Elite professional poker players, Phil Laak and Antonio Esdandiari, travel to New Orleans in search of high stakes underground poker games.
With 1973's Traveling Underground, Stories changed its name to Ian Lloyd & Stories and unveiled a new five-man lineup. Lead singer Lloyd (a whiskey-voiced belter comparable to Rod Stewart and Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant), guitarist Steve Love, and drummer Bryan Madey were still on board…
Still one of the leading lights of the Australian strand of guitar-strummed, literate indie pop-rock, Underground Lovers have influenced the sound of many local bands over the years, from The Sleepy Jackson to Blank Realm and on to Shining Bird. They'll no doubt continue to hold that sphere of influence with their latest and one of their best albums.
During the 1960s and '70s, Herbie Mann continually searched for new playing contexts in which to place his flute. In December 1973, he traveled to London for five days of recording with a group of British rock musicians. The result was London Underground, an album tilted much more in a rock direction than the soul and R&B-drenched recordings he had been making for the previous five years. Highlights on this album include the Rolling Stones' "Bitch" (then-Stone Mick Taylor played guitar on this album), Thunderclap Newman's "Something in the Air," and "Paper Sun," from the Traffic canon. The real highlight, however, came about with the addition of Stephane Grappelli on the Donovan pop hit "Mellow Yellow."
Coming as it did between two of Don Ellis' greatest records (Autumn and At Fillmore), New Don Ellis Band Goes Underground was a disappointment. The dozen concise performances are generally overarranged, the solos are too brief, and the melodies (with two exceptions) are not memorable. The ridiculously complex "Bulgarian Bulge" and "Eli's Coming" (which would soon join the repertoire of Maynard Ferguson) are the standouts, but the other R&B-oriented material, which often has so-so vocals by Patti Allen, is quite forgettable. One of trumpeter Don Ellis' lesser efforts.