Quincy Jones had jazz fans wondering when he released his killer Gula Matari album in 1970. That set, with gorgeous reading of Paul Simon's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" with a lead vocal by none other than Valerie Simpson, pointed quite solidly into the direction Jones was traveling: unabashedly toward pop, but with his own trademark taste, and sophistication at the forefront of his journey. Its follow-up, Smackwater Jack, marked Jones, along with Phil Ramone and Ray Brown in the producer's chair, and knocked purist jazz fans on their heads with its killer meld of pop tunes, television and film themes, pop vocals, and big-band charts.
Quincy Jones followed up Smackwater Jack and his supervision of Donny Hathaway's Come Back Charleston Blue soundtrack with this, a mixed bag that saw him inching a little closer toward the R&B-dominated approach that reached full stride on the following Body Heat and peaked commercially with The Dude. That said, the album's most notorious cut is The Streetbeater, better known as the Sanford & Son theme, a novelty for most but also one of the greasiest, grimiest instrumental fusions of jazz and funk ever laid down, while its second most noteworthy component is a drastic recasting of Summer in the City, as heard in the Pharcyde's Passin' Me By, where the frantic, bug-eyed energy of the Lovin' Spoonful original is turned into a magnetically lazy drift driven by Eddie Louis' organ, Dave Grusin's electric piano, and Valerie Simpson's voice. (Simpson gives the song a Summertime-like treatment.)
For his 1995 release Lost Within the Halls of Fame, celebrated singer Eric Burdon delivers more of what listeners expect from him with songs like "I Will Be With You Again," "Is There Another World," "Memories of Anna," "American Dreams," and "Going Back to Memphis." Though a good effort, many longtime fans will probably enjoy his earlier works with the Animals, the New Animals, War, or even the Eric Burdon Band a little more. Still, this album is worth adding to your Eric Burdon collection.
John Daniel "Danny" Tate (born November 10, 1955) is an award-winning American musician, songwriter, composer, producer, and former Virgin Records recording artist, best known for penning songs covered by Jeff Healey, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tim McGraw, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Smithereens, Diesel, Nelson, David Lee Murphy, Billy Ray Cyrus, Doro Pesch, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Patti LaBelle, Walk the West, Cactus Brothers, Carla Olson, Danny Wilde and many others.