Two classic easy-listening albums by Paul Mauriat and His Orchestra, originally released in 1972 and 1971 on the Philips label, together on one CD and remastered from the original analogue stereo tapes for Vocalion's trademark crystal-clear sound. French composer/conductor Paul Mauriat is a classically trained musician who decided to pursue a career in popular music. His first major success came in 1962, as a co-writer of the European hit "Chariot." In 1963, the song was given English lyrics, renamed "I Will Follow Him," and became a number one American hit for Little Peggy March. Mauriat is best remembered for his 1968 worldwide smash "Love Is Blue."
Pop Tops has been one of the most prominent groups of Spanish pop music. During its short career (1967-1974) patented a pop musical style with fusion of soul, gospel and baroque classical music, influenced by the famous British ensemble Procol Harum. Pop Tops was the Spanish group achieved more sales abroad, where ever walked its activity (Europe and America).
Given the critical and commercial success of 1 and their rebirth as the "Crusaders," the band decided to follow up the previous LP's double length with another one! There are 13 tunes here, all extrapolating the band's previously held notions of soul-jazz and hard bop as they emerged into the new funky '70s. Textures were a little different this time out as keyboardist Joe Sample expanded his palette to include not only the Fender Rhodes but also his first (subtle) forays into synthesizer, while Wayne Henderson and Wilton Felder keep the crisp horn charts popping throughout. Stix Hooper was, at the time, the best soul-jazz drummer in the business with the possible exception of Idris Muhammad.
A tasteful and intelligent modern blues band, the Hollywood Flames came together in 1975 on the West Coast as the Hollywood Fats Band, led by guitar phenom Michael "Hollywood Fats" Mann, and featuring what was arguably the best traditional blues line-up this side of 1954. "Soul Sanctuary" was welcomed with unanimous praise by blues fans around the world, as blues with both a history and a future. A great album in the west coast and Chicago style blues and a must have if you like guitar players like Ronnie Earl, Dave Specter, Alex Schultz and Steve Freund. Featured special guest artist is Kim Wilson on harmonica. The Hollywood Blue Flames literally burn their way through a set of fresh originals sprinkled with well-chosen covers.