The name Tommy Shaw will always be synonymous with Styx, the hugely successful American pomp rock band that notched up a series of multiplatinum albums during the 70s and early 80s. After leaving Styx in 1983 he went on to carve out a solo career, resulting in a trio of well received albums before forming supergroup Damn Yankees alongside Ted Nugent and former Night Ranger songwriter Jack Blades. ‘Ambition’ was Tommy’s third solo album and is generally regarded as the best of the batch. Teaming up with British producer Terry Thomas, the former leader and creative heart of cult AOR band Charlie, and recorded in London, musical assistance was provided by a number of top notch session players…
Bobby McFerrin is the debut album by Bobby McFerrin, released in 1982. Vocal virtuoso Bobby McFerrin ranks among the most distinctive and original singers in contemporary music – equally adept in jazz, pop, and classical settings, his octave-jumping trademark style, with its rhythmic inhalations and stop-on-a-dime shifts from falsetto to deep bass notes often sounds like the work of at least two or three singers at once, while at the same time sounding quite unlike anyone else.
Vibist Lionel Hampton's rhythmic abilities haven't been dulled by age, and he displayed his proficiency on this date, which includes the enjoyable bonus track "Moon Over My Annie." There was no wasted energy or unnecessary or exaggerated solos; just bluesy, assertive, muscular arrangements, accompaniment, and ensemble segments. Highlights included "Vibraphone Blues," "Trick or Treat" and "Swingle Jingle," in which Hampton shifted from vibes to piano.
Hailing from England, Ashkan made blues-oriented hard rock, with influences of Free and Black Cat Bones and a little more madness. The vocals are at times reminiscant of Mike Harrison (of Spooky Tooth) or elsewhere like Joe Cocker. The band’s sound is propelled by Bailey’s hoarse growl and the band’s penchant for screaming guitars. While most songs stay with the progressive meets blues sound found in “Going Home” or “Practically Never Happens,” the band does vary that sound a bit, including the almost folk “Stop (Wait and Listen)” and early Traffic in “Slightly Country”. Released in 1969, “In From The Cold” remains as Ashkan’s only album.