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".
Reissue with the latest 24bit/192kHz remastering. Features original cover artwork. Comes with a descripton in Japanese. A sublime 70s session from Moacir Santos – a set that mixes the complex grooves he forged in 60s Brazil with the warmly jazzy sound of American fusion – all in a result that's totally unique! The album's quite different than any other electric Brazilian sets recorded in the US at the time – a complex album that's filled with soul and imagination – and not just an electrification of earlier styles from Brazil. Santos' vision here is wonderful – and he works with his own arrangements, and key help from producer Dale Oehler – who knows how to bring in all the right electric elements without losing the edge of Moacir's music.
Tracks have a nice rolling feel, and the group is very comfortable with each other. Foster's tone is excellent. “….this is a great, great record; a very swingin', soulful, and I dare say slightly modal side from the great sax man Frank Foster, long time sideman and musical director of the Count Basie organization. …..Foster has assembled a very competent and skillful support crew, mostly former and then current Basie sideman (which accounts for the title of the LP: 'Basie is Our Boss…) but he is also supported by a great favorite of this blog; the unheralded John Young on piano. Unusually for an Argo side, there are only 6 tracks on this LP, as Foster & company are given a rare opportunity to stretch out and tackle the material.
"Let me begin by saying that this is not the greatest jazz album you've ever heard." So states critic/DJ Harry Abraham in the liner notes on the back of Sweet Revival, Ronnie Foster's second album as a leader. Abraham was obviously trying to deflect criticism that this record is, in his words, "a commercial album that could have just as easily been titled 'Ronnie Foster Plays the Top 40 hits of the Seventies With Horns, Strings and Voices,'" but nothing he could write would make this album acceptable to jazz purists.