A tremendous album from flute man Sam Most – a record that really shines strongly amidst the rest of his catalog – and one that has us completely reevaluating our understanding of his sound! By the time of this set, Sam had been blowing for a few decades – most famously on Bethlehem Records sessions of the 50s, but also on a number of other records over the years – yet this album has the musician emerging as a stunningly strong voice on his instrument – playing the flute with all of these low, deep tones that are quite a change from more mainstream jazz flute of the decade – especially in fusion or crossover soul. There's a wonderfully moody vibe to the album – laidback, but never sleepy – and cast out perfectly with a group that includes Kenny Barron on piano, George Mraz on bass, Walt Bolden on drums, and Warren Smith on percussion.
Flush from remixing Elvis to his 30th number one with A Little Less Conversation as JXL, Dutch DJ Tom Holkenborg turned down a request from the Beatles to remix something of theirs and instead reverted to his full moniker for this fantasy league of his favourite vocalists. Along similar lines to Oakenfold's similarly star-studded 2001 Bunkka, the album is based on an imaginary pirate broadcast and mixes Holkenborg's dance/trance sculptures with trademark vocals from the likes of Dave Gahan, Peter Tosh, Solomon Burke and Chuck D, with a real Cure-y jewel in the one sung by Robert Smith, Perfect Blue Sky. Holkenborg reinvents Gary Numan as a trance star and, in a real coup, coaxes Terry Hall into at last revisiting his fabulous early-Specials ska sound for Never Alone. Less successfully, there are a mystifying three awkward contributions from Republica's Saffron, and an accompanying chillout disc is mostly dull. But for all its wobbles and indulgence, this is infinitely superior to a JXL mix of, say, Maxwell's Silver Hammer.