Juice ... CD RCA/Mr Bongo (UK), 1975. New Copy ...
One of the few American releases by this legendary Japanese fusion artist – and a pretty funky little record as well! RyoKawasaki plays lead guitar and the very cool "string synthesizer" on the set – making for a sweet mix of electric grooves that has some really great spacey touches! Tracks have a core funky base at the bottom – grooving in a mode that's tight, but never too slick – and which allows just the right amount of space to make the album work in equal parts electric jazz and funky fusion. The whole thing's great, and tracks include the great sample cut "Bamboo Child", the nice break cut "Raisins", plus other nice groovers like "East Side Boogie", and "El Toro". CD
Gil plays Jimi? Sounds like a gimmick, but it comes off pretty darn great – and it helps you forgive him for trying to convince the kids that he's not as old as his grey hair might make you think! As always with Evans, the key to the album is a beautiful balance between the strength of the players and vision of the arrangements – a hip mix of musicians who include Billy Harper on tenor and flute, Marvin Hannibal Peterson on trumpet, and both RyoKawasaki and John Abercrombie on guitars! Arrangements are great too – handled by Tom Malone, Warren Smith, and Howard Johnson – all of whom make the album way more than just an instrumental reading of Jimi Hendrix tunes – and instead a great platform for improvisation that uses tunes that include "Up From The Skies", "Foxy Lady", "Gypsy Eyes", "Voodoo Chile", "Angel", "Crosstown Traffic", and "Castles Made of Sand". Plus, the CD features 4 bonus alternate tracks – not on the original album! CD
A pretty great 70s album from Gil Evans – a set that's got some great use of electric instrumentation, and a mighty groove on the best cuts! The overall approach is different than the early modernist sound of Gil Evans, but still very striking – a 70s equivalent to Gil's famous 60s work – and as always with Evans, the players in the ensemble are impeccably well-chosen – as the lineup includes Hannibal Marvin Peterson on trumpet, Billy Harper on tenor, RyoKawasaki on guitar, and a young Dave Sanborn handling the solos. Includes the odd spacey Tony Williams number "There Comes A Time", plus a cover of Hendrix's "Little Wing" – both of which have vocals by Peterson. Other tracks include "Aftermath Of The Fourth Movement Children Of The Fire", "Anita's Dance", and "Makes Her Move". CD
Elvin Jones —
Main Force ... CD Vanguard/Wounded Bird, 1976. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
Drummer Elvin Jones is listed as the main force on the cover – but as with all of his 70s albums, the whole outing is very much a strong group affair – thanks to a killer core quartet that features RyoKawasaki on guitar, Pat LaBarbera on reeds and Dave Williams on bass – working with a great blend of sax and guitar that really helps refine the Elvin Jones sound of the 70s! As with other records by Elvin, there's some great guest work too – reeds from a shifting lineup that includes Dave Liebman, Frank Foster, and Steve Grossman – providing that wailing intensity that Elvin sought after the passing of Coltrane, but in a fresh new way – and Albert Dailey also adds in some sweet keyboards as well. Titles include "Salty Iron", "Sweet Mama", "Mini Modes", "Philomene", and "Song Of Rejoicing After Returning From A Hunt". CD
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