Another addition to the Manhattans' bulging cache of mellow sounds. Gerald Alston, Winnie Lovett, Ernest Bivens and Kenny Kelly made a career of recording romance, heartache and make-out tunes. The popular "We Never Danced to a Love Song" fits in well with their other ballads, as does the majestic "It Just Can't Stay this Way" and "Let's Start All Over Again." They hit the charts with the somewhat contrived "I Kinda Miss You," and the title track, the eloquent "It Feels So Good to Be Loved So Bad" is classic - the harmony is tight and they add a little doo wop for good measure.
Good Deal is a typically fine record from the Three Sounds, who were beginning to hit their stride when this session was recorded in May of 1959. Like most of their records, it's laidback – even when the group works a swinging tempo, there's a sense of ease that keeps the mood friendly, relaxed and mellow. Balancing standards like "Satin Doll," "Soft Winds" and "That's All" with bop ("Robbin's Nest"), calypso ("St. Thomas") and originals, the Three Sounds cover a lot of stylistic territory, putting their distinctive stamp on each song. It's very accessible, pleasant soul-jazz and mainstream hard bop, but Gene Harris' masterful technique means that Good Deal rewards close listening as well.
Prog Temple present a reissue of Lighthouse's Good Day, originally released in 1974. Having been named "Vocal/Instrumental Group of the Year" for the third time at Canada's prestigious Juno Awards in 1973, Lighthouse entered Thunder Sound in Toronto the following year to record their final album. Downplaying the horn-heavy sound that had previously defined them, it's a taut set of progressive rock with prominent synth and it sees founder member and drummer Skip Prokop switching to lead guitar. It makes its long-overdue CD debut here. Includes background notes and images.