Night was a loose, L.A.-based band, whose personnel were veteran British-based session musicians, including Stevie Lange, who sang behind Graham Bonnet and Elton John; Chris Thompson, who contributed to War of the Worlds and worked for Manfred Mann's Earth Band; and keyboard wizard Nicky Hopkins, who played with everybody. This Cardboard sleeve (mini LP) reissue from Night includes both albums that were recorded by band, includes a bonus tracks, and featuring 2011 24-bit remastering.
Hard Stuff was an English hard rock group. Often regarded as one of Deep Purple's proteges, this heavy, but melodic early 70s power trio had a credible reputation of a hard-nosed, no-compromise, heavy-rocking act in the Purple vein, throughout their short-lived career. Paul Hammond had previously played with Atomic Rooster, as did John Du Cann; John Gustafson came from Quatermass. Their both full-length albums were initially released on Purple Records, the Deep Purple-related record label.
24bit/192kHz digitally remastered with original LP replica cardboard sleeve. A compelling title – as the record was recorded at Nola Penthouse Studios in New York, one of the hippest places to lay down tracks at the time – but the cover shows an image of the Playboy building in Chicago, famous from the TV show Playboy's Penthouse, Hugh Hefner's first foray into television! The actual music is equally compelling too – as the record is one of Ahmad's first non-trio sessions, and features some great larger arrangements from Joe Kennedy – backing the trio of Jamal, Vernel Fournier, and Israel Crosby with some light strings that create a wonderfully dreamy feel! Ahmad's piano glides along wonderfully in such a setting – set free a bit more than usual, and really sounding great on tracks that include "Ivy", "Comme Ci, Comme Ca", "Tangerine", "Never Never Land", "Ahmad's Blues", and "Seleritus".
For some reason, the second Elf record, 1974's Carolina County Ball, was released under the title L.A./59 in the United States and Japan, while the more widely accepted title was used in the U.K. and Europe. The Ronnie James Dio-led outfit was becoming increasingly entwined with Deep Purple – Roger Glover was producing the band, they appeared on the Deep Purple-owned Purple record label in the U.K., and the group was working frequently with Ritchie Blackmore – and their music began taking on a more powerful, more complex, more Deep Purple-like sound because of it. The more or less straight-up boogie rock of the Elf debut was not entirely abandoned for this follow-up, but tracks like "Annie New Orleans" and "Carolina County Ball" have a depth that goes beyond the accomplishments of the group's previous, self-titled offering. Difficult to obtain, this long out-of-print release is a true find for fans of Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and Ronnie James Dio's best solo efforts of the '80s.
Inter-Action is an album by saxophonists Sonny Stitt and Zoot Sims recorded in Chicago in 1965 and released on the Cadet label. The Sims-Stitt collaboration is of particular interest as are Sims's rare alto solos on his own date. Worth searching for. Just what you'd expect with this front-line pair. Nice session.
Although released in 1971, the debut self-titled album by Spirit of John Morgan was actually recorded two years earlier, before the spirit of the '60s dissipated into the excesses of the '70s. But even back in 1969, the British quartet were already fish out of water, gasping for R&B in a Technicolor age of psychedelia. So they created their own, an entire album's worth of strong, shadowed, R&B numbers underlit by magnificent musicianship and powerful rhythms. The set opener, a menacing cover of Graham Bond's "I Want You," is a case in point, stalker-like in its intensity, with John Morgan's organ conjuring up a phantom of the opera from which there is no escape.