Light is all important to David’s work. In this film he goes in search of the wonderful light of Italy along the Amalfi coast. Arriving in a new area, he emphasises the benefit of sketching before starting to paint. He then goes on to complete paintings of a variety of subjects including scenes of boats and buildings, a beach, the charming hilltop village of Ravello on a sunny afternoon and even a street painted at night. His paintings perfectly capture the atmosphere and light of the Italian scenery.
On this album by clarinetist Julian Bliss, the titular work refers to gumboot dancing, South African miners' dances that during the apartheid era conveyed coded meanings as well as joy in the face of enormous hardship. A look at YouTube will reveal plenty of examples of a form that has been little known outside South Africa. Composer David Bruce's clarinet quintet falls into two parts, an untitled slow "Part One" (track 1) that presumably sets the dark scene of the mine, followed by a second part consisting of five dances.
On his last couple of Warner Bros albums, Gorilla and In the Pocket, James Taylor seemed to be converting himself from the shrinking violet, too-sensitive-to-live "rainy day man" of his early records into a mainstream, easy listening crooner with a sunny outlook. JT, his debut album for Columbia, was something of a defense of this conversion. Returning to the autobiographical, Taylor declared his love for Carly Simon ("There We Are"), but expressed some surprise at his domestic bliss. "Isn't it amazing a man like me can feel this way?" he sang in the opening song, "Your Smiling Face" (a Top 40 hit). At the same time, domesticity could have its temporary depressions ("Another Grey Morning"). The key track was "Secret O' Life," which Taylor revealed as "enjoying the passage of time." Working with his long-time backup band of Danny Kortchmar, Leland Sklar, and Russell Kunkel, and with Peter Asher back in the producer's chair, Taylor also enjoyed mixing his patented acoustic guitar-based folk sound with elements of rock, blues, and country.
Carole King and James Taylor reuniting isn’t quite a monumental reunion – they never were an official performing entity, so they never had a falling out, appearing on-stage and on record from time to time since their ‘70s heyday – but it is a notable one, particularly when they choose to perform at the Troubadour, the L.A. venue so crucial at the start of their stardom, backed by such fellow veterans of the SoCal singer/songwriter scene as guitarist Danny Kortchmar, bassist Leland Sklar, and drummer Russell Kunkel, musicians who supported them the last time they co-headlined the club back in 1971…