This two-fer CD pairs 1972's Live at the Lighthouse with the less impressive, though still worthy, 1974 album Kharma, which was recorded at that year's Montreux Jazz Festival. As the head of a sextet on Live at the Lighthouse, Earland spearheaded some first-class soul-jazz, which integrated some funk and rock of the early '70s without sounding like a watered-down cocktail of all those styles (as many other soul-jazz-pop albums of the time did). The horn section of James Vass on sax and Elmer Coles on trumpet leaned more toward soul than jazz, as heard on the opening instrumental cover of Sly & the Family Stone's "Smilin'." The Carpenters' "We've Only Just Begun" wasn't the greatest tune to attempt, though Earland gamely put it into a boppish swing arrangement.
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music.
Discogs info: "First and unique pressing are 60 copies, 12 came with gatefold colour sleeve and booklet, 8 with black & white gatefold sleeve, 40 with single black & white sleeve."
This double-CD reissues the nine numbers from a former double LP, adding three previously unreleased tunes from the same Switzerland concert. The Steve Lacy Five (the leader on soprano, Steve Potts on alto and soprano, Irene Aebi on cello, violin and vocals, bassist Kent Carter and drummer Oliver Johnson) is at its best on scalar-based instrumentals such as the near-classic "Blinks." Some tunes utilize the voices of Aebi and Lacy, and these are often quite eccentric and for more selective tastes. But the many strong solos by Lacy and the highly underrated altoist Potts makes this two-fer of interest for followers of advanced jazz. This was always a well-organized and highly original group.
It might amaze anyone who only knows her for "Those Were the Days" to realize that of the 17 songs on this imported CD, only four appeared on either of Mary Hopkin's albums, and that only "Those Were the Days" has been available elsewhere on CD since the mid-'90s. Who would have thought she'd released that much music in just three years? This collection is partly related to the similarly titled 11-song LP compilation of Hopkin's work that appeared during 1972. That release was premature, a result of Apple Records' thrashing about trying to generate revenue, but time has made the need for such a collection a little more clear. Hopkin ended up leaving behind a considerable number of singles that never made it onto albums, all of which are featured here along with most of their B-sides; the latter are extremely important, because Hopkin usually preferred the B-sides, feeling they represented what she was really about as a singer far better than her A-sides.
Featuring: Paul Brady, Tim Hart, Royston Wood
The Johnstons were a family folk group who were immensely popular in Ireland in the late 1960s. They recorded both traditional and contemporary folk material, some of the latter straying into folk-rock and pop-folk areas on occasion.