Groove Holmes and Gerald Wilson – a wonderful combination on this late 60s session – in a style that's everything great about mainstream LA jazz at the time! Wilson really has a way with the charts on the session – and although the group is large, they've got a lean, clean sound that bounces along nicely – slightly funky at times, always soulful at others – a perfect backdrop for the well-played Hammond lines that Groove brings to the set! The album's not as much of an all-out organ wailer as some of Holmes' albums for Prestige – but that's a-ok with us, because Wilson's group features some other great players too – including Dennis Budimir on guitar, Tony Ortega and Arnie Watts on saxes, and Paul Humphrey on drums!
One of the bands that came to Warner Bros. in their buyout of Autumn Records were the Tikis. They had only recorded a handful of singles, and in terms of musical direction and group identity, they definitely had potential. Enter producer Lenny Waronker and session musician /arranger /songwriter /general musical architect Van Dyke Parks. The two of them brought then-drummer Ted Templeman up to the front as co-lead vocalist, along with Dick Scoppettone, and created a soft-rock identity for the group, renaming them Harpers Bizarre. Their first single was perhaps their greatest shot: a cover of the then-brand new Paul Simon song, "Feelin' Groovy." Buttressed by an amazing Leon Russell arrangement and some great performances from the A-list of L.A. session cats, the song quickly went into the Top Ten. The resulting album is almost as great as the single, with songs by Van Dyke Parks ("Come to the Sunshine"), Randy Newman ("Debutante's Ball"), and others. An excellent and definitive slice of California soft pop.