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.
Considering the fraught circumstances in which this album was recorded, it's a miracle it sounds as serene as it does. Originally, this was planned as a collaborative project between Krause and his musical partner, Paul Beaver, for Columbia, but that deal collapsed when CBS executive Clive Davis was fired. Then Beaver died of a brain hemorrhage in January 1975, leaving Krause to record it for Takoma as a solo artist, albeit with the help of numerous side players (including a young Mark Isham, who plays flügelhorn on "Heights of Machu Picchu") and arrangers. Then the record wasn't released for another four years.