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Out In the Cold

Carole King

Pop - Released February 5, 2021 | Ode - Epic - Legacy

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CD€15.29

Tom Scott And The L.A. Express

Tom Scott

Jazz - Released January 1, 1973 | Ode - Epic - Legacy

Most of Tom Scott's GRP albums of the '80s and '90s have been shallow, formulaic releases offering little evidence of the saxman's improvisatory skills. But most of his earlier recordings of the '70s were appealing jazz/funk/R&B efforts that, although commercial and highly accessible, demonstrated his capabilities as a soloist. If the version of Scott's L.A. Express band heard on this album (reissued on CD in 1996) brings to mind the Crusaders, it's because two of its members, keyboardist Joe Sample and guitarist Larry Carlton, were also Crusaders members. Although the Express was never in a class with that band, it was a likable unit defined by its cohesiveness, warmth, and spontaneity. As slick as the Express was, it took risks. It's hard to imagine Scott providing a funk-drenched version of John Coltrane's "Dahomey's Dance" as he does here -- or incorporating Middle Eastern influences as he does on "King Cobra" -- on his calculated GRP recordings of the '90s. Solid jazz-funk like "L.A. Expression" and "Nunya" is well worth hearing. And "Spindrift," though congenial and mellow, is far more substantial than the Muzak with which he would later inundate us. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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The Family That Plays Together

Spirit

Rock - Released December 1, 1968 | Ode - Epic - Legacy

On this, the second Spirit album, the group put all of the elements together that made them the legendary (and underrated) band that they were. Jazz, rock & roll, and even classical elements combined to create one of the cleanest, most tasteful syntheses of its day. The group had also improved measurably from their fine debut album, especially in the area of vocals. The album's hit single, "I Got a Line on You," boasts especially strong harmonies as well as one of the greatest rock riffs of the period. The first side of this record is a wonderful and seamless suite, and taken in its entirety, one of the greatest sides on Los Angeles rock. The CD reissue also boasts some excellent bonus tracks. "So Little to Say" is one of Jay Ferguson's finest compositions ever, and the jazz-inspired instrumentals such as "Fog" and "Space Chile" showcase pianist John Locke as one of the most inspired and lyrical players in the rock idiom to date. All in all, a classic album and a true landmark. © Matthew Greenwald /TiVo
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Carole King The Carnegie Hall Concert June 18, 1971

Carole King

Folk - Released October 15, 1996 | Ode - Epic - Legacy

Carnegie Hall Concert: June 18, 1971 is 17-song set recorded just as Tapestry was topping the charts and making Carole King a superstar. Featuring most of Tapestry and a few songs from Writer and Music this is, in a sense, Carole King unplugged (although that terminology was not yet in use). King performs the first half-dozen songs alone at the piano; bassist Charles Larkey, guitarist Danny "Kootch" Kortchmar, and a string quartet back her (in varying combinations) throughout the rest of the program. Tapestry wasn't exactly a high-wattage affair to begin with, so these rearrangements aren't radical, but they're different enough from the studio versions to merit attention by serious King fans. James Taylor, then at the peak of his own popularity, joins King on vocals for a medley of some of her old Brill Building hits, "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow"/"Some Kind of Wonderful"/"Up on the Roof." © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus

Spirit

Rock - Released November 1, 1970 | Ode - Epic - Legacy

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Although Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus has the reputation of being Spirit's most far-out album, it actually contains the most disciplined songwriting and playing of the original lineup, cutting back on some of the drifting and offering some of their more melodic tunes. The lilting "Nature's Way" was the most endearing FM standard on the album, which also included some of Spirit's best songs in "Animal Zoo" and "Mr. Skin." [The 1996 CD reissue has four bonus tracks, though these are on the nonessential side: mono versions of "Animal Zoo" and "Morning Will Come," the 1970 single "Red Light Roll On," and the previously unissued "Rougher Road."] © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Spirit

Spirit

Rock - Released January 22, 1968 | Ode - Epic - Legacy

Spirit's debut unveiled a band that seemed determine to out-eclecticize everybody else on the California psychedelic scene, with its melange of rock, jazz, blues, folk-rock, and even a bit of classical and Indian music. Teenaged Randy California immediately established a signature sound with his humming, sustain-heavy tone; middle-aged drummer Ed Cassidy gave the group unusual versatility; and the songs tackled unusual lyrical themes, like "Fresh Garbage" and "Mechanical World." As is often the case in such hybrids, the sum fell somewhat short of the parts; they could play more styles than almost any other group, but couldn't play (or, more crucially, write) as well as the top acts in any given one of those styles. There's some interesting stuff here, nonetheless; "Uncle Jack" shows some solid psych-pop instincts, and it sounds like Led Zeppelin lifted the opening guitar lines of "Taurus" for their own much more famous "Stairway to Heaven." © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Clear

Spirit

Rock - Released January 1, 1969 | Ode - Epic - Legacy

Although this album may not be seen as the definitive Spirit statement, it has several moments of brilliance that prove what a revolutionary band they were. Coming off of the success of The Family That Plays Together and "I Got a Line on You," the group entered the studio with Lou Adler once again in the producer's chair. Unfortunately, the group appeared to be beginning to fragment, and it shows on this uneven but ultimately fine album. "Dark Eyed Woman" opens the album with promise, and it is indeed one of Spirit's hardest-rocking studio performances. Randy California's inspired guitar solo is one of the finest performances of the period. The riff and general feel of the track (right down to the siren sound effects) were borrowed by Traffic on "Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory." The record tends to go downhill from there (primarily due to some uninspired songwriting), but is not without its high points, like "Cold Wind" and the awesome closer "New Dope in Town." © Matthew Greenwald /TiVo
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Tom Cat

Tom Scott

Jazz Fusion & Jazz Rock - Released January 1, 1974 | Ode - Epic - Legacy

Despite the absence of Joe Sample and Larry Carlton, Tom Scott's L.A. Express remains very Crusaders-influenced on Tom Cat -- a highly accessible jazz-funk-R&B date that, as commercial as it is, leaves room for inspired blowing courtesy of both the leader and sidemen like electric guitarist Robben Ford and keyboardist Larry Nash. Sweaty, hard-hitting jazz-funk is the rule on such down-home grooves as "Good Evening Mr. & Mrs. America & All the Ships" and "Day Way," which allow the players to let loose, blow, and say what needs to be said. "Love Poem" is a pleasant, likable piece of delicate mood music (but not "Muzak"!) that features wordless vocals by pop-folk singer Joni Mitchell and has a slightly Flora Purim-ish appeal. Unfortunately, a CD as good as Tom Cat serves as a reminder of how dreadfully unimaginative most of Scott's GRP albums are. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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Spirit

Spirit

Rock - Released January 22, 1968 | Ode - Epic - Legacy

Spirit's debut unveiled a band that seemed determine to out-eclecticize everybody else on the California psychedelic scene, with its melange of rock, jazz, blues, folk-rock, and even a bit of classical and Indian music. Teenaged Randy California immediately established a signature sound with his humming, sustain-heavy tone; middle-aged drummer Ed Cassidy gave the group unusual versatility; and the songs tackled unusual lyrical themes, like "Fresh Garbage" and "Mechanical World." As is often the case in such hybrids, the sum fell somewhat short of the parts; they could play more styles than almost any other group, but couldn't play (or, more crucially, write) as well as the top acts in any given one of those styles. There's some interesting stuff here, nonetheless; "Uncle Jack" shows some solid psych-pop instincts, and it sounds like Led Zeppelin lifted the opening guitar lines of "Taurus" for their own much more famous "Stairway to Heaven." © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
From
CD€15.29

Clear

Spirit

Rock - Released January 1, 1969 | Ode - Epic - Legacy

Although this album may not be seen as the definitive Spirit statement, it has several moments of brilliance that prove what a revolutionary band they were. Coming off of the success of The Family That Plays Together and "I Got a Line on You," the group entered the studio with Lou Adler once again in the producer's chair. Unfortunately, the group appeared to be beginning to fragment, and it shows on this uneven but ultimately fine album. "Dark Eyed Woman" opens the album with promise, and it is indeed one of Spirit's hardest-rocking studio performances. Randy California's inspired guitar solo is one of the finest performances of the period. The riff and general feel of the track (right down to the siren sound effects) were borrowed by Traffic on "Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory." The record tends to go downhill from there (primarily due to some uninspired songwriting), but is not without its high points, like "Cold Wind" and the awesome closer "New Dope in Town." © Matthew Greenwald /TiVo
From
CD€15.29

The Family That Plays Together

Spirit

Rock - Released December 1, 1968 | Ode - Epic - Legacy

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
On this, the second Spirit album, the group put all of the elements together that made them the legendary (and underrated) band that they were. Jazz, rock & roll, and even classical elements combined to create one of the cleanest, most tasteful syntheses of its day. The group had also improved measurably from their fine debut album, especially in the area of vocals. The album's hit single, "I Got a Line on You," boasts especially strong harmonies as well as one of the greatest rock riffs of the period. The first side of this record is a wonderful and seamless suite, and taken in its entirety, one of the greatest sides on Los Angeles rock. The CD reissue also boasts some excellent bonus tracks. "So Little to Say" is one of Jay Ferguson's finest compositions ever, and the jazz-inspired instrumentals such as "Fog" and "Space Chile" showcase pianist John Locke as one of the most inspired and lyrical players in the rock idiom to date. All in all, a classic album and a true landmark. © Matthew Greenwald /TiVo
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Really Rosie

Carole King

Children - Released January 1, 1975 | Ode - Epic - Legacy

Hi-Res
The soundtrack to a television special originating from the pen of author Maurice Sendak, Really Rosie is that rare children's album with the wit and intelligence to capture the imaginations of adult listeners as well. Sendak's sharp, clever lyrics tell the story of young Brooklynite Rosie and a cast of vividly etched supporting characters including the apathetic Pierre and a boy named Chicken Soup; Carole King's melodies serve the material remarkably well, transforming even the most deliberately silly songs into catchy, piano-driven pop confections. In fact, it's in many ways her most fully realized record since Tapestry, with a sparkling charm and heartfelt sincerity that interim releases lacked. © Jason Ankeny /TiVo
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Tapestry

Carole King

Pop/Rock - Released February 10, 1971 | Ode - Epic - Legacy

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio