Fruko, El Bueno – Ayunando (1973) Fruko y Sus Tesos

Released 1973
Disco Fuentes (LP 200748)

01 – Fruko Power
02 – Ayunando
03 – Tu Sufriras
04 – Yo Soy el Punto Cubano
05 – Lamentdo del Campesino
06 – Mosaico Santero: A Santa Bárbara – San Lázaro – A la Caridad del Cobre
07 – El Ausente
08 – Canto a Borinquen
09 – Pa’ Teso Yoi

Vocals: Joe Arroyo and Wilson Saoko
Trumpets: Jorge Gariria, Salvador Pasos
Trombones: Gonzalo Gómez, Freddy Ferrer
Timbales: Rafael Benitez
Conga – Fernando Villegas
Bongo: Jesús Villegas
Electric Piano: Luis Felipe Basto
Bass, arrangements: Fruko

Executive Producer: Jose Maria Fuentes E.
Produced by: Mario Rincon P
Musical Director: Fruko
Recording Engineer: Mario Rincon P.

Vinyl -> Pro-Ject RM-5SE turntable (with Sumiko Blue Point 2 cartridge, Speedbox power supply) > Creek Audio OBH-15 -> M-Audio Audiophile 2496 Soundcard -> Adobe Audition 3.0 at 24-bits 96khz -> Click Repair light settings, some isolated clicks removed using Audition -> dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced. Tags done with Foobar 2000


Anyone who has heard the compilations from the likes of Soundway Records or VampiSoul covering cumbia, salsa, or Latin funk sounds has no doubt had the tracks from Fruko jump right out at them. His band went through a variety of sounds over the 70s and I haven’t heard anything I didn’t like yet. Here we see him in a humorous counter-spin on the campy ‘bad boy’ image he had been using (modeled somewhat after Willie Colon’s album covers) on his earlier album art, by becoming the benevolent “Fruko the Good”!

Fruko’s discography is so huge, and I am familiar with such a small portion of it, that it’s difficult for me to say anything of much profundity. However, he is known to a lot of us non-Colombians for some of the funkier stuff he recorded as well as his bad-ass cumbias. But on this record, the only thing funky is the rather creepy and slightly nauseating album cover (thank the stars for the strategic use of glass decanters…) featuring Fruko in his best Bacchus impersonation, and there is no cumbia to had. This is pretty much a straight salsa album with strains of Latin Soul via the Nuyorican scene. Although I prefer Joe Arroyo’s vocals slightly over Wilson Saoko, Wilson definitely knows how to kick it on the more ‘soulful’ bits, and his singing on the wonderful “Lamento del campesino” is fantastic. The idea of having two lead singers in his band — both of them great, really – is just one of the things that makes Fruko and this record special. That, and the disturbing album cover. Check out the electric piano (Wurlitzer, I believe) work on this album too, in place of the more traditional acoustic piano. There isn’t a bad tune in the bunch, with some of my favorites being the title cut, “Mosaico Santero”, “El Ausente” (which has appeared on some compilations), and the tribute to ‘my people’ in Puerto Rico, “Canto a Boriquen.”

Oddly enough there are not just song samples but entire songs from this album available from the website of COLOMBIAN NATIONAL RADIO

I would like to say that personally I find my own vinyl rip much more satisfying to the ears…

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Ray Barretto – Indestructible (1973)

Ray Barretto
1973 Fania Records (SLP 00456)
2006 Reissue (FANIA1042232)

1. El Hijo De Obatala
2. El Diablo
3. Yo Tengo Un Amor
4. La Familia
5. La Orquesta
6. Llanto De Cocodrilo
7. Ay No
8. Indestructible

Produced by Ray Barretto
Arranged by Louie Cruz, Eddie Martinez & Louie Ramirez

Ray Barretto – conga, clave
“Little” Ray Romero – timbales
Tony Fuentes – bongo, cencerro
Edy Martinez – piano
Julio Romero – baby bass
Art “Artie” Webb – flute
Roberto Rodriguez – lead trumpet
Joseph “Papy” Roman – second trumpet
Manuel “Manny” Duran – third trumpet, flugelhorn
Pete “El Conde” Rodriguez – possibly maracas
Felo Barrio – guiro (3,5)
Menique – chorus (2,3,4,6,7,8)
Hector Lavoe – chorus (1,2,3,4,6,7,8)
Roberto Rodriguez – chorus (5)
Felo Barrio – chorus (5)
Willie Colon – chorus (1)
Tito Allen – lead vocal


After Ray Barretto’s band essentially fell apart when he was at the top of his game around the release of the `Our Latin Thing` film, he made a brief diversion into non-salsa jazz fusion (The Other Road) and then returned to form with this triumphant record and a new band. Along with the classic album cover, the original pressing also advertised a gimmick of an unbreakable LP made from kryptonite, leading some buyers to have allergic reactions and threaten with a class action suit. Fania was forced to withdraw the indestructible album and reissue it on plain old petroleum product. Now that we’ve contextualized the classic packaging, what can I say about the music? It’s classic early-70s Fania, full of descarga, guaracha, guapacha, and even a son thrown in for good measure. The latter, the beautiful “El Diablo” is actually my favorite cut on here. In the dark nights of the soul when I am battling my inner demons, I drag myself up off the floor where I am huddled in fetal position and turn on the stereo just to play THIS SONG really loud. Then I feel better. The rest of the album smokes and is top-shelf material, but man, this song just gets stuck in my head. There is a also a Gershwin quote tucked in there. I know a bunch of Puerto Ricans in New York playing son montuno is probably not going to cut it for you Cuban-music purists, but too f`ing bad for you if thats the case. Besides I am pretty sure there must have been a Cuban in the band somewhere. It`s a huge band. The new star on this album was vocalist Tito Allen, who makes a believer out of me right away, but the other secret weapon is Latin jazz flautist Art Webb. Art was from the exotic tropical island of Philadelphia and everything he plays is sunny.

The people over at descarga dot net love this album too, with a bunch of its editors having given it praise over the years:

Editor’s Pick:
“A super-duper-must-have! This record debuts his second Fania band and has a bunch of hits on it. Featuring Tito Allen on vocals and introducing Artie Webb on flute.” (Phil Riggio, 98/99 Catalog)
“My favorite Barretto CD with the hot Tito Allan kicking it on ‘El Hijo De Obatala,’ ‘La Orquesta,’ ‘Indestructible,’ ‘La Familia,’ and ‘Llanto De Cocodrilo.'” (Nelson Rodriguez, 98/99 Catalog)
“I love this album as much as I love Rican/Struction, but Indestructible has a charanga undertone that really reminds me of Orquesta Aragón. Brilliant arrangements by Louie Cruz, Eddie Martínez and Louie Ramírez.” (Rebeca Mauleón, 96/97 Catalog)
“Whenever a friend or student wants to know what salsa is, this is the album I recommend. Little Ray Romero absolutely smokes and the piano artistry is second to none. Great tunes, solos, coros and inspiraciones.” (Chuck Silverman, 96/97 Catalog) (DR, 2010-09-01)

You know that when anyone uses the word “super-duper”, they mean business.

Check this out if you don’t already know it!

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Baden Powell – É de lei (1972) (aka Images On Guitar)

baden powell
baden powell

Baden Powell
“É de lei”
Released 1972 on Philips (6349.036)
01 – Até Eu (Baden Powell / Paulo César Pinheiro)
02 – Petite Waltz (Baden Powell)
03 – Violão Vagabundo (Baden Powell / Paulo César Pinheiro)
04 – Conversa Comigo Mesmo (Baden Powell)
05 – Blues à Volonté (Baden Powell / Janine de Waleyne)
06 – Sentimentos Se Você Pergunta Nunca Vai Saber (Baden Powell)
07 – É de Lei (Baden Powell / Paulo César Pinheiro)
08 – Canto (Baden Powell)

Baden Powell – guitar,vocal
Janine de Valeyne – vocal
Ernesto Ribeiro Goncalvez – bass
Joaquim Paes Henrique – drums
Alfredo Bessa – percussion

Vinyl -> Pro-Ject RM-5SE turntable (with Sumiko Blue Point 2 cartridge, Speedbox power supply) > Creek Audio OBH-15 -> M-Audio Audiophile 2496 Soundcard -> Adobe Audition 3.0 at 24-bits 96khz -> Click Repair light settings -> dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced. Tags done with Foobar 2000

This is a truly breathtaking album, one of the most progressive records I’ve heard by the great Baden Powell. A lot of the album is instrumental, but the vocals from Janine de Valeyne truly take those tracks to another sphere of existence, giving a baroque twist to the compositions (although I do have one friend who finds her vocals too operatic, I politely disagree with him). Baden’s own voice is technically-less-than-perfect but in other ways it is a perfect foil for his guitar playing, which is almost TOO perfect — his voice reminds us that he is human and not a machine! When the two of them sing together, the mixture is like sand and silk, and I fully approve. This is a unique record in Baden’s discography but it is a good example of why his music can be so hard to categorize, pushing boundaries between bossa nova, samba, jazz, classical. It is Baden Powell, and that’s all that needs to be said. For me, the monster cut on this album is “Blues à Volonté” where everyone just cuts loose in a 9-minute groove, complete with scat singing from both Baden and Janine. This tune convinces me that Baden Powell is the only Brazilian guitarist to actually understand the blues of black North America. And then there are other tracks full of ethereal beauty, like Sentimentos Se Você Pergunta Nunca Vai Saber, and Canto, the latter of which receives a good musical analysis in the review references below.

This album has been repackaged and reissued in a variety of ways: as “Images on Guitar” in Germany, in a double-CD set that includes all the MPS label recordings he made, and as part of an expensive 13-CD box set that is no longer in print.

There exists a wonderful German website devoted to Baden Powell that is a unparalleled resource for those interested in his massive body of work, which can be confusing to get a grip on since his recordings were issued in different countries with different titles and different album artwork and on different labels (often on different labels in the SAME country, it should be noted), then repackaged over the years in even more permutations. The site – Brazil On Guitar which you can find here – helps make sense of all this but also has attentive, serious reviews of the music. I have taken the liberty of reproducing the review for this album in its entirety. Not only did I learn a few things from it, but I concur completely with its aesthetic assessments:


After his japanese studio recording in April 1971, this record was the third and last recording for MPS in cooperation with the Japanese Canyon label in October 1971. BP found a new quartet with Ernesto Ribeiro-Goncalves, Alfredo Bessa and the drummer Joaquim Paes Henriques, the last one would accompany him in studio and on stage until 1974. However, after this recording the quartet split up. The following recordings three weeks later were recorded without them. In 1990 Baden, Ernesto and Alfredo would work again together on the re-recording of the “Afro Sambas”.

BP’s Images on Guitar is conceptionally one of the best records of the seventies. Hardly any other record sounds as thematically closed as Images on Guitar or Canto on Guitar. While the last Quartet recordings had their focus on Afro-Brazilian music he was now playing his own compositions. Elaborate themes used elements from Jazz, Baroque, Blues and Funk. These combinations would remain unrepeated. Many of these themes were only recorded once.

Ate Eu can be seen as an continuation of the three last Quartet recordings of December, 1970. However Petite Valse seems to be the true introduction to this record. This title would be the first in many of his concerts.
While Baden Powell (1971) was an hommage to Garoto and Pixinguinha this record can be seen as an hommage to Janine de Waleyne. The complete title can only be found on the MPS cover: Images on Guitar / Baden + Janine.

In four duets BP gives his favourite singer the necessary space for her impressive voice. The dynamics of these compositions increase and culminate in Blues a volonte. It is a powerful and cheerful improvisation and the best example of the inspirational work of everyone involved in the recording. Conversa Comigo Mesmo (dialogue with myself) seems like a well-done extension of his 1966 recording Invencao Em 7 ½.
E de Lei, in an instrumental and accurate arrangement, is followed by the inspiring and evocative Canto.

Canto: the guitar takes up the theme of the vocals. In an short rhythmic part this seems reversed. The guitar gives the impulse. The last note of the vocal remains unaccompanied and is followed by an altered D-minor chord (Dm9/#11). This chord shows great tension. The powerful quint on the bass strings is eased by guide tones as chord extensions (Bb and E) on the higher strings Finally the motiv of descending perfect fifths is repeated, played only by the guitar. The piece ends with a straight quint sound (D,A,d). This seems like a confirmation or easing. Maybe Canto tries to show the importance of the voice as the original instrument, the instrumental player trying to imitate the voice.

The cover art of the German release is one of the most beautiful of BP’s covers.
The Japanese CD release lacks a reprint of the gatefold cover. The record was released as E De Lei in Brazil in 1972, with a release on CD in 2003.
The Japanese CD release is from 1998 (POCJ 2556), in 1997 the record (except for one track) was released on the CD: Jazz Meets Brasil
(MPS 533 133-2). A re-edition with the original cover art remains to be released.


Vinyl rip is from a first pressing in VG+ condition with light surface noise in places but very dynamic and robust. As usual, I prefer to leave a potential click or pop alone when in doubt, rather than remove ‘wanted’ audio (in particular, the very last track, “Canto”). Single clicks were removed after Click Repair, but very sparingly and I am sure I didn’t get them all. There are other vinyl rips of this floating around the interwebs but I happen to think mine is “special”. There is also a 24-bit/96khz fileset available if anyone is interested.

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password: vibes


Eumir Deodato – Os Catedráticos 73 (1973)

Eumir Deodato
“Os Catedráticos 73”
originally released 1973
This reissue 2008 on Atração Fonográfica (ATR41066)

Remastered by Cláudio Abuchaim
This album is no stranger to the blogosphere, being posted about on quite a few blogs featuring Brazilian music and rare groove delights. This post highlights a recent reissue on the label Atração Fonográfica that has given us a new remastering and fancy fold-out digipack graphic design, the same they have used for their other Deodato issues. I suspect that this album is so popular among rare groove enthusiasts because it has the same musical sensibility of post-bossa Brazilian jazz fusion infused with North American soul and funk that characterized his more famous recordings for CTI, but here they shine completely free of the sterile and sterilizing production prison of Creed Taylor. One other difference, however, is that Deodato almost exclusively plays the Hammond organ on this disc, with some occasional electric and acoustic pianos hanging back in the mix on a few cuts. An ignorant reviewer at AMG (which I realize is a redundant phrase..) talks about this record as some revolutionary marriage of the organ with Brazilian music that hadn’t been done before, which is of course utter bullshit — Walter Wanderley and Ed Lincoln were exploring this territory long before Sr.Eumir. But Deodato definitely takes the funky factor up a notch, and also incorporates the rhythms and cadence of other Latin American musical traditions — something he most definitely picked up in multicultural North America, and *not* in Brazil. And like all of Deodato’s work, there is a dose of “lounge” in the sound that is either an asset or a detriment depending on your orientation, but this album manages to swing pretty hard even when it gets ‘light,’ and anyone in their right mind has to give props for the arranging skills shown here. It should be mentioned that Os Catedráticos was also the name of a jazz-bossa combo that Deodato put together in the 60s, but as far as I can tell this record is a total reinvention with completely different musicians involved.The lineup on this album is rather crowded and confusing, so I have taken the liberty of using Doug Payne’s breakdown of it which is the most thorough I have seen, albeit a little tricky to read. It’s worth noting the presence of drummer Mamão from Azymuth and percussionist Orlandivo. Payne has also given a release history of the various labels this has appeared on (minus this more recent reissue on Atração). The album has also been issued as ‘Skyscrapers’ in some countries, with different song titles in English, and there has been at least one bootleg version on vinyl with the original cover according to Note also the writing credits on two tracks to the Brothers Valle.

from the website of

Eumir Deodato (p,org,arr,cond); Durval Ferreira (g, el-g); Zé Menezes (12 string g); Sergio Barroso (el-b); Ivan Conti (Mamão) (d); Bebeto (cga); Helcio Milito, Orlandivo (perc).

overdubbed in New York City: September and October 1972
Marvin Stamm, John Frosk (tp,flhrn); Phil Bodner (ts, c-flute); Romeo Penque (bs, g-flute); Eumir Deodato (el-p,arr,cond).

a. Arranha Céu (Skyscrapers) (Eumir Deodato) – 4:49
b. Flap (Marcos Valle/Paulo Sergio Valle) – 3:17
c. Rodando Por Aí (Rudy’s) (Eumir Deodato) – 3:09
d. O Jogo (Soccer Game) (Pacífico Mascarenhas) – 2:28
e. Atire A 1a Pedra (aka The First Stone) (Ataulfo Alves-Mário Lago) – 3:18
f. Puma Branco (The White Puma) (aka Elizeth)
(Marcos Valle/Paulo Sergio Valle) – 3:30
g. Passarinho Diferente (The Bird) (aka The Byrd) (Eumir Deodato) – 1:52
h. Extremo Norte (The Gap) (Eumir Deodato) – 3:52
i. Tô Fazendo Nada (Down The Hill) (Eumir Deodato) – 2:55
j. Menina (Boy Meets Girl) (Eumir Deodato) – 3:10
k. Carlota & Carolina (Carly & Carole) (Eumir Deodato) – 3:12

Issues: a-k on Equipe (Br) EQS 100.001, Ubatuqui (Sp) UBCD-105 [CD], Bomba (Jap) BOM-22068 [CD]. a-k also on Irma (It) 509563-1, Irma (It) 509563-2 [CD] titled SKYSCRAPERS.

Samplers: b & f also on Irma (It) 507901-2 [CD] titled SUMMER SAMBA.

Producer: Eumir Deodato. Executive Producer: Oswaldo Cadaxo (Equipe (Br) EQS 100.001). Eumir Deodato, Arnaldo DeSouteiro. Executive Producer: Carl Rosenthal (Ubatuqui (Sp) UBCD-105 [CD], Bomba (Jap) BOM-22068 [CD], Irma (It) 509563-1, Irma (It) 509563-2 [CD]).

Engineer: Ary Perdigão & Walter, George Klabin

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password: vibes

Cal Tjader – Solar Heat (1968)


Cal Tjader
“Solar Heat”
Released 1968 on Skye Records (SK-1)
Reissued 1994 on DCC Jazz Compact Classics (DJZ-618)

1. Ode To Billy Joe 2:55 (Gentry)
2. Never My Love 2:48 (D. R. Addrissi)
3. Felicidade 2:35 (Jobim , De Moraes)
4. Mambo Sangria 2:38 (Tjader)
5. Here 3:25 (David MacKay)
6. Fried Bananas 2:36 (McFarland)
7. Amazon 2:25 (Donato)
8. La Bamba 2:56 (Tjader)
9. Eye Of The Devil 2:16 (McFarland)
10. Solar Heat 2:30 (Tjader)

Arrangements by Gary McFarland

This is a short but sweet record by the still-under-appreciated Cal Tjader. Two things happened to me this week in relation to this album. I found myself listening to this in my car, twice on the same day (a rarity in itself), and then later received an email from a blog follower who mentioned that he first came to this blog expecting to find lots of albums featuring the vibraphone. And that got me reflecting — DAMN! There really aren’t that many records featuring the vibes at Flabbergasted Vibes. How did that happen? And particularly – Cal Tjader has been on my “short list” for a post since the beginning, but alas, that list has grown ever longer since then.

So here it is, the first of several Cal Tjader posts, and this one is a solid winner. Just look at the lineup of musicians, to start with:

Vibraphone – Cal Tjader, Gary McFarland
Upright Bass – Bobby Rodriguez
Electric Bass – Chuck Rainey
Electric Piano, Harpsichord – Mike Abene
Organ – João Donato
Percussion – Orestes Vilato , Ray Barreto
Drums – Grady Tate (who is left off the album jacket, but credited in the liner notes…)

“Solar Heat” was the first of a handful of albums that Cal recorded and released (in rapid succession) for the short-lived Skye label, for which this record was the inauguration. The title cut is one bad-ass piece of soul-jazz groove that does everything exactly right in performance, production, conception, and pure coolness. I almost feel like you don’t deserve to preview the track before hearing the whole album, that you have not earned the right… But then I discovered the tune was released as a 7-inch single anyway so my sanctimonious fanfare comes crashing down. Check it out and watch the record spin:

Still not convinced you need to embrace this record like a lost orphan? Well then check out this uptempo version of Vinicius & Jobim’s “Felicidade.” It shouldn’t work as well as it does – it’s upbeat happy foot-tapping buoyancy is practically the antithesis of bossa nova, enough to make João Donato’s comadres back home roll their eyes and make jokes about him as a male piano-tickling Carmen Miranda. (*note: I have no proof that this ever happened.)

Speaking of things that don’t work, I always hated the song “Never My Love.” For the first few bars of this version, I held out a hope that Cal Tjader could rescue the tune from the schmaltz graveyard in the sonic netherworld to which it has been banished in my universe, but even he is not powerful enough to inject integrity into this godawful tune. This would be more forgivable if the song didn’t follow a good version of Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode to Billy Joe” which is a GREAT song that nobody can ruin. Well you can’t have everything, I suppose.

Other noteworthy nuggets are João Donato’s own ‘Amazon’, another smoking jazz-bossa, and the two Gary McFarland compositions “Fried Bananas” and “Eye of the Devil,” which was written about McFarland’s membership in and subsequent disillusionment with Anton Lavey’s Church of Satan. But what is more demonic about all this is – DOUBLE VIBES PENETRATION! Two vibraphones, at the SAME TIME!

Did I mention that Ray Barreto and Bobby Rodriguez are on this album? Those guys are great. I really like those guys. Oh, and Chuck Rainey. He is a swell guy too.

This album’s rarity was briefly alleviated by VampiSoul issuing it together with “Cal Tjader Sounds Off on Burt Bacharach”, but if I am not mistaken that disc is out of print. I have never had that pressing but this DCC reissue almost certainly sounds much much better in terms of audio quality.

Joe Henderson – Canyon Lady (1975)

joe henderson

Joe Henderson
Canyon Lady
1975 Milestone Records

A1 Tres Palabras 10:11
A2 Las Palmas 9:54
B1 Canyon Lady 9:07
B2 All Things Considered 8:38

Recorded in October 1973 in Berkeley, California, at Fantasy Studios
Originally released in 1975 as Milestone M-9057

Congas – Francisco Aguabella , Victor Pantoja
Drums – Eric Gravatt
Engineer – Jim Stern
Flute – Hadley Caliman (tracks: A1, B1-2) , Ray Pizzi (tracks: A1) , Vincent Denham (tracks: A1)
Piano – Mark Levine (tracks: A1, B1-2)
Electric Piano – George Duke (tracks: A1-B1)
Tenor Saxophone – Joe Henderson
Timbales – Carmelo Garcia
Trombone – Julian Priester (tracks: A1, B1-2) , Nicholaas TenBroek (tracks: A1)
Trumpet – John Hunt (tracks: A1) , Luis Gasca (tracks: A2-B2) , Oscar Brashear (tracks: A1, B1-2)

Produced by Orrin Keepnews

joe henderson

The first album I ever heard by Joe Henderson was “Inner Urge” and I wondered why I had never listened to him before. With Elvin Jones and McCoy Tyner on loan from Coltrane, and Bob Cranshaw holding down the double-bass, the record just blew me away. Thereafter I took it upon myself to seek out his other Blue Note recordings and continued to find myself consistently enjoying them. It was a long time, however, before I began paying attention to his Milestone albums, like the one featured here.

For a person who had such a long career, Henderson is one of the most underrated jazz musicians of his generation. In some ways this is understandable — although he has released plenty of material, in terms of recorded output he was much less prolific than many of his peers, at times taking breaks of two years or more between releases. It is particularly unfortunate that the Milestone albums are still overlooked, with the majority of them not seeing a release on CD until the 1994 boxset titled, appropriately enough “The Milestone Years.” For most of that material, the box is the only legitimate release in the digital realm, with the individual albums still never having been issued as separated compact discs, making them accessible only to those willing to invest in a hefty boxset. A few exceptions were issued as part of the Fantasy’s ‘Original Jazz Classics’ series, which includes this set recorded in San Francisco in 1973 and released two years later as “Canyon Lady.” Less experimental than most of his other early-70s material, it is an intriguing mixture of Latin and soul jazz topped with Henderson’s passionate tenor sax. The configurations of musicians are stellar and feature arrangements by Luis Gasca who also contributes trumpet as well as a handful of other instruments like flugelhorn and assorted percussion. George Duke features on electric piano on some of the album, and tight grooves are underscored by the congeros Victor Pantoja and Francisco Aguabela and timbale player Carmelo Garcia. Pianist Mark Levine is prominent throughout and also contributes half the compositions on the album.

The album didn’t grab me right away, starting out rather slowly with the heavily-orchestrated “Tres Palabras” which builds into a more sweeping, gripping crescendo about two thirds of the way through. The following number “Las Palmas,” the only Henderson original here, quickly picks up the pace and kicks the album into high gear. Ten minutes of riffing in an angular 6/8 time signature, it is the most “out” that this record gets and it is pure joy to listen to. The second half of the album does not disappoint either. Levine’s compositions veer towards a more mainstream Latin jazz sound, but punctuated with trippy electric piano by George Duke and Henderson’s ability to be both rough and sensual simultaneously, it never gets boring. The final cut features an all-out percussion jam at the five minute mark that goes on for nearly three minutes before leading into the final choruses that close the album. Production-wise the record has a slickness very much in the style of CTI Records so popular at the time, and while this can often be a shortcoming in that label’s stable of artists, this album somehow avoids the sterility endemic to Creed Taylor’s production skills. This may not be the most adventurous place to dip into Henderson’s Milestone period, but it is not a bad place to start nonetheless.

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