A trio of solo albums from Narada Michael Walden – the start of a great run as a solo artist in the 70s! First up is Garden Of Love Light – Narada Michael Walden's first album – and a surprisingly complex approach to spiritual soul, handled with some great guest guitar work by Jeff
Beck and Carlos Santana! The approach is somewhere between 70s rock fusion and smooth soul – done with a tight, professional style that persisted on most of Walden's albums from the time. Titles include "You Got The Soul", "Delightful", "First Love", "Meditation", "White Night", and "You Are Love". I Cry I Smile is one of Narada Michael Walden's best albums from the late 70s – a sweet blend of jazz funk and soul, done with a slightly spiritual sound, and lots of nice touches on keyboards! Walden's a bit subtler than some of his contemporaries, but that makes for a album that opens itself up more and more with each listen. Titles include "I Need Your Love", "Oneness Cry", "I Remember", "Soul Bird", "Mango Bop", "I Cry I Smile", and "So Long". Last up is Awakening, one of Narada Michael Walden's most all-star records – stuffed with great guest appearances by singers and musicians that include Bobby Lyle, Greg Phillinganes, The Brecker Brothers, Carlos Santana, Hiram Bullock, The Pointer Sisters, and Angela Winbush! The sound's a bit tighter and more professional – in keeping with the sound you'd expect from such an elite bunch – but Walden's jazzy
approach to smooth soul is still nicely in place on the best cuts. Titles include "Listen To Me", "The Awakening", "They Want The Feeling", "Love Me Only", and "Will You Ever Know".