The eighth and ninth studio albums (there was a live recording between them) from the Atlanta Rhythm Section got a belated U.K. CD release in 2010. These closed out the act's affiliation with Polydor Records and are condensed onto a single CD here, as well as digitally remastered. It's another in the classy series of ARS reissues from BGO, which has treated the Southern pop act's catalog with utmost respect on four previous discs that bring the group's original albums back in print for collectors and music fans who want more than the 17 hits on Polydor's well-chosen 1982 vintage Best Of. Liner notes from Campbell Devine tend to be fawning but include a comprehensive history of the band, recounting its story leading up to and even after the recording of these tunes. Musically, ARS captured a unique style halfway between the smooth West Coast pop of the late '70s and the Southern rock of the era.
An extension of the popular Original Jazz Classics series (est. 1982), the new OJC Remasters releases reveal the sonic benefits of 24-bit remastering-a technology that didn't exist when these titles were originally issued on compact disc. The addition of newly-written liner notes further enhances the illuminating quality of the OJC Remasters reissues. "Each of the recordings in this series is an all-time jazz classic," says Nick Phillips, Vice President of Jazz and Catalog A&R at Concord Music Group and producer of the series.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. Comes with a descripton in Japanese. The "Joe" here is Dutch tenorist Joe Van Enkhuizen, who's a great fit with a trio that features Horace Parlan on piano, Rufus Reid on bass, and Al Harewood on drums! The album's got that subtle approach that marks Parlan's later years – a less all-out style than his start on Blue Note, but one that's maybe even more rewarding if you're willing to let yourself slide into it – something that's easy to do when you've got Joe pointing the way with his well-blown, raspy-edged tenor! Reid is mighty nice too – with those instantly-deep notes that always grab us strongly when he's recorded this well – the sort of presence that most other bassists would need to be electric to reach. Titles include "Alfie's Theme", "Bluesville", "FSR", "Wadin", and "Willow Weep For Me".
This CD represents a great live recording of this classic Southern boogie band. ARS always showed a level of sophistication and musical taste above and beyond the typical good ole boy bands, and the material here shows that off well. The range of music goes from balladic cuts to bluesy/jazzy jams and classic Southern rock all the way to mainstream AOR performances. Of course, the highlights of the disc are the band's most well-known numbers, "Spooky" and "So Into You". Their cover of "Long Tall Sally" is a great album closer.