A really special record from a really special group – one of two sublime 70s gems from Azteca – a wicked blend of jazz, funk, Latin, and soul – all put together by a young Coke Escovedo! Coke's ostensibly the leader of the group, but there's also a richly collaborative feel going on – a style that brings together jazz players like Tom Harrell on trumpet, Mel Martin on saxes, George Muribus on Fender Rhodes, and Flip Nunez on organ – and Latin players like Victor Pantoja on congas, Coke Escovedo on timbales, and Pete Escovedo on added percussion. In fact, the set's a key early example of the strength of the Escovedo family – and like their best later efforts, the set really stretches out and pushes the boundaries of conventional genres. There's also some great guest work from Lenny White on drums, Mike Nock on keyboards, and Neal Schon on guitars – and vocals are by a range of singers who really keep things fresh.
Rui Massena conducts the Fundação Orquestra Estúdio’s recording of David Chesky’s fantasy for children The Zephyrtine ballet. The characters throughout the ballet are represented by specific instruments; the two main characters, Ben and the Zephyrtine, are voiced by the piccolo and the French horn. The Zephyrtine is a wonderful adventure that revolves around a little boy from Vermont, Ben, who meets a magical Zephyrtine and journeys to the enchanted land of Eudora. Eudora is a Utopian society where people are different colors, red, blue, green, and yellow! Vegetables are not grown instead built in factories, ice cream grows on trees, and fish fly. When the Blue Princess is captured by Ib the monster, it is up to Ben to rescue her and save the kingdom. Children are taken on a thrilling journey where they learn the importance of friendship and accepting cultural diversity.
The surprising thing about K-Tel's staggering ten-disc box set burdened with the title Ultimate History of Rock & Roll is that it actually approaches delivering on its huge promise. Of course, a collection of this sort of any size is immediately sunk by lacking the presence of Elvis Presley or virtually any British act (only the Troggs and Tornadoes leap to mind). The focus here is on early rock & roll and rockabilly (Little Richard, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chubby Checker, Duane Eddy), the girl groups (the Angels, the Shirelles, the Shangri-Las, Lesley Gore, the Dixie Cups, the Chiffons) and an almost overwhelming concentration on the R&B side of rock (the Coasters, the Drifters, the Platters, the Del-Vikings, Ben E. King, the Clovers, the Duprees, the Olympics, the Penguins). Also well-represented is the increasingly white-bread '60s pop/rock artists: the Beach Boys, the Turtles, the Ventures, and the Association. For fans of the above types of music, Ultimate History of Rock & Roll is an immensely rewarding set which delivers with all the best tracks from the biggest artists. Just don't expect to find "Heartbreak Hotel" or "Can't Buy Me Love."
BBR is proud to bring you UP THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD, the sixth instalment of our Salsoul Orchestra reissues. THE SALSOUL ORCHESTRA was the brainchild of once MFSB member and legendary vibraphonist, Vincent Montana Jr. Formed in 1974, THE SALSOUL ORCHESTRA, house band for the remarkable Salsoul Records, sometimes featured up to 50 members amongst its ranks including a number of former musicians from MFSB. THE SALSOUL ORCHESTRA began an eight-year recording period in 1975 releasing eleven sensational albums during that time featuring production input from, Stan Lucas, Patrick Adams, Bunny Sigler and Tom Moulton through the years.