Tracks 6



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Loose Joints' 1980 leftfield disco track Is It All Over My Face has proved to have enduring qualities. The song was mixed by Larry Levan, a legendary club DJ whose musical values influenced the birth of the genre that took it's name from his Paradise Garage club. It's included on this album which is a selection of his mixes for the West End label. I like the charm of the electric piano refrain that occurs throughout, simple but effective. Another N.Y.C. based DJ/producer Roger Sanchez (as Underground Solution) remade it as Love Dancin' in the early 90's. The song was co-produced by Arthur Russell, an American music/performance scene figure who collaborated with Philip Glass and Allen Ginsberg amongst others. He was also responsible for another underground classic - Dinosaur L's Go Bang and also helped start the Sleeping Bag label.

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This famous album was made in October 1972 and contains dazzling electric piano on every track. In fact I would go further and say that Chick Corea's achievements with the Fender Rhodes on this recording rank amongst the best ever. Each track really sparkles and the piano is up front all the time, always remaining very musical even during the most breakneck sections. This was the second recording made that year with the personnel of Clarke, Farrell, Moreira and Flora Purim (who sings on several songs) - the first being the Return To Forever album itself. Captain Marvel(1) has a strong Latin feel, a theme that is explored further on Spain(2). There is plenty of breathtaking playing on 500 Miles High(3) as well. The original is album is still available as well as a recent repackaged version with extra tracks/versions, every Rhodes loving household should own a copy!

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Bobby Lyle's fusion favourite The Genie can be found on this collection of things rare and/or groovy recorded for Capitol records. Originally from a now deleted album of the same name this track gradually builds up to some rocking electric piano playing. Lyle, who also plays acoustic piano and other keyboards has, alongside his solo career, used his musical talent to both perform and arrange for stars like Bette Midler, Anita Baker and Al Jarreau. The Rhodes sound is present in varying degrees on many of the other selections on this compilation as it covers a period that was perhaps the instruments golden era.

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Although principally renowned for his Hammond playing, British keyboard player Brian Auger did sometimes use other instruments. He has intelligently fused jazz, rock and R&B over a number of projects, his Oblivion Express group being one of the most successful. Closer To It found favour with a wide audience when released in 1973 and Auger's song Happiness Is Just Around The Bend contains some exciting piano work. The track was given a soulful interpretation by The Main Ingredient a year later confirming the composition's popularity.

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Cannonball Adderley employed Joe Zawinul for almost a decade and the pianist provided the saxman with several of his more popular (and even crossover) tunes. The soulful groover Walk Tall(1) appears on this live benefit album and is prefaced by a long spoken introduction by The Reverend Jesse Jackson. The same song received an enjoyable remake by Adderley on the Phenix album(2) but with a different pianist and a slicker studio sound. Austrian born Zawinul went on to become a major jazz-fusion figure in Weather Report, where he began favouring synths to the piano - getting much acclaim in the process.

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The 1970's were a period of particular brilliance for Stevie Wonder, and I think he has never bettered his output from that era. The classic album Songs In The Key Of Life contains many famous songs, As is a favourite of mine because it contains an electric piano backing throughout, which breaks out into a nice instrumental passage. Herbie Hancock is involved on this track and although I don't know how keyboard duties were split in the studio I assume it's him in the main.

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Contents   Tracks:  1  2  3  4  5  7  8  9  10  11  12

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