Good fusion, light jazz, and instrumental pop/R&B session from a talented guitarist who's made his living by carefully editing his solos and plugging into funk dates. Gale doesn't cut loose, but shows enough to hold interest, while the arrangements and production are geared for Urban and Adult Contemporary outlets and audiences.
The late famed session jazz guitarist Eric Gale (not to be confused with Eric Gales) may not be a household name on the jazz scene, but in a long career, he was highly sought after as a top session player. He appeared on over 500 albums, and recorded with artists that included Billy Joel, Quincy Jones, Van Morrison, Lena Horne, Gábor Szabó, Chuck Rainey, Grover Washington Jr., Phil Upchurch, Tom Scott, Patti Austin, and Paul Simon. "Multiplication" is highly polished late 70s jazz fusion. It’s mellow, uncomplicated, cool, and Eric used a tight funk approach on some of the tracks. The album is a joy to listen to and is not just for jazz fans.
In 1980, guitarist and composer Eric Gale came off the commercial success of 1979's Part of You (produced by Ralph MacDonald) and didn't do the obvious thing. Rather than make another record that swung for the smooth jazz fences, he made a darker, deeper, funkier, and bluesier album with legendary New Orleans producer Allen Toussaint.
Guitarist Eric Gale made his reputation as a session guitarist during the late 60's and 70's for a host of different artists, as well as being a key member of the jazz/funk group Stuff. As part of Sony's Contemporary Masters series, they've put two of Eric Gale's best solo albums together on one CD. "Gingeng Woman" released in 1977 and it's 1978 follow up "Multiplication" were both produced by Bob James and feature excellent support players like Steve Gadd, Ralph McDonald, Grover Washington, Jr., Anthony Jackson, and Richard Tee. Standout tracks from "Ginseng Woman" include "Red Ground", and his cover of Hall & Oates "Sara Smile". "Multiplication's" best cuts include his cover of Lee Ritenour's "Morning Glory" and the traditional "Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child". His later work in the 80's and early 90's occasionally matched the peak he reached with these two albums. Sadly he passed away in 1994 and much of his solo output is out of print. But fortunately these two albums are available, and are most definitely worth checking out.
Nina Simone Sings the Blues, issued in 1967, was her RCA label debut, and was a brave departure from the material she had been recording for Phillips. Indeed, her final album for that label, High Priestess of Soul, featured the singer, pianist, and songwriter fronting a virtual orchestra. Here, Simone is backed by a pair of guitarists (Eric Gale and Rudy Stevenson), bassist (Bob Bushnell), drummer (Bernard "Pretty" Purdie), organist (Ernie Hayes), and harmonica player who doubled on saxophone (Buddy Lucas). Simone handled the piano chores. The song selection is key here. Because for all intents and purposes this is perhaps the rawest record Simone ever cut. It opens with the sultry, nocturnal, slow-burning original "Do I Move You," which doesn't beg the question but demands an answer: "Do I move you?/Are you willin'?/Do I groove you?/Is it thrillin'?/Do I soothe you?/Tell the truth now?/Do I move you?/Are you loose now?/The answer better be yeah…It pleases me…." As the guitarists slip and slide around her husky vocal, a harmonica wails in the space between, and Simone's piano is the authority, hard and purposely slow.
Although Eric Clapton has released a bevy of live albums, none of them have ever quite captured the guitarist's raw energy and dazzling virtuosity. The double live album Just One Night may have gotten closer to that elusive goal than most of its predecessors, but it is still lacking in many ways…