Although the Crusaders could not have known it at the time, their recording of "Street Life" (which features a memorable vocal by Randy Crawford) was a last hurrah for the 20-year old group. Their recordings of the next few years would decline in interest until the band gradually faded away in the '80s. However this particular set is well worth picking up for the 11-minute title cut and there is good playing by the three original members (Wilton Felder on tenor, soprano and electric bass, keyboardist Joe Sample and drummer Stix Hooper) along with guitarist Barry Finnerty; horn and string sections, plus additional guitarists are utilized on Sample's commercial but listenable arrangements.
Donaldson Toussaint L'Ouverture "Donald" Byrd II (December 9, 1932 – February 4, 2013) was an American jazz and rhythm & blues trumpeter. A sideman for many other jazz musicians of his generation, Byrd was best known as one of the only bebop jazz musicians who successfully pioneered the funk and soul genres while simultaneously remaining a jazz artist.
After prison, after first shocking, then disappointing, and perhaps ultimately (and grimly) amusing the jazz world with enough dope-related hijinks to fill a book (as in Straight Life), alto saxist Art Pepper made a triumphant mid-1970s comeback. This 1979 session is rich with the fruits of Pepper's return, a depth of playing that shows itself constantly throughout the New York Album's five tunes.
Easter Island was originally formed in 1973 by guitarist Mark Miceli. The music places emphasis on excellent mini-moog and Mellotron work as well as guitar, like most prog bands from the mid-'70s seemed to do. Their original and progressive music has its roots in the compositional techniques of King Crimson, Yes, and ELP.
Disco group Led and produced by Elton Farokh Ahi. Had a massive dance hit with Curtis Mayfield's "Move On Up". Recorded only one album for Butterfly Records, US disco label, founded by A.J. Cervantes in 1977.
Capital Letters mashed up the U.K. sound systems in 1978 with "Smoking My Ganja," a punchy rockers styled single with a distinctly British flavor. The irrepressible song wafted straight up the reggae chart, prompting the Greensleeves label to send the group into the studio with Chris Cracknell to record a full-length. Headline News arrived in the new year, immediately garnering critical acclaim and sending reggae fans running to the shops. Hailing from Wolverhampton, the Letters were a big band, eight-strong (adding another guitarist/vocalist for their 1979 John Peel radio session), and boasting four vocalists, two drummers (one the conga player) and two percussionists, among their ranks.