Vinyl Vault

The fundraiser edition of the Vinyl Vault will feature tunes from several Return to Forever albums; “No Mystery,” “Where Have I Known You Before” and “Best of Return to Forever.” Primarily the brainchild of Chick Corea, Return to Forever was one of the foremost fusion bands of the 1970s. These three albums concentrate mainly on the most second and electric of the various incarnations of RTF, but “Best of” includes some tracks from the third iteration of RTF with horns and vocals.

This week’s Vinyl Vault features the second album from Ralph Towner’s band Solstice, “Sound and Shadows.” Released in 1977 on ECM Records, the album finds Towner on 12 string and classical guitars as well as piano and even French Horn. The other players in the quartet were ECM stars and included Jan Garbarek on soprano and tenor saxes as well as flute, Eberhard Weber on bass and cello and Jon Christensen on drums. Towner composed all the songs on the album. By this time the band had been together off and on for several years and was achieving a polished unity in their ensemble playing.

This week the Vinyl Vault will feature tracks from the first two albums by the band Cymande. The band originally consisted of nine musicians from the West Indies living in England. Their first album, simply called “Cymande” came out in 1972 on Janus Records. The next, entitled “Second Time Round” was released the following year, also on Janus. The band called their music as Nyah-Rock but was described as a mix of funk, soul, R&B, jazz, rock, reggae, African music and West Indian folk.

This week’s Vinyl Vault will feature one of vocalist Mark Murphy’s outstanding Muse releases, “Satisfaction Guaranteed.” Recorded in November 1979 and released the following year, the album features a great program including “All the Things You Are,” “Bijou,” “Eleanor Rigby,” “Waltz for Debby” and more. The band includes many great players including Slide Hampton on trombone, Richie Cole on alto, Ronnie Cuber on bari sax, Tom Harrell on trumpet and Mark Egan on bass among others. Murphy was in his prime for this session and his interpretations of these songs are one-of-a-kind.

This week the Vinyl Vault will feature a classic from Gil Scott Heron and Brian Jackson, their 1977 album on Arista records, “Bridges.” Many of the songs address the band’s time on the road. But, of course, politics plays a big role too with songs like “We Almost Lost Detroit,” about a near nuclear accident at a power plant near Detroit, “Tuskegee 626” about syphilis experiments and “Under the Hammer” which is maybe just about the struggle to get by. Check out the Vinyl Vault with Geoff Anderson on The Night Beat, Tuesday, January 23 at 8:30pm on KUVO.

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