Yusuf /Cat Stevens, one of the most influential singer-songwriters of all time, will release his highly anticipated new album, ‘The Laughing Apple’, on September 15 under his Cat-O-Log Records logo exclusively through Decca Records, the same label that launched his career 50 years ago. The Laughing Apple features original songs and covers, though the covers on this album are Yusufs own. He celebrates some of his earliest material, with new presentations of the songs. Conceptually, The Laughing Apple returns to the journey of the Tillerman, as he recalls his travels and life lessons to a younger generation. The album's cover features Yusufs own illustration, the first time he has designed one of his covers since 1972. Yusuf has drawn additional works of art for each of the 11 songs on The Laughing Apple.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. Pianist Jay McShann has spent much of his career being classified as a blues pianist when in fact he is a flexible swing stylist. On this excellent release, McShann appears with two groups of all-stars. His original "Crazy Legs and Friday Strut" and "Georgia on My Mind" find him joined by Herbie Mann (on flute and tenor), baritonist Gerry Mulligan and a rhythm section that includes guitarist John Scofield. The other selections (two standards, Duke Ellington's "Blue Feeling" and McShann's own "Jumpin' the Blues") are performed by an octet also featuring Mann, altoist Earle Warren, trumpeter Doc Cheatham, trombonist Dicky Wells and Scofield. The unusual grouping of swing, bop and modern stylists is successful (the material is pretty basic) and Janis Siegel's guest appearance for a vocal duet with McShann on "Ain't Misbehavin'" works.