Friday, October 31, 2014

Those We Missed October 1974

   Bobby Bland was having a hell of a year, releasing Dreamer and touring off his classic California Album. But the blues was hitting a slump with audiences , so Bobby joined "B"on tour. This double album documents their friendship and knowledge of the blues lexicon. Contrary to reviews I've read, this doesn't sound at all like they've been playing together for years. It sounds like two immense talents hanging out informally on stage. And that's pretty cool.

   Al Green's Hi Records label mate Syl Johnson gets the Willie Mitchell/Memphis Horns treatment on Diamond in the Rough.  Setting himself apart from Green wouldn't be easy, especially after his biggest hit was a 1975 note for note cover of "Take Me to the River".

   The most accessible of Carlos Santana's highly spiritual journey into jazz fusion, Borboletta has a Brazilian vibe courtesy of Return to Forever percussionist Airto Moreira and his wife Flora Purim. Bassist Stanley Clarke also performs on a number of songs.  Try this one before Caravanserai, Welcome or Lotus. If it's not your cup of tea, you're not alone. The record label would soon force Santana to go back to the Latin rock that won millions of fans.

   The most enjoyable recording from George Harrison's nascent Dark Horse label is Splinter's The Place I Love.  Harrison produced and played on the duo's debut album, which sounds not unlike, well,  George Harrison. "Costafine Town" was a Top 20 hit in the UK.

   Paul Simon produced this album by the Argentine/Peruvian band he first met when they played with  him on the recording "El Condor Pasa" and then when they joined him on his 1973 Live Rhymin' Tour. Instrumentals all recorded in New York with Phil Ramone engineering.