When “One Step Closer” was released in 1980, critics and many fans declared the Doobie Brothers’ ninth release the worst album of their career. And it was true that the Doobies were never further away from their biker boogie rock roots than at the beginning of the 80s.
In 2015 the British singer, songwriter, producer, founder and bandleader of Mamas Gun, Andy Platts, and the American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and arranger, Shawn Lee, combined their talents, their love for melodic Californian soft rock of the late seventies and their penchant for catchy hooklines and rousing grooves on one album that nobody expected.
London-based multi-instrumentalist, composer and “Silver Fox” Shawn Lee has long been known for his boundless musicality and versatility. After recently indulging his passion for West Coast music with Young Gun Silver Fox on the superb album “Canyons” and bowing to early 80’s electro funk with “Shawn Lee’s Incredible Leg Warmer Band”, he has now teamed up with the energetic Estonian musician and producer Misha Panfilov to set the sails of creativity and cruise to the “Paradise Cove”.
Steely Dan’s “Gaucho” is considered by many to be a megalomaniac work of two drug-fired perfectionists – and when you look at the facts, there seems to be a lot of truth in it. The album took two years to record, it devoured a thousand recording hours and over 40 studio musicians, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker spent $ 100,000 extra for the innovative processing of the drum beats – and all that for an album length of only thirty-seven minutes. If they hadn’t runout of money, who knows how long they would have worked on it.
“It Is What It Is” is probably the album I listen to most at the moment. You follow Stephen Bruner alias Thundercat on his fourth album through grief, madness, teenage humour escapades and playfulness – and you get lost or rise up in this unique, complex jazz, fusion, funk, R&B, soft rock and manga cosmos, whose only constant is the musicality of this exceptional bassist.
“Hotel California” was the fifth album by The Eagles, released in 1976. Their biggest commercial success, with over 16 million albums sold in the USA alone, marked in some ways the swan song of the band and of an entire era.
In times when we are unfortunately restricted worldwide in our freedom of movement, the new album “Yacht” by American multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and producer Fernando Perdomo comes just in time to at least mentally carry us away to the palm-lined sunny beaches of California.
The American jazz pianist, R&B singer, composer, producer and songwriter Patrice Rushen is a fixed star in the Jazz and R&B world for decades. One of my personal favorites is her 82’s album “Straight From The Heart”.
James Mason was a member of Roy Ayers’ legendary jazz-funk band of the late 70s. His most prominent appearance as a guitarist was in 1977 on Ayers’ classic cut “Running Away”. In the same year Mason recorded his debut solo album “Rhythm of Life” for the New York independent label Chiaroscuro.