It’s always interesting to see how instrument choices and production techniques can have such a strong effect on dating a band or album. Whether it’s the arena-sized, cannon-shot snare drums of the 1980s or the hyper-compressed, extended-range guitars of today, there are a host of characteristics within rock and metal that can instantly transport a listener into another landscape. Hexvessel, however, seem to have been frozen in time, specifically 1973. With their third LP, When We Are Death, this Finnish sextet have come back after four years with an organic and somewhat convincing throwback record that suffers from an unfortunate predilection for exact simulation of the past.
Here are the first two albums from pioneer smooth jazz unit Pieces of a Dream on a single disc. Produced and mixed by the late Grover Washington, Jr., Pieces of a Dream/We Are One combine soulful, tight arrangements, spirited and inspired playing, and a canny knack for grooves, Pieces of a Dream and We Are One endure as gems of the genre.
In 1999, Capitol released We Are One/Can't Stop the Love, which contained two complete albums – We Are One (1983, originally released on Capitol) and Can't Stop the Love (1985, originally released on Capitol) – by Maze on one compact disc.
Hakim is again having a great time on We Are One, his first solo album in 14 years, as he does a deep-dive into his long and varied history as a supporting player for acts as diverse as Madonna, Dire Straits, Sting, David Bowie and Miles Davis to craft an album that doesn't neatly fit into a single category. Hakim isn't as much about meeting expectations as he is making music that comes across as honest and sincere without a trace of calculation or catering to trends.