2007 Release from Japanese fusion drummer Akira Jimbo. A Zildjian endorser, Akira is also the drummer in the Japanese jazz fusion band Casiopea and has participated in various side projects with other musicians, including Keiko Matsui, Shambara, bassist Brian Bromberg and many more. Check out his fantastic solo record featuring Frank Gambale on guitar, Abe Laboriel Sr. on bass and keyboardist Otmaro Ruiz.
Nancy Wilson's unimpeachable combination of high sophistication and artistic substance was tailor-made for entertaining both the high-rollers and rubber-neckers assembled at the Sands Hotel & Casino's Copa Room for this August 1968 performance. She began with a delightful tweak of any star-gazers in the room, dedicating the opener to a "specific" (but unspecified) group in attendance at the show, then launching into a bustling version of "Hello, Young Lovers."
It does not take very long to realize that this is a nicely put together record. The singing is intense in somewhat of a Springsteen/David Eugene Edwards (Woven Hand) manner, but unique from them. The surrounding instrumentation weaves in and out in a folk rock manner at times and works as a full throttle rock band at others. The Singer-Songwriter category does not quite do justice to the songs. I would say rock fans will like this more than people wanting straight folk, but it has a good general appeal to both the crowds seeking lighter thoughtful material and those that want a good rock beat. The music is rather universal and what is truly interesting is that the California duo behind this band has historically done so much better in Europe than in the US. While I often can understand why some great European born music may not translate as well in the US (and vice versa), I have never understood why several great US bands (Wipers, 16 Horsepower) do so much better in Europe. Add this band to that list, as US listeners need to join in. I believe this album of eleven original songs comes with a bonus CD containing a full live set. (David Hintz)
Alto saxophonist and composer Robin Kenyatta made a slew of records in the 1970s that have been terribly misunderstood, to say the least. It was obvious by the time that Kenyatta released Terra Nova in 1973 that he was revisioning jazz as the perfect integration point for many – if not all – forms of popular music; Terra Nova had explored Caribbean rhythms (in particular reggae and calypso). But on his 1974 album Stompin' at the Savoy, Kenyatta took the revered jazz tradition and inserted it right into the heart of then contemporary styles of funk, soul, and pop, and even early club disco.
It was much to soul singer Spanky Wilson's surprise – she didn't realize she had had such an impact – when British multi-instrumentalist/producer Will Holland contacted her in her Los Angeles home in 2004, professing his love of her music and wondering if she'd collaborate with him. Still, she agreed to go the studio, and together they did two songs, "Don't Joke with a Hungry Man" and "When You're Through," for Holland's solo project, Quantic, on the album Mishaps Happening. That collaboration worked out so well that they decided to make an entire record together, this time with Holland's full band, the Quantic Soul Orchestra. Wilson's lovely voice is the centerpiece of I'm Thankful, and it does show a bit of its age, but only in the best of ways, deepening it and giving it an added measure of credibility and authenticity while still preserving its expressiveness and strength. Attesting to Wilson's tremendous ability is the fact that the record is very intimately and sparsely produced, making it seem as if the singer is almost in the room right with the you, the sometimes raspy and breathy line endings audible in that professional, practiced way.