Thrust was Herbie Hancock’s follow-up to his massively successful Head Hunters album so after making an impact with that, he decided to go even furhter. The year was 1974 and with everyone waiting to see what he and his band would do, he went there and then went further than that into a soothing and funky vibe that has been loved by jazz, funk, soul and years later, hip-hop fans alike. Like Head Hunters, Thrust shines the spotlight on nothing but four cuts but each one displays a sense of power and warmth that still holds up. This is the album that also includes the song “Butterfly”.
It was with Spectrum that drummer Billy Cobham moved to a higher level than he was before as a member of the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Released on Atlantic Records, Cobham is joiuned by Jan Hammer, Lee Sklar, Tommy Bolin, and Ray Barretto for a set of music that moved him within his Mahavishnu groove but also helped make people realize he’s much more than just part of the maniacal fusion machine of his band. This one managed to be more accessible than what he did with his group, which allowed the album to make it to the #1 spot on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart.
Audio Fidelity are exploring the world of 70’s jazz with two new SACD remasters due out on February 26th.
Both of these albums were also released in quadraphonic counterparts, and they will be released as part of the hybrid SACD, which means everyone will be able to hear newly remastered versions of each album on one side while those with SACD players can listen to the quad mix as well. This is the first time the quad mix of Thrust has been released digitally, while the quad mix of Spectrum had come out as a DVD-Audio disc 15 years ago so it’s a chance to pick it up to hear the surround sound mix if you missed it before.
The first one is a celebrated album by the Mahavishnu Orchestra called Birds Of Fire. Originally released in 1973 on Columbia, this was the band’s second album and one that got a lot of attention upon release, due to the musicianship of John McLaughlin, Billy Cobham, Jan Hammer, Rick Laird, and Jerry Goodman. It went as high as #15 on Billboard’s Album chart, which meant it was a success outside of the jazz chart, leading to the popularity of jazz fusion for the next few years. Due to its success, a quadraphonic mix was made for it and it is that quad mix that is part of this new hybrid SACD.
The Jeff Beck Group has been celebrated pretty much continuously since its release in 1972. It is the band’s fourth album and their last before Beck started to release music under his own name, but back then the Group consisted of Cozy Powell on drums, vocalist Bobby Tench, pianist Max Middleton, and Clive Chaman on bass. With Steve Cropper behind the board in production, this was something that has stood the test of time and some of its songs still get airplay on classic rock radio today. A quadraphonic mix was also made for this album and is a part of the hybrid SACD.
Two new hybrid SACD’s from Audio Fidelity will be released on August 21st and these two are going to be scorchers.
Only the Jeff Beck remaster is available for pre-order from Amazon at this time so get it and wait patiently for its release.