Don't let the title and cover put you off – because the album's neither a version of the Chariots Of Fire soundtrack, nor the kind of hokey effort you might expect! Instead, the record's one of a great line of soulful 80s fusion sets from ErnieWatts – a player with roots in spiritual jazz, and countless 70s sessions for famous artists – but one who really came into his own with records like this! The album's got a sweet mix of jazz and R&B – a vibe that Ernie learned from LA scenemates The Crusaders, but which he explores here in a variety of ways – from upbeat groovers to mellow ballads, all voiced at a very personal level on alto sax. The record features a sweet remake of "Valdez In The Country" – retooled for the 80s – plus two takes on "Chariots Of Fire", and the tracks "Abraham's Theme", "Five Circles", "Lady", and "Hold On". LP, Vinyl record album
Killer groovers from trumpeter Bobby Bryant – with more than enough force in the rhythms to make the entire earth dance! The mighty Wayne Henderson's along for the set, helping Bobby out – making one of his first steps away from the Jazz Crusaders to produce another artist – and really pointing the way towards some of his best jazz funk sessions of the 70s! The group is large, but mighty tight – and sports players like ErnieWatts on tenor, Joe Sample on keyboards, Herman Riley on saxes, Freddie Hill on trumpet, and George Bohannon on trombone – a wicked lineup that bounces nicely on electric basslines from Wilton Felder! There's a great crisp edge to all cuts – and titles include "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", "Happiness Is A Warm Gun", "Cristo Redentor", and Freddie Hubbard's "Crisis". LP, Vinyl record album
We'd sure like to have Cables' Vision – because by the end of the 70s, he was one of the hippest cats on the California scene! This wonderfully easygoing album from 1979 features Cables on both acoustic and electric – soaring to the sky on some numbers, kicking back on the keys on others – and working with a lineup that includes Bobby Hutcherson, Freddie Hubbard, ErnieWatts, and Tony Dumas. Includes the great smooth groover "Inner Glow", plus the tracks "The Stroll", "Voodoo Lady", "Morning Song", "I Told You So", and "Byrdlike". LP, Vinyl record album
(Includes the printed inner sleeve.)
Himiko Kikuchi —
All Right ... LP Continental (Japan), 1982. Very Good ...
A great cover – and a sweet fusion set that features the leader on piano, keyboards, and vocal – with ErnieWatts on tenor and soprano sax, and Masatsugu Matsumoto on guitar! LP, Vinyl record album
A well-remembered fusion date from Japanese reedman Sadao Watanabe – and one of his first to get larger circulation with an American audience too! The set has Watanabe blowing sharp and strong on alto, soprano sax, and flute – and working alongside heavyweight American fusion giants – in a combo that includes Patrice Rushen on keyboards, Lee Ritenour on guitar, ErnieWatts on saxes, and Harvey Mason on drums! The style isn't nearly as smooth or tightly produced as in later years – and there's still a nice edge to the music throughout – some of those unusual tones that Sadao was developing in Japan in the early part of the 70s, set to creative tunes that also stretch out in both their solos and rhythms. The album was recorded live, which also probably explains the open quality of the sound – and titles include "Orange Bypass", "Just Crusin", "The Chaser", "Rapture", and "Someday In Suburbs". LP, Vinyl record album
Gerald Wilson Orchestra Of The 80s —
Jessica ... LP Trend, 1982. Near Mint- ...
A very hip lineup – with Harold Land and ErnieWatts on tenor, Jerome Richardson and Anthony Ortega on alto, Jack Nimitz on baritone, Thurman Green and Garnett Brown on trombone, Harold Land Jr on electric piano, Milcho Leviev on keyboards, and Paul Humphrey on drums! Titles include "Getaway", "Jessica", "Love You Madley", and "Blues Bones & Bobby". LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has a cutout hole.)
Buddy Rich —
New One! ... LP Pacific Jazz, 1967. Used Gatefold ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
Very hard-burning work from Buddy's hip band of the mid 60s – a large ensemble, but one that features searing horn parts that cut through the bigger arrangements with ease! Buddy really had an ear for tuning power with personality at this point in his career – and although the group comes on with the raging energy that's every bit the Rich calling card in the 60s, they also more than make their individual voices known. ErnieWatts, Jay Corre, and Charles Owens all provide excellent contributions to the set – and titles include "Standing Up In A Hammock", "Luv", "Something For Willie", "Group Shot", "The Rotten Kid", and "New Blues". LP, Vinyl record album
A great new chapter for Donna Summer – a set that has her working with the legendary Quincy Jones as producer – who gives the whole album a very different sound! There's still plenty of the catchy, bouncy styles you'd know from Summer's late 70s work – but Jones also brings in some jazzy flair from time to time – using elements like keyboards from Greg Phillinganes or tenor from ErnieWatts to create a broader palette of color and sound than some of Donna's disco records. The rhythms change things up nicely too – reaching for a bit more than before – and titles include "Protection", which has a guitar solo from Bruce Springsteen – plus "Livin In America", "Love Is In Control", "State Of Independence", "Lush Life", and "Love Is Just A Breath Away". LP, Vinyl record album
One of Gerald Wilson's hippest albums for World Pacific – and all of them are pretty darn hip! This set is one of Gerald's last for the label – cut in a run of very successful, and very strong big band soul jazz albums that brought together the cream of the crop of the LA underground. Like the other sets, this one's got a great lineup – with players that include Anthony Ortega, Hadley Caliman, Harold Land, ErnieWatts, and Bobby Hutcherson – but the real strength of the album lies with Groove Holmes, who cuts some pretty fantastic solos on the album's best tracks – bubbling his Hammond through the larger arrangements with the space and expression that Wilson allowed his individual players on these sessions. Titles include great versions of "Aquarius" and Coltrane's "Equinox" – plus the original tunes "Celestial Soul", "Scorpio Rising", "Pisces", and "Bluesnee". LP, Vinyl record album
Gerald Wilson —
Lomelin ... LP Discovery, 1981. Used ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
Late great work from the mighty Gerald Wilson – done with a slightly different groove than his 60s sides! The group features Harold Land Jr on electric piano – plus Bobby Bryant on trumpet, Oscar Brashear on trumpet and flugelhorn, Garnett Brown and Thurman Green on trombones, Harold Land and ErnieWatts on tenor and flute, and Mike Wofford on Mason Hamlin BB piano! Tracks are long, and titles include "Lomelin", "Ay Ee En", "Blues For Zubin", "You Know", and "Triple Chase". LP, Vinyl record album
One of the best of Alphonse Mouzon's 80s R&B fusion albums – thanks to an eclectic mix of styles that includes a number of nice electro elements! Al's playing as much keyboards as he is drums on the set, but that's not a bad thing in our book – as the tracks have an electric approach to the grooves that lets the keyboards share strongly in the rhythm chores, and funk things up nicely without getting in the way. Other players include Ronnie Laws, ErnieWatts, Richard Elliott, and Paul Jackson Jr – but from the sound of the set, it's clearly Alphonse that's driving the groove engine on this one! Titles include "Why Don't You Break It", "Do You Wanna Dance", "Making Love With You", "Come & See What I've Got", "The Sky Is The Limit", and "Starting All Over Again". LP, Vinyl record album
Although Buddy's always been a bit laughable, he was always trying to keep his bag moving, and his band of the late 60s included some pretty darn nice players. The group on this session includes ErnieWatts and Bobby Shew, and the band wails hard and fast in a live setting with lots of tight little numbers. Tracks include "Wack Wack", "Norwegian Wood", "The Beat Goes On", and "Mexicali Nose". LP, Vinyl record album
Pop soul from the Alessi brothers – bright, upbeat and glossy groovers that sound sweeter that we would have imagined all these years – with tight songcraft, hooks you can't shake if you try, and played by some all star musicians - Larry Carlton, Tom Scott, ErnieWatts, Lenny Castro and more! Christopher Cross is also on the album, and he blew up pretty big for a little while around this time, and Long Time Friends are just as unshakable as his huge hit! Titles include "Jagged Edge", "I'm Gonna Tell Her Tonight", "How Long, How Much", "Still In Love", "Forever", "Long Time Friends" and more. LP, Vinyl record album
An excellent pairing of funk talents – the tight trumpet of Blue Mitchell, and the super-soulful backings of Monk Higgins! Higgins has a groove that was schooled in the funky 45 underground of Chicago – and here, he really finds a great way to pick things up for Mitchell – relieving him of the duties of being a leader on his own, and coming up with tight jams that then let Blue step out as the main solo talent! Other players include Paul Humphrey on drums, Anthony Ortega on tenor, Jim Horn and ErnieWatts on flute, and Monk Higgins himself on organ, tenor, and piano! The whole thing's a great jam, and includes many tasty cuts, like "Deeper In Black", "Jo Ju Ja", "Blue On Black", "Monkin Around", and "Keep Your Soul". LP, Vinyl record album
(Original Liberty pressing. Cover has light wear.)