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.
New York jazz/funk band The Harmonica Lewinskies bring together parties in a way that is uniquely their own, and fans will be picking up their new album when it’s released on Tuesday, September 23rd. The album is called Dad Rock and to hear exactly what The Harmonica Lewinskies can do, listen to “Put Your Mouth On Me” and hear how they do things. To find out more about them, head to their official Facebook page.
It was only a matter of time: the multi-tracks for Led Zeppelin’s “Ramble On” leaked a few years ago and now someone has put together a new version of the song where Robert Plant and John Paul Jones are now backed by some incredible funky jazz. The Souleance Re-Edit could also become a new movement. it’s that good, even without the stereophonic panning in the last half. The song was originally released 45 years ago this year, so let’s hear what happens when it has a new set of clothes.
Ross McHenry’s Distant Oceans (First Word) is the kind of jazz album that would have fit perfectly alongside albums by Weather Report, Stanley Clarke, Joe Zawinul, Ramsey Lewis, Herbie Hancock, or something equally as adventurous in the early to mid 1970’s. It’s a jazz album played by guys who have a love for funk and fusion, where the bass riffs may border on carefully played minimalism, which is perfect for potential samples and loops. The opening song, “Intercosmos”, sounds as if it could’ve lead to five or more different songs, be it Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk”, War’s “Beetles In The Bog”, or Bob James’ “Nautilus”, wherever you want it. The drum break that opens “Griffith Park” sounds ready made for a picnic, barbecue or any family gathering that will lead to people dancing, and the flute solo is gorgeous. Basically, what McHenry has done is put together an album that is well crafted from start to finish, with great album from Mark de Clive Lowe, Dylan Marshall, Jon Hunt, Luca Spiler, Myele Manzanza, Adam Page. It was interesting to note that we now live in an era of post-Dilla producers, which admits to the work and ear of the late hip-hop producer who have helped to inspire a new style of creativity that is centered on the analysis and celebration of the old and cherished, but very much alive and strong. I dig this big time.
The term “the business” can meant everything from taking care of one’s business with a lot of effort, to the effort of giving someone a middle finger. Charlie Apicella & Iron City are back in business with a new album called The Business (CArlo Music), and when they get into the studio to play and create music, step off.
Their style of jazz is funky, blunt, and sometimes very laid back. If they want to get into lounge mode, they can and will (“64 Cadillac”). If they want to touch on their inner Lou Donaldson or Soulive, they can beat anyone to the punch just like that (the title track which opens the album). Want a bit of tropicalia or sensual balladry, these guys (Apicella on guitar, Dave Mattock on organ and Alan Korzin on drums, along wit Stephey Riley (tenor sax) and Mayra Casales (congas & percussionist) helping them out) are capable of doing it and making the listener wish they were in their presence, or doing it with them. In other words, doing “the business” within The Business, and producer Dave Stryker (a guitarist and recording artist in his own right) does everything properly to make it sound brilliant. It’s a well produced album that doesn’t sound like a rough demo or a group who paid budget rates to record these songs. Their previous albums were quite good, and this new one measures up to what they’ve done before. The Business? Hell yeah.