Digitally re-mastered edition of this 1978 album from the Jazz guitarist. Sunny Side Up was his debut album and a massive hit for all concerned. It contains the Jazz Funk classic "Black Is the Color". The album also includes a much celebrated version of the Bill Withers smash "Lovely Day" while a full cast of musicians on this album includes David Sanborn, Richard Tee, Harvey Mason, Eddie Daniels, Randy Brecker and Eric Gale. Expansion.
The frustrating thing about smooth jazz isn't an absence of talent or chops; actually, there are plenty of smooth jazz musicians who have chops galore even though their studio recordings don't reflect that. At smooth jazz concerts, it isn't hard to find artists who take a lot more chances on-stage than they do in the studio. But taking chances in the studio isn't conducive to airplay on commercial smooth jazz/NAC radio stations, which is why so many generic, unimaginative smooth jazz recordings have been flooding the market since the 1980s. Walter Beasley has certainly given listeners plenty of generic, unimaginative recordings over the years, but not everything he records is without merit – and Free Your Mind does have its moments.
Jazz fusion guitarist Ryo Kawasaki was born in Toyko, Japan, on February 25, 1947. Although he originally planned on becoming a scientist, Kawasaki put an end to his studies early on and concentrated solely on guitar, playing with a variety of Japanese jazz groups throughout the '60s. During the early '70s, Kawasaki had relocated to the United States (New York, to be exact), where he played regularly with such jazz notables as Gil Evans, Elvin Jones, Chico Hamilton, and JoAnne Brackeen, and issued such solo releases as Juice, Ring Toss, and Nature's Revenge. Although he would issue several albums during the '80s (Little Touree, Ryo, Lucky Lady, etc.), Kawasaki had turned his back on musical performance and concentrated solely on penning music software programs for computers. Kawasaki also formed his own record label, Satellites Records, as he produced techno dance singles, but eventually returned back to his first love, releasing a steady stream of jazz releases once more, starting in the early to mid-'90s (Love Within the Universe, Sweet Life, Cosmic Rhythm, Reval, etc.).