It may be hard to believe, but this is the CD premiere of this little-known, underrated, but quite important 5th release from such an amazing British progressive band! it was recorded in February 1974 (a whole year after violinist Dave Arbus departure, and now with Jo O'Donnell from Irish folk-rock band Mushroom on board) but released a whole year later by German Harvest label in striking, nude cover. Without a doubt it deserves for recognition. The band has offered a varied and well-arranged progressive-jazz-blues-rock songs stylistically similar to some of the tracks from the previous two albums (from 1971), but done in somewhat simpler and more consistent form. This CD has been expanded with many rare & unreleased live tracks!
Nancy Wilson's not the first name in bluesy jazz (check out Dinah Washington and Joe Williams for that), but she usually can enliven the form with her sophisticated and sultry style. That's made clear on her rendition of "Stormy Monday Blues," where she eschews blues clichés in favor of a husky airiness, at once referencing a lowdown mood and infusing it with a sense of buoyancy. This split is nicely essayed on Capitol's Blues and Jazz Sessions, as half the tracks ooze with Wilson's cocktail blues tone and the other find the jazz-pop chanteuse in a summery and swinging mood. Ranging from the big band blues of "I've Got Your Number" to the lilting bossa nova "Wave," Wilson handles all the varying dynamics and musical settings with aplomb. Featuring cuts from her '60s prime with the likes of Cannonball Adderley, Oliver Nelson, George Shearing, Gerald Wilson, and a host of top sidemen, this best-of disc offers a fine, off-the-beaten-path overview of Wilson's Capitol heyday.