Following the critical acclaim and enthusiastic response to Heavy Sugar: The Pure Essence of New Orleans R&B, compiler Stuart Colman has dug deep into the city’s unique recording legacy to bring about a sumptuous second helping. In addition to the requisite sourcings, the net has been cast wider still in order to focus on material gleaned from such picayune outlets as Rustone, Pontchartrain, Athens, Winner and Spinett. There is a very good reason for this.
With the Skylark "experiment" behind him, Paul Desmond reverted back to the relaxed quartet format that suited him well in the past. The reason? Through Jim Hall, he found a little-known, splendid guitarist in Toronto named Ed Bickert who became his new gigmate in 1974, and this album was meant to show his discovery off. In fact, it sparked a Desmond renaissance where he regained a good deal of the witty spark and erudite cool of his collaborations with Hall, no matter how unfashionable it was to play this way in 1974.
For the T. Rex fanatic – and, chances are, if you own more than two albums by Marc Bolan, you are – Acoustic Warrior is a fascinating collection, boasting 15 previously unreleased acoustic takes on such classic songs as "20th Century Boy," "Get It On," "Telegram Sam," "Metal Guru," "Jeepster," "Ballrooms of Mars," "Slider" and "Cosmic Dancer." There are no real revelations and the sound quality is a bit uneven, but there's a ragged charm to these recordings that makes it worth seeking out for hardcore fans.