At the time this album was recorded, Jefferson Airplane had expanded from a rock group into something of a San Francisco collective of musicians and launched its own record label, Grunt, necessitating a flow of product. As a result, there was a flurry of releases by the Airplane itself and several offshoots, with each of these records featuring several members of the loose aggregation informally dubbed "PERRO ("the Planet Earth Rock 'N' Roll Orchestra").
John McNeil had the idea of applying some of Gerry Mulligan's arranging principles to free jazz after arranging some of the late baritone saxophonist's music for a tribute band. Recruiting baritone saxophonist Alan Chase, bassist John Hebert, and the much in-demand drummer Matt Wilson, McNeil's experiment creates some provocative music. "Deadline" features a constantly shifting time signature, changing its mood throughout the piece, contrasting it with the more steady and loping "A Time to Go." McNeil's humorous take of "Bernie's Tune" (long a part of Mulligan's repertoire, though written by Bernie Miller) quickly takes it away from its roots for a wild ride on his horn into the world of free jazz. He also adapts Arnold Schoenberg's 12-tone classical music into his realm with his playful arrangement of "Schoenberg's Piano Concerto." Throughout the session the band is up to the challenges of McNeil's compelling music, producing a provocative CD that should open ears for decades to come.
A spectacular register of Elton John's mega-concert at the Central Park NY, recorded on September 13, 1980. The great artist presents his greatest hits from the 1970's and his performance, viewed by one of the largest crowds ever, is captured by several cameras and angles, including aerial shots from a helicopter…
John Martyn's follow-up to 1973's Inside Out is a much more song-oriented, less experimental effort which concentrates on the joys of home and family. Sunday's Child skillfully blends the sensual ("You Can Discover") with the sweet ("My Baby Girl"), the modern ("Root Love") with the traditional ("Spencer the Rover"), and the tormented ("Sunday's Child") with the satisfied ("Satisfied Mind," "Call Me Crazy") while retaining its cohesiveness. The record, his sixth on his own, shows the many facets of Martyn's playing, from his effects-driven electric guitar to his signature acoustic work, which can be both aggressive ("The Message") and gentle ("Lay It All Down"). This album contains a collection of strong original songs, as well as a pair of wonderful covers: the traditional British ballad "Spencer the Rover" and the country standard "Satisfied Mind." His last recording of new material for three years, Sunday's Child is a fine farewell to this period of Martyn's ever-changing career.