Soul-jazz and Hammond B3 pioneer Jimmy McGriff made the Groove Merchant record label his home base for the better part of the 1970s, releasing the often overlooked Fly Dude in 1972. This is McGriff at his most varied. Working with Ronald Arnold on tenor saxophone, George Freeman and John Thomas on guitars, and Marion Booker Jr. on drums, McGriff tackles a Jimmy Smith tune ("Jumping the Blues"), a Memphis Slim classic ("Everyday I Have the Blues"), and a bop touchstone by sax great Charlie Parker ("Yardbird Suite").
Bacon Fat was a band led by harmonica player Rod "Gingerman" Piazza and featuring Buddy Reed (guitar, vocals), Gregg Schaefer (guitar), J.D. Nicholson (vocals, piano), Jerry Smith (bass), and Dick Innes, Jr. (drums). They were signed to the British Blue Horizon label and made two albums before breaking up in the early '70s…
An enormous commercial success, 1981's The Dude is a cross-cultural success blending jazz, Latin music, soul ballads, and straight pop into an admittedly slick but never over-produced or soulless stew. The album opens with a surprise: "Ai No Corrida" is a synthesizer-driven yet still funky Latin dance track written by Chaz Jankel of Ian Dury & the Blockheads, suggesting that unlike a lot of musicians his age, Quincy Jones kept his ears open to new music. The proto-rap title track accomplishes the same thing. The rest of the album is more conventional, with James Ingram and Patti Austin trading vocals on a smooth collection of tracks highlighted by the masterful love ballads "One Hundred Ways" and "Just Once," staples of adult contemporary stations, and the haunting Stevie Wonder-penned instrumental "Velas." The Dude is an outstanding collection that was massively influential on the '80s R&B scene.
Called "the most natural and least self-conscious screen actor that has ever lived" by critic Pauline Kael, Jeff Bridges has been plying his craft most of his life. With a first role as an infant in his mother Dorothy's arms and a childhood television debut in his father Lloyd's television series Sea Hunt, he burst onto the silver screen in The Last Picture Show in 1971 and was immediately recognized with a Best Supporting Actor nomination. He has created original and memorable characters in notable films since that time. To name but a few – Heaven's Gate, Starman, Jagged Edge, The Fisher King, Fearless, Wild Bill, The Fabulous Baker Boys, The Big Lebowski, and his 2010 Oscar-winning best actor in Crazy Heart. He is an exceptional musician, an artist, a photographer, an occasional vintner and a story teller extraordinaire. He helped found the End Hunger Network in 1983 and continues to work with Share Our Strength, a foundation trying to eradicate childhood hunger.