
Light and breezy, pure and easy, that’s how I spent most of last week, and this album was a great soundtrack for it. Osmar Milito is an interesting figure in Brazilian jazz, having a hand in the famous Canecão club in Rio and playing with the likes of Sylvia Telles, Leny Andrade, and Flora Purim early in his career, and later on doing lots of soundtrack work for those venerable Brazilian exports, telenovelas. His post-bossa nova records are collectible for a reason: they’re damn good listening. Milito does the general arrangements and provides his groovy acoustic and electric piano stylings on a variety of tunes, many of which will be familiar to regular visitors to this blog. It opens with Jimmy Webb’s hit for the 5th Dimension, “Up Up and Away” aka “Beautiful Balloon” which sets the dreamy, laid-back tone right away.
Righteous Bobby Hutcherson from the 70s – one of his last albums recorded in the company of reedman Harold Land – and one of his greatest too! There's a wonderful mix of modes going on here – modal jazz meets California sun, blending a sense of spiritualism with some of the warmth that Hutcherson was increasingly discovering in his music – especially on the album's use of marimbas, which are surprisingly great next to Bobby's vibes!