Artful Dodger is a classic example of a great band who arrived at the wrong time - in this case, they were caught in the mid-'70s crossroads, between the power pop of the Raspberries and the crunching rock of Cheap Trick, whose producer Jack Douglas helmed Artful Dodger's debut as well as Honor Among Thieves, their excellent second album. Sonically, Artful Dodger falls between the Raspberries and Cheap Trick - they have guitars and jangle and melodies that evoke the Beatles - but to call them pop almost seems dismissive, to ignore that Honor Among Thieves is a heavy rock & roll record, an album where the power chords outweigh the power pop…
A good mix of down-and-dirty blues, 1976's Long Misty Days also features Robin Trower's ethereal ballads. Its 1977 follow-up In City Dreams – also included on this two-fer – is slightly funkier than the previous albums, but still highlighted by a delicate ballad, "Bluebird" and the majestic title track.
Robin Trower is an English rock guitarist and vocalist who achieved success with Procol Harum during the 1960s, and then again as the bandleader of his own power trio. Long Misty Days is Robin Trower's fourth solo album with cover art by "Funky" Paul Olsen. It was released in 1976. A good mix of down-and-dirty blues, it also features Trower's ethereal ballads.
Here is another LP helping from the Keith Jarrett "American" Quartet's last recording session – one that is almost as consistent in quality as its predecessor. The happy-go-lucky groove of the title track perfectly expresses its name, with Jarrett blithely singing along; both Dewey Redman and Charlie Haden get plenty of solo space on Redman's "Gotta Get Some Sleep" and Haden's "Pocket Full of Cherry" (a pun referring to Haden cohort Don Cherry); and Paul Motian remains a marvelously flexible drummer. Moreover, there is another fascinating swatch of Middle Eastern experimentation on "Pyramids Moving."
There's a nicely warming vibe on this album from Keith Jarrett – a sound that's sometimes a bit more laidback and personal, but which is still carried off with familiar associates Dewey Redman on tenor, Charlie Haden on bass, and Paul Motian on drums! Most of the tunes are shorter compositions built around gently lyrical lines – somewhat introspective, and a bit less organic than in years past – but in a way that more than makes up for that difference with their own inner beauty. Titles include "Konya", "Rainbow", "Trieste", "Fantasm", "Yahllah", and "Byablue".