Twelve years after they released their first Merle Haggard box, The Untamed Hawk, Bear Family delivered the sequel, Hag: The Studio Recordings 1969-1976. This picks up where The Untamed Hawk left off, which is more of a musical dividing point than it initially seems. If The Untamed Hawk caught Haggard as he was reaching full flight, Hag captures him in his prime, as every single he released reached the Country Top Ten – often capturing the number one slot – and as he sometimes crossed over into the pop Top 40. Hag was without a doubt the biggest star in country music but the remarkable thing about his reign at the top was that he never played it safe.
Quite an unusual album from Grant Green – a record that's quite different than his earlier records for Blue Note, but still pretty darn great overall! Grant's working here in a large group – Kudu style – with arrangements by David Matthews, but a sound that's still pretty lean overall! There's a fair bit of great players in the lineup – including Jon Faddis on trumpet, Hubert Laws on flute, and Joe Farrell on tenor – and the horns soar out nicely to set the scene over some tightly stepping backings – all served up with plenty of room for Grant to solo spaciously on guitar! The title track – "The Main Attraction" – is nearly 20 minutes long – and the other two tracks, "Creature" and "Future Feature", both approach the 10 minute mark themselves!
Miroslav Vitous is best known as one of the foremost young bassists in the jazz-rock movement of the late 60's and early 70's. He was a founding member of Weather Report and made numerous solo albums. This album, Magical Shepherd, is making its worldwide CD debut. It features such jazz luminaries as Herbie Hancock, Jack DeJohnette & Airto Moreira. It was originally issued on LP in 1976 on Warner Brothers.
Nova was formed in early 1975 in Helsinki. Most of the band members had played together earlier in a band called Isojako, which apparently played more pop-orientated music. From the start, Nova's main figure was Antti Ortamo who was the main composer, lyricist and also played keyboards and sang for the band. In february 1976 Nova started recording their debut "Atlantis" in Stockholm, Sweden. The music on this album will probably remind you of Pink Floyd, Procol Harum, Wigwam, perhaps even Eloy and Yes at times. It's not the most innovative album to walk the earth, but it's a nice effort full of warm keyboard sounds and atmospheres…