Opening with the Head Hunters version of "Watermelon Man" and closing with the electro-embracing crossover hit, "Rockit," Mr. Funk is a semi-random skip across Hancock's Columbia recordings, and it technically spans 1973-1983 (at least going by release dates), rather than the 1972-1988 range printed on its cover.
This 1998 release by Brazilian percussion god Dom Um Ramao marks his first solo recording in more than 30 years. Romao has been an in-demand session player since the mid-'60s and was one of the founding members of Weather Report. His own albums on the late, great Muse label, one named eponymously and the other entitled Spirit of the Times, were rhythm orgies that pasted together all of the traditions he'd worked in up until that time: from Sergio Mendes and Sinatra to Flora, Airto, and Weather Report. Rhythm Traveler is a return, of sorts, in that it is an engagement with Brazilian song forms from both folk musics and popular song, all translated through a jazzman's manner of hearing.
Mr. Mister was an American pop rock band most popular in the 1980s. The band's name came from an inside joke about a Weather Report album called Mr. Gone where they referred to each other as "Mister This" or "Mister That", and eventually selected "Mr. Mister." Mr. Mister may be considered as representative of the melodic sound of 1980s pop rock. Welcome to the Real World was the second album by band Mr. Mister. Released in 1985, it climbed to #1 on the Billboard album charts during early 1986. Two singles from the album, "Broken Wings" and "Kyrie" both went to #1 on the US singles chart. Another single from the album, "Is It Love," was another top 10 hit for the band, peaking at #8 on the Billboard chart.
Ten years after his first all-blues album, From the Cradle, Eric Clapton released Me and Mr. Johnson, an album-length tribute to his hero, the legendary bluesman Robert Johnson. Not that this is the first time Clapton has paid tribute to Johnson…
Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence: Soundtrack from the Original Motion Picture is a soundtrack album for the 1983 film. All compositions on the album are by Sakamoto except "23rd Psalm", which is a traditional piece, and both "Ride, Ride, Ride" tracks, by Stephen McCurdy. In addition, David Sylvian contributed lyrics and vocals on "Forbidden Colours".
The quality of Chet Baker's product was so varied during the last decade or more of his life that recording sessions varied markedly. For this "remixed version" of Mr. B Baker sounds a tad tired, though his chops are in fine form. The studio recording captures the trumpeter with highly sympathetic and self-effacing pianist Michel Grallier and bassist Ricardo Del Fra, both of whom engage in the leader's brand of sensitivity. There are no vocals by the trumpeter, but plenty of improvising. The interesting tune selection features a few songs played often by Baker (such as Wayne Shorter's "Dolphin Dance" and Horace Silver's "Strollin'"), but several that are not associated with him at all (Grallier's "White Blues" and his gorgeous "Father X-mas," to name a couple). There is a sadness permeating the trumpeter's sound throughout, exacerbated by the lazy, sometimes sluggish, tempos. A deep and touching beauty can be felt, marking this as one of Chet's best from the period.
Freddie Green seldom led sessions and seldom played lead. Instead, he formed part of the classic rhythm section that gave the Count Basie band its steady pulse. This rare date finds Green with tenor Al Cohn, trumpeter Joe Newman, trombonist Henry Coker, pianist Nat Pierce, bassist Milt Hinton, and either Jo Jones or Osie Johnson on drums. Mr. Rhythm, in fact, will remind many of a good Basie set. The steady drums, bass, and guitar on "Back and Forth" and "Something's Gotta Give" push the music forward, swinging ever so lightly. Nat Pierce's minimalist piano work also owes something to Basie.
Although Eric Martin is best-known as the lead singer of rock quartet Mr. Big, he was a seasoned music veteran before that outfit in 1988…