Legendary American singer and pianist Leon Russell has entertained the world for five decades, getting his start as an in-demand Wrecking Crew session player and playing on hundreds of hit records before he began releasing his own albums in 1967. Leon Russell's latest studio album, titled Life Journey, will be released on April 1, 2014. This 12-track album features newly-written, original songs and Russell's turns on classics that resonate with the two-time GRAMMY® winner as important to his musical trajectory. The album is produced by Tommy LiPuma and executive produced by Elton John, with whom Russell most recently collaborated for 2010's critically acclaimed album, The Union.
Michael Franks' first album of the '90s and his first in three years was a complete return to form and his best album since 1979's Tiger in the Rain. Meditative, lush and clearly the work of an artist intent on making personal music regardless of trends or airplay, Blue Pacific is as open and beautiful as the ocean for which it is named. The return of the production team of Tommy LiPuma and Al Schmitt doesn't hurt either, and with such veteran pros as Dean Parks, John Guerin, John Patitucci and Peter Erskine on board, how could Franks miss? With additional production and engineering support by Walter Becker and Roger Nichols, the Steely Dan connection, previously hinted at, was finally made, with great results. It's pointless to single out individual songs, since this is very much a complete, unified work. The album marked a total rebirth for Franks.
For the first time, Michael Franks made an album completely without the production team of Tommy LiPuma, Al Schmitt and Lee Hershberg, employing instead John Simon (the Band, Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen). The recording boasts a large number of celebrated horn and string players, as well as jazz luminaries Ron Carter, Bucky Pizzarelli, Kenny Barron, Mike Mainieri and Flora Purim.
The success of Weekend in L.A. no doubt prompted producer Tommy LiPuma and Warner Bros. to give George Benson another double album (now on one CD) – and this, like its three Warner predecessors, also went Top Ten. It is also, alas, slicker, more romantic in mood, and more bound by perceptions of formula than the others, fussed over in three different studios in earnest search of another hit single (the dance-tempo cover of L.T.D.'s "Love Ballad"). Most of the touring band, including Ronnie Foster, Ralph MacDonald and Phil Upchurch, is back, and Claus Ogerman's soft symphonic touch provides most of the backdrops, with Mike Mainieri supplying the orchestra on three tracks. Even at this point, the great guitarist is still given much room to burn – the balance between instrumentals and vocals remains close – and Benson comes up with some tasty stuff when the rhythm section pushes him on "Nassau Day" and "You're Never Too Far from Me." Ultimately there is just enough jazz content amid the velvet soul to keep guitar buffs interested.
A little gem from the late 70's by this LA based keyboards player and generally reckoned to be his best, well worth hunting down. Jungle Fever features the likes of Buzz Feiten (guitar), Willie Weeks (bass), Andy Newmark (drums), Mike Brecker (tenor sax), Larry Williams (alto sax and flute), Ralph McDonald (percussion) and Jerry Hey (trumpet & flugelhorn). The whole set is original Larsen material except for a quite acceptable cover of Gato Barbieri's 'Last Tango in Paris'. Not a vocal in sight, either. Recorded and mixed by Al Schmitt at Sound Labs and Capitol Recording Studios in Hollywood and produced by maestro Tommy LiPuma. Engineer and producer teams don't get much better than that and, on this album, it certainly shows.
After the release of Mardi Gras in 1975, Dr. John (aka Mac Rebennack) left Atlantic Records. In late 1977, he signed with A&M's Horizon imprint – a label whose purpose was to showcase the jazz side of its parent company. City Lights is the better of two recordings he cut there. Produced by Tommy LiPuma and Hugh McCracken, City Lights was recorded at New York's Hit Factory Studios with a band of studio aces: drummer Steve Gadd, guitarists Cornell Dupree and John Tropea, bassist Will Lee, and Richard Tee as an additional keyboardist; Arthur Jenkins added percussive effects. The five-piece horn section included both David Sanborn and Ronnie Cuber. What's really startling, however, is the material. For most of the 1970s, Rebennack had been playing well-known tunes by other Crescent City luminaries and pop songwriters, contributing precious little of his material to his albums. On City Lights he wrote or co-wrote everything on the set. His songwriting partner for part of this date was none other than Doc Pomus. The best of both men is captured on the opener, "Dance the Night Away with You," a strolling New Orleans R&B number.
In 1985, Miles Davis shocked the music world by moving from Columbia to Warner Bros.. He immediately started working on an album called Perfect Way after a tune by Scritti Politti, later renamed Tutu by producer Tommy LiPuma. When Tutu (a tribute to Desmond Tutu) was released in 1986, it re-ignited Miles Davis’ career, crossing over into the rock and pop markets and winning him two Grammy Awards. A definitive collection of the later part of Miles Davis’ work, lavishly packaged and remastered, from the Warner Bros studio albums Tutu, Amandla and Doo-Bop, the Dingo and Siesta soundtracks, live recordings with Quincy Jones, and the likes of Kenny Garrett, Foley and Adam Holzman.
Kisses on the Bottom is the fifteenth studio album by Paul McCartney, consisting primarily of covers of traditional pop music and jazz. The album was produced by Tommy LiPuma and includes just two original compositions by McCartney: "My Valentine" and "Only Our Hearts". The former features Eric Clapton on guitar, while the latter features Stevie Wonder on harmonica. Kisses on the Bottom peaked at number 3 on the UK Albums Chart and number 5 on the US Billboard 200, while also topping Billboard magazine's Jazz Albums chart.