Light In The Attic and the legendary folk/blues/roots label Vanguard Records are proud to begin a series of collaborations under the umbrella Vanguard Vault. The series will explore the vaults of Vanguard and see the reissuing of obscure nuggets, psychedelic weirdness and just some good old-fashioned seminal music. Originally released in 1972 on Vanguard Records, Bob Frank’s self titled debut album took elements of Dylan, Johnny Cash, and Ian Tyson and filtered it through a pot-smoked haze infused with Frank’s long-time friend, Memphis guru Jim Dickinson.
One of the greatest albums ever recorded by pianist Hal Galper – and that's saying a lot, given his huge legacy of records! This set has Hal working in a strongly electric mode – using an electric piano with the same sort of spacious qualities he could bring to acoustic – never jamming as hard as some of his more dynamic 70s contemporaries, but in a really great way that creates a special energy on the record – not just for Galper, but also for the groupmates, who really seem to bring out their best. The lineup includes Randy Brecker on trumpet and Michael Brecker on tenor and soprano sax – both playing in the darker edges of their sound – and the record also features guitar, bass, and drums. Some moments are funky, but the real stand out tracks have an even more special electric vibe – and titles include "This Moment", "Whatever", "Wild Bird", and "Change Up".
A silly title, but a funky little record – one of the only ones we've ever seen from guitarist Jay Berliner, and one of the best cookers from the early 70s Mainstream Records years! The sound here is almost soundtrack funk at points – lots of up-front lines from Berliner on guitar – riffing away over backings that include organ and keyboards from Paul Griffin, congas from Ray Barretto, drums from Jimmy Johnson, and additional rhythm guitar from Cornell Dupree. Wade Marcus arranged, and the sound is tight without being slick – a great sort of Kudu Records-styled groove – and an especially nice setting for Jay's guitar.
Official Release #105. All Masters Produced by Frank Zappa. Frank Zappa For President? You betcha! We know at various times he wanted to run for office. In the spirit of the 2016 dramatic presidential election adventures, comes a release that gives us a glimpse into what could have been. This album is comprised of unreleased compositions realized on the Synclavier along with other relevant tracks mined from the Vault with a political thread tying it all together. Don't forget to Register and Vote!
Other than a couple of obscure efforts for Buddah in 1970, this was percussionist Airto's debut as a leader, and this is still his most famous record. A brass section arranged by Don Sebesky is heard on two tracks, and such all-stars as keyboardist Chick Corea, flutist Hubert Laws, the reeds of Joe Farrell, and even pianist Keith Jarrett and guitarist George Benson make worthwhile appearances. Flora Purim joins Airto in the one vocal piece ("Free"), and "Return to Forever" receives an early recording. The music combines together jazz, Brazilian music, and aspects of fusion and funk quite successfully.
Sweet organ lines, heavy drums, and a great little groove throughout – a tight batch of groovers from the mighty Charles Kynard! The keyboardist is in fine 70s form here – stepping away from the sparer sound of his albums for Prestige with a fuller style for Mainstream Records – in a groove that's almost part blacksploitation funk, thanks to some sharp backings from arranger Richard Fritz! The mighty Paul Humphrey is at the bottom of the set on nicely funky drums – and other players include Arthur Adams on guitar, Chuck Rainey on bass, and some great additional horns, which give the record a larger jazzy finish, but never get in the way of Kynard's lean, mean organ lines. There's a great version of "Rock Steady" on the album, one that has a great funky intro – plus the cuts "Shout", "Lime Twig", "Slop Jar", "Name The Missing Word", "Little Ghetto Boy", and "Hot Sauce".