Victor Shanley had once been New York City's most-acclaimed crime-fighting, crusading District Attorney and the scourge of the underworld. But the workaholic demands of the job led him to drinking and alcoholism. Dismissed from office in disgrace and divorced by his wife, Carol, Shanley soon found himself a gutter-drunk. But when hired by gangster Al Kruger, racketeer in charge of a hot-car ring, Shanley is soon back on top and made rich in the process, and relishing the revenge he had taken on the law-and-order faction he bitterly thought had done him an injustice.
Midnight Ramble, released in 1983 on Milestone, was saxophonist Hank Crawford's return to recording after a four-year break following his departure from Kudu. It was the beginning of a decades-long relationship with the prestigious jazz label. Crawford, a veteran of Ray Charles, had long been associated with soul-jazz groove-oriented music. On this date, he delivers a solid, straight-ahead session with some notable surprises. The first is that he plays not only his trademark alto saxophone, but also electric piano. Next is his rhythm section: Dr. John on piano and organ, Charles "Flip" Greene on bass, guitarist Calvin Newborn (brother of Phineas), and stone-cold soul-jazz drummer Bernard Purdie. But that isn't all. Crawford also includes five other horns: two trumpets, trombone, bass saxophone, and David "Fathead" Newman on tenor. Needless to say, Crawford's idea of "straight-ahead" still contains plenty, plenty soul. The program is solid, top to bottom; it's amiable, relaxed, and deeply rooted in the blues.