Saturday, November 29, 2008

Track of the Day : Lorez Alexandria - "Send In The Clowns" (1977)

Way too busy at the moment to blog, but here's a quick post.

This song is kinda perfect - I know it's been revived a lot, but I keep coming back to it. I'd associated the song "Send In The Clowns" with washed-out cabaret singers on daytime talk shows until I heard Lorez Alexandria's magnificent version.

Listen to it build, then take it home!


Have a great weekend everyone. Click the comments and say hi so that I know you're there.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Eddie Palmieri - "Unfinished Masterpiece" (1975)

Bacoso's been posting some great Eddie Palmieri over at OIR which has encouraged me to drag out my latin albums again .... Eddie's a genius and a revolutionary giant. Latin had never seen harmonies like this before - Palmieri pushed at both the latin boundaries and the jazz boundaries at the same time without letting them wash each other out.

Palmieri's great early 70s albums like "Superimposition" and "Justicia" began to mix up genres in a way that reflected the cultural gumbo of New York itself. He began to really stretch his own boundaries in the studio with 'The Sun Of Latin Music" in 1974, particularly with the sprawling 15 minute "Un Dia Bonito", which begins with atmospheric textures and dramatic pacing, then works through an extraordinary, almost classical cross-harmonic brass buildup before morphing into a latin stormer. (I've added this as a bonus track in the comments). The album netted him his first Grammy award, which was in fact the first-ever Latin Grammy.

In 1973 he released "Sentido", which in tracks like "Condiciones que Existen" began to incorporate the funk textures from the album by his "Harlem River Drive" project, once again a distinctly New York cultural stew that can also be heard on the live "Sing Sing" albums from 1971, and influences other live recordings like the "University Of Puerto Rico" album.

Less funk and more cuban textures in this album from 1975, but it's still from the period when Palmieri had most of his considerable irons in the fire at the same time, moments of descarga - listen to everyone go crazy in the 12-minute standout track "Cobarde"; piano atmospherics and experimentation in "Random Thoughts"; percussion to die for in "Oyelo Que Te Conviene".

There's the salsa of "Un Puesto Vacante" with Lalo Rodriguez tearing up on the vocals, some boogaloo strains in "Kinkamache", and finally jazz and even big band textures in "Resemblance". That last track has quite a different lineup of jazzers including Ron Carter, Jeremy Steig, Steve Gadd, and Eddie Martinez on the rhodes.

And all the way through there's Eddie himself, always unexpected and exploratory in his piano progressions, and writing incendiary brass parts like no-one else can. He was apparently never fully satisfied with getting this album finished, but Coco Records put it out anyway - thus the title. He won his second Grammy award with this one.

WAV and 320 MP3 versions of "Unfinished Masterpiece" are at the bottom of the post, also a bonus of the aforementioned track "Un Dia Bonita" from "The Sun Of Latin Music".

Also check out the discography below for 53 more Eddie Palmieri-related albums.

Finally here's more latin from this blog.

01 'Un Puesto Vacante' (3:48)
02 'Kinkamache' (5:40)
03 'Oyelo Que Te Conviene' (6:29)
04 'Cobarde' (10:46)
05 'Random Thoughts' (6:22)
06 'Resemblance' (4:49)

All tracks by Eddie Palmieri

Eddie Palmieri - piano and leader
Lalo Rodriguez - lead vocal
Victor Paz - trumpets
Barry Rogers - trombones and tenor tuba
Nicky Marrero - timbales & percussion
Tommy "Chuckie" Lopez Jr - bongo
Eladio Perez - conga
Jerry Gonzalez - conga on "Cobarde"
Polito Huerta, Eddie "Gua-Gua" Rivera, Andy Gonzalez - bass
Ronnie Cuber - baritone sax, soprano sax & flute
Mario Rivera - tenor & baritone Sax
Lou Orenstein - tenor sax
Bobby Porceli & Lou Marini - alto sax
Peter Gordon - french horn
Tony Price - tuba Alfredo de la Fe - violin
Harry Viggiano - electric guitar
Jimmy Sabates, Willie Torres, Ismael Quintana - coro

Guest musicians on "Resemblance" :

Eddie Martinez - electric piano
Jeremy Steig - flute solo
Ron Carter - acoustic bass
Steve Gadd - drums
Mike Lawrence - flugelhorn
Ronnie Cuber - baritone solo
Ed Byrne - trombone
Lynn Welshman - trombone

Eddie Palmieri - arrangement, theories and structure
Rene Hernandez - arrangements
Barry Rogers - arrangement on "Cobarde"
Eddie Martinez - arrangement on "Resemblance"
Harvey Averne - producer

1962 "La Perfecta" at Orgy in Rhythm
'El Molestoso' at Zona Musical / info1964 'Lo que traigo es sabroso' at Si Se Rompe Se Compone or alternate1964 'Echando Pa'Lante' (Straight Ahead) at Zona Musical
1965 'Azucar pa' Ti' at Si Se Rompe Se Compone
1965 'Mambo Con Conga Is Mozambique' at La Musica Latina or alternate or FLACS 1967 'Molasses' at Orgy in Rhythm
1968 'Champagne' at Rock Savage
'Justicia' at NakitaMusica
'Live at Sing Sing Vol 1-2' at Rumbarte
'Live at Sing Sing Vol 1' at Orgy in Rhythm
1971 'Vamonos P'al Monte' at
Zona Musical / info
1971 'Superimposition' at
Orgy in Rhythm
1971 'At the University of Puerto Rico' at Zona musical
/ info

1973 'Sentido' at Orgy in Rhythm
1974 'The Sun Of Latin Music' at revolucion, no / alternate
'The Sun Of Latin Music' (expanded 2 CD set) at El Principante Salsero

1975 'Unfinished Masterpiece' in comments here
1976 'Eddie's Concerto'
1978 'Lucumi Macumba Voodoo' at
Zona Musical
1981 'Eddie Palmieri' at
Zona Musical
1981 'Timeless' (live) at
Zona Musical / info
'Sueno' at Salsa All Stars
or alternate 1984 'Palo Pa Rumba' at DDC or alternate / alternate
1985 'Solito' at Las Cintas Recuperadas
1987 'La Verdad' (The Truth) at Salsa Emsamble or alternate1991 'El Rey de Las Blancas Y Las Negras'
1994 'Palmas' at Zona Musical / info
'Arete' at Zona Musical / info
'Chocolate Ice Cream' at Zona Musical
1996 'Vortex' at Mis Albumes Salseros or alternate
'El Rumbero del Piano' at Zona Musical or alternate
1999 'Live'
/ info
'La Perfecta II' at Zona Musical / info
'Ritmo Caliente' at Zona Musical / info 2005 "Listen Here" at CB Latin Jazz Corner or alternate
'La Experienca' at Zona Musical / info
1965-6 'Descargas at The Village Gate Vols. 1-2' - (Tico All-Stars) at Orgy In Rhythm
1966 'Descargas at the Village Gate Vol 3' (Tico All-Stars) at Easy Jams
'El Sonido Nuevo' (with Cal Tjader) at Into The Rhythm or alternate
1967 'Bamboleate'
(with Cal Tjader) at Orgy in Rhythm / alternate
1968 'Live at the Red Garter Vol. 1' - Fania All-Stars at
Si Se Rompe Se Compone
1968 'Live at the Red Garter Vol. 2' - Fania All-Stars at Si Se Rompe Se Compone
1976 "Harlem River Drive" at My Favourite Sound or alternate
1992 'Llegó la India' (with India) at CB Latin Jazz Corner or alternate
1994 "Fania All-Stars Live in Puerto Rico" at La musica de Nakita
'TropiJazz All-Stars Vol 1' at La Coleccion
1997 'TropiJazz All-Stars Vol 2' at La Coleccion
1997 "Nuyorican Soul" at Latin Jazzoteca
2000 'Masterpiece' (Obra Maestra) (with Tito Puente) at Salsa Emsamble or alternate / alternate 2005 'The Very Best of Tropijazz' at La Coleccion
2006 'Simpatico' (with Brian Lynch) at Zona Musical


"The History Of Eddie Palmieri" at bermudezyezid musica y mas1975 'Lo Mejor de Eddie" (The Best of) (Tico) at
Zona Musical
1976 'Gold' ('73-'76 material) at Zona musical
1977 'The Music Man' (El Hombre Musica) at Zona Musical
1993 'Salsa Meets Jazz' at Latin Jazzoteca / alternate
1999 'The Best of Eddie Palmieri' (2 CD set) at Notas Agudas
2007 'El Prodigioso - Los 50 Años Del Maestro' at Latin Jazzoteca / alternate
'The Latin Giants Of Jazz in San Sebastian' at Latin Jazzoteca


"Unfinished Masterpiece"  WAV - MP3

Bonus track : "Un Dia Bonita" WAV

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Leon Ware - "Inside Is Love" (1979)

Great lush soul album from Leon Ware featuring his usual top-notch vocals and songwriting. I wrote an extended history of Leon's work in the "Rockin' You Eternally" post, so have a read there, where I've just had fun updating about ten links! I could only find this album on one of those 'give-me-a-rare-album-in-return' blogs, so I thought i'd rip my own copy and add a discography.

Anyway, here's an edited excerpt from the big Leon Ware post relating to this album :

Best known for his classic album "Musical Massage" and his composition of Marvin Gaye's entire album "I Want You", Leon Ware released the self-produced "Inside Is Love", in 1979. It's a generally uptempo collection of soul numbers like "What's Your Name", and a faster version of "Inside Your Love" than the version he'd worked on with Minnie Ripperton on her album "Adventures In Paradise".

Notably, with "Love Is Such a Simple Thing", he began a collaboration with Brazilian legend Marcos Valle, who was exploring soul textures at the same time as Leon was reaching into brazilian harmonic changes. Valle began to feature Portugese versions of their collaborations on albums like 1981's "Vontade de Rever Voce" and 1983's "Marcos Valle".

Hope you enjoy this one.


01 'What's Your Name' (4:10)
(Leon Ware)

02 'Inside Your Love' (4:35)
(Minnie Ripperton - Leon Ware - Dick Rudolph)

03 'Love Is A Simple Thing' (3:31)
(Marcos Valle - Robert Lamm)

04 'Small Café' (3:43)
(Leon Ware - Ron Roker)

05 'Club Sashay' (4:17)
(Leon Ware - Melissa Manchester)

06 'Try It Out' (3:56)
(Leon Ware - Allee Willis)

07 'Love Will Run Away' (4:36)
(Leon Ware - Elkie Brooks)

08 'On The Island' (5:24)
(Leon Ware - Adrienne Anderson)

09 'Hungry' (3:56)
(Leon Ware - Adrienne Anderson - Dave Blumberg)


- David T Walker, Wah Wah Watson, Kevin Moore, Bruce Fisher
Bass - Eddie Watkins, Scott Lipsker
Piano, Electric Piano - Sonny Burke
Rhodes and vocals - Leon Ware
Synthesiser - Pete Robinson
Drums - Ed Green, Jeff Holman
Singers - Maxine Waters, Julia Waters, Owen Waters, Deborah Thomas, Melissa Manchester
Percussion - Paulinho Da Costa, Holden Raphael
Solos - Plas Johnson (tr. 3,5,7); Deborah Thomas (tr 1)

On "Small Cafe" :
Chris Rae - guitar
Graham Jarvis - Drums
Frank McDonah - bass
Criss Hall - piano
Leon Ware - rhodes

Producer - Leon Ware for LW Productions
Track 4 produced by Leon Ware and Ron RokerProducer - Leon WareArranged By - David Blumberg , Gene Page (tracks 2-3) , Sonny Burke (tracks 4-5)
Recording Engineer - George Sloan
Second engineers - Ross Pallone, Ron Garrett, Jane Clarke, Tony Autore
Mixing Engineer - Cal Harris
Tracking Studio - Hollywood Sound Recorders
Vocal studio - Black Orpheus Recording
Orchestration Studio - A&M Recording Studios
Mixing - Motown Recording Studios
Matrix# FAB 8500-A / FAB 8500-B
(P) 1979, T.K. Productions, Inc.
Art Direction / cover concept - Mike Doud
Photography - Jeffrey Scales

Special thanks to : Ross Regan, Ron Strasner, Cholly Bassoline, Ed Mills (for creative assistance), Carol Cassano, Eduardo Sayad, and all the other people along the way ..


1972 'Leon Ware' at ce la plume / FLAC at Avax
1974 features on
"The Education Of Sonny Carson" at Blaxploitation Pride
1976 'Musical Massage' at Here only Good Music For All
1979 'Inside Is Love' at Never Enough Rhodes
1981 'Rockin' You Eternally' at Never Enough Rhodes
1982 "Leon Ware" at Soulfunkjazz
1987 'Undercover'
1995 'Taste the Love'

2001 'Candelight'
2003 'Love's Drippin' at zonamusical / alternate
2004 'Deeper'
'A Kiss In the Sand'
'Moon Ride'
'Leon Ware & Friends' (collaborations comp.) at Blak's Lair


Rip by Simon666
Pics from Discogs

Albums in post text from : Blak's Lair, Point3Recurring, The Bossa Blog, and Regalame Esta Noche.
Please thank these guys if you grab their albums.


Friday, November 14, 2008

James Moody - "Feelin' It Together" (1973, Muse)

Back : Kenny Barron, Larry Ridley, Freddie Waits. Front : James Moody

Although James Moody is predominantly famous as a long time saxophonist for Dizzy Gillespie and as the composer of "Moody's Mood For Love" - check Moody himself singing it at that link - he's enjoyed a career as a leader in his own right for over sixty years and is still going strong.

The clip above is an interview with 82 year old Moody, shot in August this year by the people from Blackademics ("the premiere online roundtable for young black thinkers"). While he eats his soup, Moody talks about his first musical collaborations while stationed in the Air Force in 1943; his disenchantment with racism in the USA which caused him to move to Europe for several years; contemporary racism; and bebop, swing and musical evolution. He finishes by opining “When you stop growing, you’re through”.

JAMES MOODY & the early 1970s

While Moody's albums had played around the edges of bebop, in the 1970s he both embraced and influenced the emerging paths being taken by his collaborators in structure, source and instrumentation - not travelling deep into the avante-garde, but always looking beyond jazz's perceived boundaries.

1970's wistful and laid-back "Heritage Hum" saw Moody turning more to his flute alongside his better-known tenor and alto saxaphone, at the same time as his harmonic structures in some tracks began to journey below the U.S. border.

After recording the relatively straight-ahead "Too Heavy For Words" with Al Cohn in 1971, he released "The Teachers" (1971), on which he began to embrace soul jazz, funk and some New Orleans-tinged blues elements, a smorgasbord that seemed to either reflect or grow from Dizzy Gillespie's fusions on Perception Records at the time, albums such as "The Real Thing" in which many of the same players took part.

Fellow Gillespie comrade Mike Longo, who'd been on "Heritage Hum", also brought Moody on board for his '72 album "Awakening", which furthered some of the textures established on "The Teachers" , particularly pushing up the funk quotient by incorporating Alex Gafa's wah-wah guitar.

The soul jazz factor came to the fore on Moody's first Muse record in 1972, "Never Again", with his tenor sax working hard against Mickey Tucker's great hammond organ work on tracks like "Freedom Jazz Dance".

"Feelin' It Together" was recorded on January 15th, 1973; and represents another stage in the type of growth he speaks of above.

The album opens by looking back to the players' bebop roots with a complex, frenetic nine-minute rendition of "Anthropology", composed by Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Walter Bishop, originally derived from a bebop variation of "I Got Rhythm". Moody soars on alto sax here, trading solos with Kenny Barron's acoustic piano and Larry Ridley's bass, while drummer Freddie Waits scats around Ridley's insistent walking improvs.

While the title of his previous album "Never Again" had apparently referred to his desire to stick to tenor playing from now on, "Feelin' It Together" features Moody on tenor, alto and flute for two tracks each.

Keyboardist Kenny Barron was ten weeks away from recording his debut album "Sunset to Dawn", and that album's references to latin rhythm and brazilian harmonic structures can be felt here in nascent form in his two compositions, "Morning Glory" and "Dreams", both of which feature his spacious rhodes work.

Moody's flute work is superb on "Dreams", with finely controlled and varying tremelo that initially engages directly with the inbuilt tremelo on Barron's rhodes, working around the rhodes' metered pulse with subtle variations - dancing with the machine, if you like. Likewise, his alto sax work on Barron's "Morning Glory" sits above the warm bed of rhodes chords in a whisper-to-a-scream display of dynamic virtuosity.

Barron's work with Moody went as far back as "Another Bag" (1962), and since then he'd appeared on the Moody albums “Moody and the Brass Figures” (1966) and “The Blues And Other Colors” (1969), as well as working with him on a multitude of Dizzy Gillespie albums in the 60s. He'd continue to work on at least another four Moody albums, including "Sun Journey" in 1976.

There's a nice extended version of the standard "Autumn Leaves", with an atmospheric opening built over Freddie Wait's percussion rumbling. When the theme comes in, Moody's aching tenor is counterpointed by Barron's complex chord-based improvisations. There's no clear separation to sax "solo" as Moody subtly builds his improvisations out of the song's melody, then hands over to Barron's piano for a floating series of arpeggio clouds.

Moody and Barron also trade solos throughout an interesting interpretation of Jobim's "Wave". Here's a pdf score for Moody's flute part. The track has a sparse, atmospheric opening with Freddie Waits on shakers and tin flute sliding over Barron's rhodes, before it develops into a chugging bossa with Moody on flute. (For a very different, but also great version of "Wave", see Moody performing the track with the RIAS Big Band.)

The album finishes with an unusual version of "Kriss Kross". After the theme is sparsely introduced by Moody's sax over drums, it cuts almost incongruously to a fugue-like sequence with Barron on harpsichord, then Ridley walks us into a more traditional bebop / blues take on the track, with Moody blowing a hard tenor solo. A subsequent rhodes solo from Barron makes way for a bowed sequence from Ridley, before we return to the harpsichord fugue. It's a strange finish.

Busy drummer Freddie Waits had played on Hubert Law's "Carnegie Hall" album three days before recording this one. He'd also worked on Moody's "The Blues and Other Colours" (1969), and went on with Barron to record "Sunset to Dawn" ten weeks later in April.

As a founding member of Max Roach's percussion collective M'Boom, Waits worked on Brother Ah's "Sound Awareness" around this time, and would go on to record both Mboom's "Re: Percussion" and Neal Creque's "Hands Of Time" in August.

Still two years away from recording his debut album "Sum of the Parts" for Strata-East Records, bassist Larry Ridley came to this album with a twenty year history as a sideman, playing on albums by people like Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Horace Silver and many others.

Ridley's most recent date had been as a member of the "Jazz Contemporaries" for the 1972 Strata-East album "Reasons In Tonality". He'd also played with Moody on the "Newport In New York : The Jam Sessions (Vol 3&4)" album in 1972, and had worked with Kenny Barron as far back as 1962 on brother Bill Barron's album "The Hot Line".

Later in 1973 James Moody would join up with producer Richard Evans for "Sax & Flute Man" (later re-released as "The World Is a Ghetto"), a more commercial production in the vein of Evans' production of Ahmad Jamal's "Ahmad Jamal 73", even covering two of the same tracks. Some of it's a little too easy-listening for my ears, but there's three or so good tracks, nice rhodes work and some funky moments - worth checking out.

You'll find links for "Feelin' it Together" in the comments, but also check through the sections below for many additional albums and extra treats. Hope you enjoy this one, let me know what you think.



01 'Anthropology' - 9:07
(D. Gillespie / C.Parker / W. Bishop)
pub : Music Sales Corp, ASCAP

02 'Dreams' - 4:59
pub : Wazuri pubishing Co. BMI

03 'Autumn Leaves' - 9:31
(J.Mercer / J.Kosma / J.Prevert)
pub : Morley Music Corp. BMI

04 'Wave' - 7:46
pub : Corcovado Music Corp. BMI

05 'Morning Glory' - 7:21
pub : Wazuri pubishing Co. BMI

06 'Kriss Kross' - 7:21
(R.Holloway / A.Hillery)
pub : Red Holloway Publishing BMI


James Moody - alto sax, tenor sax and flute
Kenny Barron - acoustic piano, electric piano and harpsichord
Larry Ridley - bass
Freddie Waits - drums, misc. percussion, tin flute


Muse Records 5020
Produced by Don Schlitten
Recorded January 15, 1973
Recorded at Media Sound, New York City

JAMES MOODY BLOG DISCOGRAPHY 1947 "Jazz in Paris : Bebop" (w/Don Byas & Howard McGhee) at i For india or Music-a-k-o

1948 "James Moody and his Modernists" / alternate FLAC
album track : "Tin Tin Deo" DOWNLOAD

1951 "James Moody With Strings" at Call It Anything

"Wail Moody Wail" at Call It Anything or jazzdisposition

1956/58 "Flute n' the Blues"/"Last Train from Overbrook" at CIA

"Cookin' The Blues" donated by The Jazzmanmediafire covers here
rapidshare audio 1 2 3 4 5
megaupload audio 1 2 3 4 5

1962/63 "Another Bag"/"Comin' On Strong" 1 2 3
1963 "Great Day" at Guitar and the Wind

"Running the Gamut"
album track : "If You Grin You're In" at Office Naps (check this post on Ed Bland)

1966 "Night Flight" (w/Gil Fuller & Monterey Jazz Festival Orchestra) at CIA

1966 "Moody and the Brass Figures" at Blog O Blog

"Don't Look Away Now"
album track : "Easy Living" at youtube

"The Teachers" from anonymous
album track : "Unchained" at youtube

1971 "Heritage Hum" from anonymous1971 "Too Heavy For Words" (w/Al Cohn) at Magic Purple Sunshine(released 1974)

"Never Again"

1973 "Feelin' It Together" in comments here.

"Sax and Flute Man" aka "World Is A Ghetto" at My Jazz World / alternate 1976 'Timeless Aura' at Jazzy Melody

1977 "Sun Journey"

1989 "Sweet and Lovely" 1 2 3 4 5

1996 "Young at Heart" at Israbox

1997 "Young at Heart" at Avax

2004 "Moody Plays Mancini" at Avax
* Further uploads or blog links for the other 34 albums appreciated!
* See full discography here
* I'd love to hear Beyond this World (1977)


Donated by The Jazzman (big thanks!)
Rapidshare ONE TWO THREE

1. James Moody
2. King Pleasure with Blossom Dearie
3. Eddie Jefferson
4. Annie Ross
5. King Pleasure
6. Eddie Jefferson & James Moody
7. Queen Latifah
8. King Pleasure
9. Robert Moore
10. King Pleasure
11. George Benson
12. Bob Welch
13. Eddie Jefferson & James Moody-live
14. King Pleasure


With the RIAS Big Band :
"Giant Steps"
"I Can't Get Started"


Moody rapping at the North Sea Jazz festival

Video tribute for Moody's birthday this year with words from Moody.

James Moody general search at youtube.

is here


CD rip of "Feelin' it Together" in WAV/MP3 by Simon666CD rips of "The Teacher" and "Heritage Hum" by Anonymous"Moody's Mood for Love" compilation by The Jazzman
"Cookin' The Blues" rip by The Jazzman
Special thanks to Ish for advice.

Apart from blogs noted in the discography, album links in this post go to :

ile oxumaré, El goog ja, Orgy in Rhythm, original funk music, Jazzdisposition, magic purple sunshine, Blog-o-Blog, my favourite sound, call it anything, the cti never sleeps, fm shades, jazz’n’rakugo, romanticwarrior-jazz, República de Fiume, gutar and the wind, My Jazz World, Lysergic Funk

Please thank and support these bloggers if you click through and download.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

George Clinton - "Paint the White House Black" (1993)

George Clinton and friends with some prophecy.
An obvious post I know, but let's celebrate this moment of optimism with a cool song.
Turn it up loud now ...


Paint The White House Black
from the album "Hey Man ... Smell My Finger" (1993)

Producer, Written-By
George Clinton, Kerry Gordy , William Bryant III Sample from "Smiling Faces Sometimes" written By - Barrett Strong , Norman Whitfield Mixed By, Recorded By - Jeff Silverman Recorded By - Barry Goldberg , Brad Buxer , Charlie Brocco

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Roy Ayers - "Live at Arturo's" (2008)

Me and my buddy Tsugu danced up the front at Roy Ayers for a few hours last week, and during the encores backing singer John Pressley came down into the audience swapping these CDs for $20. It's recorded earlier this year at Arturo's Jazz Club in Detroit, seemingly unreleased, but I'll forgo the usual WAV files for a 320 rip so as not to destroy Mr Pressley's entrepreneurship ....

The CD's not as good as the show was, but there's some stuff to be found here. It seems that as the year's progressed, the role of saxophonist / keyboardist / singer Ray Gaskins (anyone got his albums?) has been increased. At the show we saw, he was comping on the rhodes with his right hand while soloing on soprano, alto and tenor sax with the left, and singing like an angel with a few lead spots. Here he's mainly just on sax, and the keyboards are more dominated by the not-as-interesting work by Mark Adams, who favours more 90s-style wavetable synth emulations.

Roy Ayers acts more as party MC and vocalist these days. After 36 years of "Sunshya-yine" he's understandably trying a few new tricks, some of which work better than others. He's playing rubber digital control pads with his mallets, which works ok for marimba sounds, but the sustain on the vibe samples is slightly dodgy.

Occasionally he dials up a synth sound and goes all Jan Hammer with the mallets, but the dynamics are a little flat. There's a 14 minute take of "Night In Tunisia" that starts with a few minutes of Roy's syn-mallet work, but i've excerpted a little later instead :

The night I saw had spectacular work from bassist Donald Nicks and drummer Lee Pearson, with extended solos in Night In Tunisia. There's a lot of visual humour from all the band in the live show that gets a little lost here, such as the entire band towelling Nicks down after his solo.

Anyway, Ayers' sheer enjoyment of playing live and entertaining is infectious for both the band and the audience, and I recommend you catch them live when you can.

"Coffy" (1973) - wav / mp3
at Blaxploitation Jive.