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".
A beautiful later Blue Note album from vibist Bobby Hutcherson – a set recorded after his famous association with Harold Land, but with a groove that's wonderfully soulful in a whole different way! Bobby plays marimbas instead of vibes this time around, and he's working with his own arrangements for a slightly larger group – one that has some sweet fusion overtones, and these wonderful mellow funk inflections – so that even the mellow cuts have this warmly glowing, ultra-soulful sound that's mighty nice – a bit like some of the work from Gene Harris around the same time.
One of our favorite Bobby Hutcherson albums ever – and a magical session filled with electric Latin vibes! The album's quite a different one for Bobby at the time – as it has him working with some larger arrangements, in a soulful west coast groove that's almost got the feel of a hip 70s soundtrack. Bobby's vibes are nicely set up against Fender Rhodes on most tracks – and the group's got some added Latin percussion that really opens up the rhythms. The whole thing's totally wonderful – brimming over with sun and soul, the kind of magic record that will never be made again! Tracks include "Camel Rise", "Yuyo", "Montara", "La Malanga", "Little Angel", and "Love Song".
Lonnie Smith had the raw skills, imagination, and versatility to play burning originals, bluesy covers of R&B and pop, or skillful adaptations of conventional jazz pieces and show tunes. Why he never established himself as a consistent performer remains a mystery, but this 1970 reissue shows why he excited so many people during his rise. Smith's solos on "Spinning Wheel" and his own composition, "Psychedelic PI," are fleet and furious, boosting the songs from interesting to arresting. He's also impressive on "Seven Steps to Heaven," while the array of phrases, rhythms, and voicings on "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" demonstrate a mastery of the organ's pedals and keys rivaling that of the instrument's king, Jimmy Smith.