A long-overdue reissue – both of Cedar Walton's fusion albums for Columbia – back to back on a single CD! Animation is one of Cedar Walton's mid 70s funky jazz efforts – acoustic keys often traded for electric piano, grooving with a funky bigger band, almost in a Ramsey Lewis
mode – a really great shift that makes the record a nice change from the usual Walton groove! Cedar's a lot busier on the keys than Ramsey
was at the time, though – not as kicked-back Fender Rhodes as he is keeping up a tight and soulful fusion groove. The approach is quite different from Walton's other albums of earlier years, but actually works quite well – and the album's a tasty set of smoother soul and funk-infused numbers, with a hint of Brazilian touches as well! Tracks include "Another Star", "Charmed Circle", "Jacob's Ladder", "Precious Mountain", "If It Could Happen", and "Ala Eduardo". Soundscapes is brilliant work from Cedar Walton – a wonderful bit of soulful fusion from the crucially overlooked late 70s years of Columbia Jazz. The album's got a blend of soul and jazz that's similar to work at the time by Bobby Hutcherson or Freddie Hubbard – occasional vocals, larger lusher production, and a style that was really well suited to bringing together the best of fusion and soul, without resorting to tricks or gimmicks. The album's filled with really wonderful cuts that are completely unlike most of Walton's other work – and which show him to be an amazing talent in the soul end of the spectrum, not just in the soul jazz one that we're used to. Tunes are wonderful, arrangements are brilliant – and the album manages to be smooth without losing any depth. Titles include the great groover "Latin America", plus "Warm To The Touch", "NPS", "Sixth Avenue", and "Naturally".