Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Zoot Marimba, Aug 21, 2018.
You know what, if you told me Jim Gordon played with the New York Philharmonic, I'd believe you!
Updating for Pg 197
The Everly Brothers, Beat & Soul (Jim Gordon) 
Mel Tormé, Right Now! (Gordon) 
Gene Clark, Gene Clark with Gosdin Brothers (Gordon) 
Van Dyke, Song Cycle (Gordon) 
The Stone Poneys, Evergreen, Volume 2 (Billy Mundi, Gordon) 
Canned Heat, Canned Heat (Henry Vestine) 
Judy Collins, Who Knows Where The Time Is (Gordon) 
Harry Nilsson, Aerial Ballet (Gordon) 
Harry Nilsson, Skidoo Soundtrack (Gordon) 
Randy Newman, Randy Newman (Gordon) 
Canned Heat, Boogie With Canned Heat (Vestine) 
Canned Heat, Living The Blues (Vestine) 
Canned Heat, Hallelujah (Vestine, Elliot Ingber) 
The Hamilton Face Band, Hamilton Face Band (Ruth Komanoff-Underwood) 
Bread, Bread (Gordon) 
Hoyt Axton, My Griffin Is Gone (Gordon) 
Dave Mason, Alone Together (Gordon) 
Randy Newman, 12 Songs (Gordon) 
Canned Heat, Vintage (Vestine) 
Hamilton Face Band, Ain’t Got No Time (Ruth) 
John Mayall, USA Union (Sugarcane) 
Don “Sugarcane” Harris, Sugarcane (Sugarcane) 
Joe Cocker, Mad Dogs And Gentlemen (Gordon) 
Don “Sugarcane” Harris, Keep on Driving (Sugarcane) 
Don “Sugarcane” Harris, Fiddler On The Rock (Sugarcane) 
Nolan Porter, No Apologies (Lowell George, Roy Estrada, Jimmy Carl Black) 
Bob Smith, The Visit (Don Preston) 
T. Rex, Electric Warrior (Mark Volman, Howard Kaylan) 
Canned Heat and John Lee Hooker, Hooker n Heat (Vestine) 
Canned Heat, Live At Topanga Corral (Vestine) 
Canned Heat, Historical Figures And Ancient Heads (Vestine) 
B.B. King, B.B. King in London (Gordon) 
Leon Russell, Leon Russell And The Shelter People (Gordon) 
Traffic, The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys (Gordon) 
Maxayn, Maxayn (Andre Lewis) 
Nolan Porter, Nolan (George, Estrada, Black) 
Domenic Troiano, Domenic Troiano (Bunk Gardner, Buzz Gardner) 
Nicholas Greenwood, Cold Cuts (Bunk) 
John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Sometime In New York City (Live Jam/tracks 3-6 featuring Frank, Mark and Howard, Ian, Don Preston, Bob Harris #1, Jim Pons, Dunbar) 
T. Rex, The Slider (Mark And Howard) 
Pure Food & Drug Act, Choice Cuts (Sugarcane) 
New Violin Summit (Sugarcane, Ponty) 
Albert Hammond, It Never Rains in Southern California (Gordon) 
Bobby Whitlock, Bobby Whitlock (Gordon) 
Bobby Whitlock, Raw Velvet (Gordon) 
Skip Battin, Skip (Mundi) 
Roxy Music, Stranded (Jobson) 
Buddy Miles, Chapter VII (Lewis) 
Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Listen (Lewis) 
Maxayn, Mindful (Lewis) 
Don “Sugarcane” Harris, Sugar Cane’s Got the Blues (Sugarcane) 
Canned Heat, The New Age (Vestine) 
Canned Heat, One More River to Cross (Vestine) 
Art Garfunkel, Angel Clare (Gordon) 
Donovan, Essence to Essence (Gordon) 
The Incredible Bongo Band, Bongo Rock (Gordon) 
Albert Hammond, The Free Electric Band (Gordon) 
David Gates, First (Gordon) 
The Hues Corporation, Freedom for the Stallion (Gordon) 
John Cale, Paris 1919 (Lowell) 
Happy Ends, Happy Ends (Lowell) 
Gordon Lightfoot, Stallion (Gordon) 
Tom Waits, The Heart Of Saturday Night (Gordon) 
John Sebastian, Tarzana Kid (Lowell, Gordon) 
Robert Palmer, Sneakin Sally Through the Alley (Lowell) 
Mick Ronson, Slaughter on 10th Avenue (Dunbar) 
Roxy Music, Country Life (Jobson) 
Howdy Moon, self titled album (Lowell George, Roy Estrada) 
Luis Gasca, Born to Love You 
Billy Cobham, Crosswinds (George Duke) 
Maxayn, Bail Out For Fun! (Lewis) 
Roger McGuinn, Peace on You (Mark And Howard) 
Dave Mason, Dave Mason (Sal Marquez) 
Herbie Mann, London Underground (Dunbar) 
Freddie Hubbard, High Energy (Ian Underwood) 
Don “Sugarcane” Harris, Cup Full Of Dreams (Sugarcane) 
Don “Sugarcane” Harris, I’m On Your Case (Sugarcane) 
Junior Hanson, Magic Dragon (Lewis) 
Jack Bruce, Out Of The Storm (Gordon) 
Souther-Hillman-Furay Band, The Souther-Hillman-Furay Band (Gordon) 
John Stewart, The Phoenix Concerts (Gordon) 
Roxy Music, Siren (Jobson) 
Freddie Hubbard, Liquid Love (Ian) 
Billy Cobham, A Funky Thide Of Sings (Walt Fowler) 
Down And Dirty Duck Soundtrack (Preston, Mark Volman, Howard Kaylan, Pons, Dunbar) 
Mick Ronson, Play, Don’t Worry (Dunbar) 
Nils Lofgren, self titled (Dunbar) 
Don “Sugarcane” Harris, Keyzop (Sugarcane) 
Mallard, Mallard (Art Tripp) 
The Carpenters, Horizon (Gordon) 
Minnie Riperton, Adventures in Paradise (Gordon) 
Art Garfunkel, Breakaway (Gordon, Max Bennett, John Guerin) 
Joan Baez, Diamonds And Rust (Gordon) 
Darryl Hall and John Oates, Darryl Hall And John Oates (Gordon) 
Richard “Groove” Holmes, Six Millionare Dollar Man (Gordon) 
Thelma Houston, I’ve Got the Music In Me (Gordon) 
Gordon Lightfoot, Cold on the Shoulder (Gordon) 
Robert Palmer, Pressure Drop (Lowell) 
Joan Baez, From Every Stage (Gordon) 
The Brothers Johnson, Look Out For #1 (Ian) 
The Carpenters, A Kind Of Hush (Gordon) 
Alice Cooper, Alice Cooper Goes To Hell (Gordon) 
Neil Diamond, Beautiful Noise (Gordon) 
Journey, Look Into The Future (Dunbar) 
Jean-Luc Ponty, Aurora (Ponty, T. Fowler) 
Roxy Music, Viva! 
Spirit, Farther Along (Ian) 
Jean-Luc Ponty, Imaginary Voyage (Ponty, T.Fowler, Allan Zavod) 
Grand Funk, Good Singin, Good Playin (Produced by Zappa) 
Air Pocket, Fly On (T. Fowler, Bruce Fowler, W. Fowler, Thompson) 
Stephen Stills, Illegal Stills (Mark And Howard) 
Ian Hunter, All American Space Boy (Dunbar) 
Flo and Eddie, Moving Targets (Mark, Howard, Ian) 
T. Rex, Futuristic Dragon (Mark and Howard) 
Nils Lofgren, Cry Tough (Dunbar) 
Carmen MacRae, Can’t Hide Love (Ian) 
Sammy Hagar, Nine On A Ten Scale (Dunbar) 
Alphonso Johnson, Moonshadow (Ian) 
Marathon Man Soundtrack (Ian) 
George Duke, Liberated Fantasies (Duke, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Ruth) 
Don “Sugarcane” Harris, Flashin’ Time (Sugarcane) 
Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band, Bat Chain Puller (Beefheart, Denny Walley) 
Seals & Croft, Sudan Village (Ralph Humphrey) 
Joan Baez, Gulf Winds (Gordon) 
Phil Keaggy, Love Broke Thru (Gordon) 
The Brothers Johnson, Right on Time (Ian) 
Dolly Parton, Here You Come Again (Ian) 
Chunk, Ernie, & Novi, Chunk, Ernie, & Novi (Ian) 
George Duke, From Me to You (Duke, Glenn Ferris) 
Demon Seeds Soundtrack (Ian) 
Journey, Next (Dunbar) 
Jean-Luc Ponty, Enigmatic Ocean (Ponty, Zavod) 
Little Feat, Time Loves A Hero (Lowell) 
Genesis, Seconds Out (Thompson) 
Quincy, Jones, Roots (Ian) 
Mandré, Mandré (Lewis) 
Alphonso Johnson, Spellbound (Thompson) 
Journey, Infinity (Dunbar) 
U.K., self titled (Eddie Jobson) 
Lynda Carter*, Portrait (Humphrey) (*yes, the same one who played Wonder Woman) 
George Duke, Reach For It (Duke) 
George Duke, Don't Let Go (Duke) 
The Brecker Brothers, Heavy Metal Be-Bop (Bozzio) 
Jean-Luc Ponty, Cosmic Messenger (Ponty, Zavod) 
Steve Hackett, Please Don’t Touch (T.Fowler, Chester Thompson) 
David Bowie, Stage (Adrian Belew) 
Alice Cooper, From the Inside (Mark And Howard) 
Ambrosia, Somewhere I’ve Never Travelled (Ian, Ruth) 
Herb Alpert and Hugh Masekela, Herb Alpert/Hugh Masekela (Ian) 
Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band, Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) (Beefheart, B.Fowler, Tripp) 
Lao Schifrin, Gypsy (Ian) 
Barbara Streisand, Songbird (Ian) 
Little Feat, Waiting For Columbus (Lowell) 
Mandré, Mandré Two (Lewis) 
Karen Alexander, Voyager (Humphrey) 
The Grateful Dead, Shakedown Street (Lowell) 
U.K., Danger Money (Jobson, Terry Bozzio) 
Jean-Luc Ponty, Live (Ponty, Zavod) 
David Bowie, Lodger (Belew) 
Big Sonny and the Lo Boys, In Heat (Black) 
Apocalypse Now Soundtrack (Preston) 
The Residents, Eskimo (Preston) 
Jefferson Starship, Freedom at Point Zero (Dunbar) 
Lowell George, Thanks, I’ll Eat It Here (Lowell) 
Peggy Lee, Close Enough For Love (Ian) 
Little Feat, Down On The Farm (Lowell) 
George Duke, Follow the Rainbow (Duke, Nappy) 
George Duke, Master Of The Game (Duke, Nappy) 
Tony Banks, A Curious Feeling (Thompson) 
Jean-Luc Ponty, A Taste for Passion (Ponty, Zavod) 
Freddie Hubbard, The Love Connection (Thompson) 
Lalo Schifrin, No One Home (Ian) 
The Warriors Soundtrack (Ian) 
Mandré, M3000 (Lewis) 
Ray Pizzi, The Love Letter (Humphrey) 
Leroy Hutson, Unforgettable (Thompson) 
David Pritchard, City Dreams (Thompson) 
The Muppet Movie Soundtrack (Gordon) 
John Cale, Paris 1919:
Paris 1919 is the third solo effort by John Cale, released February 25, 1973 on Reprise. Produced by Chris Thomas, the album is noted for a more baroque sound in contrast to Cale’s more experimental output. Named for the 1919 Peace Conference in Paris, the album is thematically related to early 20th century history and culture of Western Europe. The lineup consists of Cale on vocals/piano/keyboards/viola/acoustic guitar, our very own Lowell George on electric and acoustic guitars, Lowell’s Little Feat bandmate Richie Hayward on drums, Wilton Felder from the (Jazz) Crusaders on bass and saxophone, Thomas on percussion, and The UCLA Symphony Orchestra. In addition, we have Joel Druckman, Esq. managing the orchestra.
It’s really amazing, man. We associate Cale with very harsh avant garde type of stuff. After all, he was a founding member of The Velvet Underground, they sort of softened their sound once he left, he produced The Stooges’ first album, Patti Smith, so on. But man, putting him as “punk” and “alternative” does him a disservice. Cale is an incredible talent, can play all these different instruments-viola, bass, keys, guitar, he can sing, he can write, and can produce. And he can go across a whole musical spectrum, from very ugly music to very pretty music. And this is but one example, a total departure from what he is known for. And yet, it’s still so perfectly John Cale. Very rich, worldly, yet so personal and intimate. Let’s also mention Lowell and Richie, because you know I have to. This is obviously a complete departure for them as well, being very far removed from the funky Americanic swamp rock Little Feat is known for. Yet, every once in a while, you’ll hear Lowell play a lick that is so quintessentially Lowell, and Richie play a beat that is so quintessentially Richie. Then again, considering that Little Feat made their name being an eclectic band, I guess it shouldn’t be surprising how flexible they show themselves here. And on “Macbeth”, a little bit of the Feat comes through (in fact, the tune reminds me somewhat of “Oh, Atlanta”).
Rock acts going into baroque can very easily become bloated or pretentious, yet this album never enters either category. It feels so genuine and feels like an album that is John’s and John’s alone.
A fantastic effort, I can recommend this one enough.
Although I gathered a good amount of Lou albums, I never did get anything bu Cale.
This may be the one to check out.
Can’t be any worse than Metal Machine Music or Lulu, right?
Lol MMM came with a bunch of albums I bought.... oh dear
Lulu I avoided
Based on that sh'chye, i probably need to check the guy out.
I’m curious if you’ve heard his version of “Hallelujah”. He obviously didn’t write it, but his arrangement is the one that nearly all versions after, even Jeff Buckley’s, tend to follow.
Not sure I have ever heard any of his solo work.
I like Lulu, bitches!
Seeing what day it is, I have to wish an amazing happy birthday to percussion wonder Ruth Underwood.
Of course, we have to acknowledge her brilliant percussion work, particularly on the marimba. She wasn’t necessarily the first marimba player or percussionist Frank had worked with, and yet, she left such an indelible mark on his work that it feels strange to think of his band without thinking of her.
She was much like her playing- disciplined, dedicated, on point at all times, sympathetic to all that surrounded her, with a cheerful and good natured outlook. Without singing or getting in front of a microphone, she transcended being “just” the percussionist and became one of the key personalities in the band. Any standard Frank set, Ruth always met it, and she was always game for anything Frank wrote.
Beyond her musical gifts, what an awesome human being by all accounts. You always feel good seeing her show up in an interview, it always feel good seeing her smile. And it wasn’t a goofy smile or a staged one, but just a very genuine and inviting smile. She always brought such a positive energy to anything or anywhere she went, and the love and respect she had and still has for Frank is always so palpable. Let’s also mention integrity, which she also had and still has in great supply. I have some people question how somebody so dedicated could have walked away from the band and all that, but really, I’d argue that’s why she did. In all likelihood, Frank would have let her stay as long as she wanted, and apparently he even invited her back multiple times. She could have kept cashing in checks while phoning it in, but instead she went “I’m not up for it anymore, I’ve said all I need to say. I’m proud of all I’ve done, but it’s time to move on.” Sure, I’m sad to not see her play anymore, at least not profesionally, but I also respect her gratefully. And by most accounts, she’s done very well in life since leaving the road, and I wish her nothing but the best.
Happy birthday Ruth, thank you for all you have given us over the years. Nobody can ever take your place.
Happy End, Happy End:
Happy Ends is the third and final studio album and second self-titled album by Japanese folk rock group Happy End, released in 1973 on Bellwood/King. Produced by Happy End and Van Dyke Parks, the album came about while Happy End was in Los Angeles. According to Parks, the band walked in unannounced as he and our very own Lowell George were rehearsing during the Sailin' Shoes sessions, asking Parks to produce them so they could have the California Sound. Parks initially declined, particularly since he was busy working on his album Discover America, but then Lowell noticed their manager carrying a huge case of cash, he encouraged Van Dyke to take the job. Though the sessions have been described by bassist Haruomi Hosono (later of Yellow Magic Orchestra fame) as being productive, they were also marked by tension between the band and Parks, who according to Hosono and guitarist/vocalist Eiichi Ohtaki, would often show up to sessions intoxicated. In addition, there was also a language barrier between the band and the American session players. Happy End consisted of Ohtaki, Hosono on bass/mandolin/acoustic guitar/piano/vocals, Shigeru Suzuku on electric and acoustic guitars, and Takashi Matsumoto on drums and percussion. Aiding them is Lowell on slide guitar, fellow Little Feat member Bill Payne on piano, Parks on organ and piano, Tom Scott on alto and tenor saxophones, Dave Duke on French horn, Slyde Hyde on trombone, and Chuck Findley on trumpet.
I did notice that Happy End were apparently the first rock group to sing completely in Japanese, which was quite controversial when they were starting out. I can admire sticking to your language and refusing to change for others, but it doesn't help me. I know this sounds terrible, but I'd rather have my music to be in English. However, I could overcome that barrier if the music was strong enough. Unfortunately, I don’t find the music all that compelling. Other than the last two tracks, the songs just feel very bland and very forgettable. I’d hope Lowell could spark something, but he doesn’t. He more than likely tried, but it’s just not there. I will say I haven’t heard the other two, maybe they’re better, but this is one that I cannot think of much reason to want to revisit.
I respect the band for helping the raise the rock scene in Japan, and certainly Hosono would do great things afterwards, but this album does nothing at all for me.
Also, since I know a fair few Beefheart fans are here, Rockette Morton is currently in recovery after a small stroke. I wish him all the best in recovery, he’s a great musician and awesome guy.
I don't think I've ever heard/read a FZ fan that wasn't full of praise for Ruth. Even casual fans acknowledge and marvel at her greatness.
Happy happy birthday, Ruth!
Gordon Lightfoot, Sundown:
Sundown is the tenth studio album by Gordon Lightfoot, released January 1974 on Reprise. Produced by Lenny Waronker, this album is considered to be the pinnacle of Lightfoot’s folk-country blend before his starting to incorporate electronic instruments. It’s also the only one of Lightfoot’s albums to reach #1 on the U.S. Charts. Besides Lightfoot on lead vocals/six and twelve string acoustic guitars/chimes/bells/high end guitar, the lineup features our very own Jim Gordon playing drums on all tracks except for 4 and 10, John Stockfish on “Sundown” bass, Nick De Caro on accordion/horns/orchestration/piano/strings, Terry Clements playing acoustic guitar on all tracks except for the second, Red Shea on dobro/electric and acoustic guitars/classical guitar/slide dobro on all tracks except for 6 and 8, John Stockfish playing bass on tracks 2-3;5-7;10, Rick Haynes playing bass on the remaining tracks, Milt Holland playing percussion on 1;5-6;9, Gene Martynec playing the Moog synthesizer on tracks 3 and 5, and Jack Zaza playing the English
In addition, groupie/dealer/then mistress Cathy Smith, who would later be convicted of manslaughter in the death of John Belushi, does harmonies on track 2.
Lightfoot is somebody that I’m definitely aware of, but I never looked into his work that deeply. Going into this, I am very pleasantly surprised. Very rich writing and arrangements, not to mention some really strong vocals. I can get a sense of why guys like Dylan dig this guy, he is an extremely good singer-songwriter. Admittedly, I want a little more grit out of my singer-songwriters, but I will say that I’m open to revisiting this record in the future.
Overall, I can give this a very solid recommendation.
Sadly, there is such a thing as somebody who has said how he wishes he could hear Zappa tracks without Ruth. Though I have immense loathing for the hiding-under-the-chair emoji, it is such a cowardly and ball-less thing to post, and yes, I’m well aware I used it in one of my earliest posts. That is one of my big regrets.
With all that said, you should use it when badmouthing Ruth. Seriously, I get certain members are not as universally loved for one reason or another. But Ruth Underwood should be like “duh”. She is the Mr Rogers of the Zappa world.
Lightfoot wrote some excellent tracks.
My two favourites on this one are the classic title track, and Carefree Highway
Seriousy? Omit Ponty's fiddle, or Mark & Howie vocals, I mean, I wouldn't do it, but I can see the argument. But Ruth is so essential to the material.
Tom Waits, The Heart Of Saturday Night:
The Heart Of Saturday Night is the second studio album by Tom Waits, released October 15, 1974 on Asylum. Produced by Bones Howe, the album features Waits on vocals/piano/guitar, our very own Jim Gordon on drums, Pete Christlieb on tenor saxophone, Jim Hughart on upright bass, and Tom Scott on clarinet.
Ah, Tom Waits. Singer, songwriter, actor, storyteller, the man that helped me start to understand the good Captain. I will admit I started off on Swordfishtrombones onward, so it took me a while to work my way back. Glad I did, because there is some great music there. It’s not the demented carnie sound that I came to know from Tom, but man, it’s still great songwriting, excellent musicians, and some of Tom’s best singing. Love Tom’s voice as it is, but it’s cool getting to hear pure singing from him, because he’s damn good at it. And I love the old school jazz on this album, this being when people were doing fusion and synths and all of that. Absolutely love Hughart’s upright work on here, it makes the music really swing in a way that the electric bass, as much as I love it, never can. Jim Gordon, always a win, and this is no exception. He may not be my favorite Zappa drummer per se, but he is my favorite drummer that played with Zappa. And this album, he sounds like Jimmy Cobb (may Jimmy Cobb Rest In Peace), that kind of subtle shuffle swing. Now to Tom Scott. Whereas when Jim Gordon’s name appearing on an album makes me go “hell yeah!”, Tom Scott’s name appearing on an album makes me go “f*** me, this is going to suck.” He could be the nicest man on the planet, I don’t really care, because I’m here to review music. And oh my God, that bland, soulless muzak sax that we had to hear through so many albums, even good ones. It is because of Tom Scott that I now understand people’s hatred of the saxophone. I got spoiled man, I come up with Bobby Keys, old Chicago, Frank’s guys, Dana Colley from Morphine, I’m left thinking the sax is cool and all that, then I hear Tom Scott. Thank Christ he’s not actually on the sax but the clarinet here, probably why I can stand him here. Instead of Tom Scott on the sax, we get the great Pete Christlieb, who brings the jazz lounge vibe home.
This is such an awesome album, one of Tom’s best, and I can’t recommend it enough.
Also, I am fully aware that Blue Valentine features George Duke. However, for me to cover a non Zappa album here, Frank or at least one musician that toured and recorded with Frank must be involved in a significant capacity. George is only on three tracks, and thus it doesn’t qualify for this thread. Otherwise, I would have covered Jim Gordon’s whole body of work as well as Something/Anything? (on which Billy Mundi contributed to two tracks- “Piss Aaron” and “Some Folks Is Even Whiter Than Me”).
John Sebastian, Tarzana Kid:
Tarzana Kid is the third studio album by former Lovin Spoonful member John Sebastian, released September 9, 1974 on Reprise. Produced by Erik Jacobsen and Sebastian, the album’s lineup features Sebastian on lead vocals/guitar/harmonica/autoharp/banjo/marimba/harmonica/dulcimer, our very own Lowell George on slide guitar/guitar/harmony vocals, our very own Jim Gordon on drums alongside Milt Holland and Kelly Shanahan, Ry Cooder on mandolin and slide guitar, Russell DaShiell, Amos Garrett, and Jerry McKuen on guitars, Buddy Emmons on pedal steel guitar, David Grisman on mandolin, David Lindley on fiddle, Richie Olson on clarinet, Kenny Altman on bass, and Don Everly, Emmylou Harris, and The Pointer Sisters on backing vocals.
I know this album didn’t do that well commercially, but honestly, it’s not a bad listen at all. While the album isn’t as cohesive as it could be, John Sebastian gives a strong performance throughout, and the musicians behind him deliver as always. Certainly Lowell leaves his stamp as always, and I have to say that Sebastian did a very solid job with “Dixie Chicken”.
If you’re into singer songwriter stuff or just 70s rock, check it out, it’s a good effort.
Robert Palmer, Sneakin Sally Through the Alley:
Sneaking Sally Through The Alley is the debut solo album by Robert Palmer, released September 1974 on Island. Produced by Steve Smith, the album marked Palmer’s first effort since co-fronting Vinegar Joe. Backing Palmer is our very own Lowell George playing guitar on all tracks except for 2;5;8, The Meters-keyboardist Art Neville, guitarist Leo Nocentelli, bassist George Porter, Jr., and drummer Ziggy Modeliste- playing on tracks 1;3;6-7, Simon Phillips replacing Modeliste on track 3, the “New York Rhythm Section”-pianist Richard Tee, guitarist Cornell Dupree, bassist Gordon Edward, and drummer Bernard Perdie- on tracks 2;4-5;8, Mongezi Feza playing flageolet and horns on tracks 6 and 8, Vicki Brown performing backing vocals on tracks 1-2 and 4, guitarist Jim Mullen and percussionist Jody Linscott both playing on track 2, Steve York playing harmonica on track 3, and Steve Winwood playing piano on track 8.
Growing up, all I knew of Robert Palmer was “Simply Irresistible”, which I always hated, and The Power Station’s cover of “Get It On (Bang A Gong)”, which was not much better. Really, I only went into this record because of Lowell. But I will say this: Robert Palmer delivers here. He gives some solid vocal performances, ably going from funk to rock and roll. That said, this album is all about Lowell as far as I’m concerned. His guitar work makes this album, by and large, and it kind of does feel like a lost Feat record at times. And plus, you got the Meters and Perdie. That just increases the funk.
If you’re a fan of Little Feat or Lowell George, I can easily recommend this album, it’s a good listen.
The Julia/Sneakin' Sally medley was in heavy rotation on the indie AM station I listened to (yes they existed, but not for long). Certainly distinctive and enjoyable.
I know I listed Jack Bruce’s Out Of The Storm, but since Jim Gordon is only on three proper tracks, I will not be covering it after all. With that said....
Souther-Hillman-Furay Band, The Souther-Hillman-Furay Band:
The Souther-Hillman-Furay Band is the self-titled debut album by country rock supergroup The Souther-Hillman-Furay Band, released in 1974 on Asylum. Produced by Richard Podolor, the group consisted of singer-songwriter J.D. Souther, ex-Byrds/Flying Burrito Brothers bassist Chris Hillman, and ex-Buffalo Springfield/Poco guitarist/vocalist Richie Furay. Despite the album reaching #11 on the charts, the group would only produce one more album before disbanding due to differences between the members. Backed the trio on here is our very own Jim Gordon on drums and percussion, Al Perkins on pedal steel guitar/dobro/guitar, Paul Harris on keyboards, and Joe Lala on percussion.
Giving the caliber of talent involved, fans naturally had high expectations going in. And of course, like most supergroups, it didn’t live up to the hype. And of course, too many egos were involved and the supergroup short lived. Really, how many supergroups can you name that are great or even good? In fairness, the album is a listenable one, with solid performances elevating the mostly average material to being fairly decent.
As far as recommending, I don’t vouch for or against this album. If you’re a fan of any of the members, you’ll likely have at least a passing interest, but if not, you’re not missing out on much.
In rock, Bind Faith is the only one that comes to mind, and they only made one album. Ditto Derek & the Dominos. The Traveling Wilburys should've been great but Orbison's death ended that dream and honestly their debut didn't do much for me.
John Stewart, The Phoenix Concerts:
The Phoenix Concerts is the seventh solo album and first live album by ex-Kingston Trio member John Stewart, released in June 1974 on RCA. Produced by Nick Venet, the album was recorded live at Phoenix Symphony Hall in March of that year. Besides Stewart on electric and acoustic guitars, we have our very own Jim Gordon on drums, Michael Stewart on rhythm guitar, Dan Dugmore on electric and pedal steel guitars, Jonathan Douglas on organ/piano/congas, Loren Newkirk on piano and organ, Arnie Moore on bass, and Denny Brooks, Buffy Ford, and Mike Settle on vocals.
I’m somewhat familiar with Stewart’s work with the Kingston Trio, as well as his involvement with “Daydream Believer” by the Monkees. By and large, though, I know the name and think of either the comic, at least when saying it out loud, or I think of the black Green Lantern. So this is my first time listening to the album. I will say that this is an enjoyable effort on first listen. The vocals are very solid, really lifting the tracks to a certain mystical character while the band provides a very powerful backing. Dugmore’s pedal steel provides some very sweet atmosphere to the tracks, as does the piano and organ work.
I’m new, so it’s not really sunken in, but yes, it’s a good effort and one I wouldn’t mind revisiting.
The Carpenters, Horizon:
Horizon is the sixth studio album by The Carpenters, released June 6, 1975 on A&M. Produced by Richard Carpenter, the album features the Carpenters experimenting more with production techniques and sounds. Backing Karen (vocals/drums) and Richard Carpenter (keyboards/vocals) is our very own Jim Gordon on drums, Tony Peluso on guitar, Tommy Morgan on harmonica, Thad Maxwell and Red Rhodes on pedal steel guitars, NllBob Messenger on tenor saxophone, Doug Strawn on baritone saxophone, Earl Dumler on oboe and English horn, Gayle Levant on harp, and Joe Osborn on bass. Guesting on “I Can Dream, Can’t I?” is Bob Bain on guitar, Pete Jolly on keyboards, Joe Mondragon on bass, Alvin Stoller on drums, and Frank Flynn on vibes.
I’m more of a casual Carpenters fan. Enjoy some of the hits, and certainly Karen Carpenter had a beautiful voice, but they weren’t an act I ever though to go deeper into. But of course, this has a Zappa connection, so I am reviewing it for this thread. I have to say, this is a very enjoyable effort. While easy listening or soft rock is not normally what I put on, I certainly don’t have anything against it, and it like any style, it can be done well or done poorly. The Carpenters are certainly on the good end of it, and obviously, Karen’s voice is a great part of that. Passionate, heartfelt, earnest, tasteful, and so expertly delivered. But we must also mention Richard, who proves a talented musician, production, and arranger who made his sister that much better. And the likes of Gordon and Peluso, they’re just icing on the cake.
This is an album I definitely want to revisit in the future, and I can definitely give this a recommendation to pop fans and fans of 70s music.
Separate names with a comma.