Goombay Dance Band is a German band created in 1979 by Oliver Bendt, named after a small bay on the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia. Their music has a distinctive sound (somewhat similar to Boney M), which is a mixture of soca, calypso and western pop. The group enjoyed greatest commercial success at the beginning of the 1980s, spawning such number 1 hits as "Sun of Jamaica", "Seven Tears" and "Aloha-Oe, Until We Meet Again". Goombay Dance Band built up a fan base across Europe and proved very popular in South Africa too, where "Sun of Jamaica" and "Aloha-Oe" entered the charts…
Reflections of a Golden Dream is the last LP Lonnie Liston Smith cut for Flying Dutchman and it's hard not to see the record as an aural manifestation of the label's shifting fortunes. As the jazz marketplace shifted during the '70s, the label had its financial hand forced and they needed to abandon their esoteric ways for something that was a bit more commercial. Of all their artists, Smith was the best positioned to do this because he already struck upon a blend of the spiritual and funk with 1975's Expansions. Released a year later, Reflections of a Golden Dream tips the scales a bit closer to funk, opening up with a Sly Stone workout called "Get Down Everybody (It's Time for World Peace)," a cut where Lonnie takes a rare vocal lead.
There have been previous attempts to marshal a lot of British psychedelia into one compilation, but Real Life Permanent Dreams is a little different from those. This four-CD, 99-song box set isn't a best-of, but more like an attempt to assemble a very wide (though still representative) cross section of material, most of it pretty obscure to the average listener. For the most part, it succeeds in delivering a high-quality anthology that manages to offer a lot to both the collector and the less intense psychedelic fan, though it's by no means the cream of British psychedelia.
The sixties and seventies formed an unprecedentedly successful and productive period in Dutch music history. As a tribute to these glory days, a series of 2CDs of the most influential Dutch bands from these golden years have been released under the title 'The Golden Years of Dutch Pop Music'. On each CD, all original A and B sides of the singles are chronologically collected, where possible supplemented with relevant album tracks.
In their eight-year existence, Ekseption came as close as any group from the European continent ever did to stealing the thunder of early classical rock outfits such as the Nice and rivaling the early work of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. In Holland, they charted singles based on classical compositions and released successful concept albums, and were - along with Focus - the top progressive rock band in the Dutch-speaking world.
In today’s cultural climate of ironic detachment and post-millennial cool, it’s easy to be cynical about such lofty sentiments as peace, love, consciousness and enlightenment. In Smith’s case at least, it’s much more difficult to resist the medium which brings the message. As veteran jazz critic Nat Hentoff comments in the original liner notes to the ‘Expansions’ (1974) album, “There is power here, but it’s the power of serenity”. He wasn’t wrong. Few songs, at least few dancefloor anthems, have the ability to soothe and heal the soul while simultaneously exciting and enervating the senses. ‘Expansions’ does that and more, its dizzying, multilayered piano and keyboards, kinetic bassline and percussive complexity conspiring to transcend the boundaries of both jazz and funk.
The Ink Spots played a large role in pioneering the black vocal group-harmony genre, helping to pave the way for the doo wop explosion of the '50s. The quavering high tenor of Bill Kenny presaged hundreds of street-corner leads to come, and the sweet harmonies of Charlie Fuqua, Deek Watson, and bass Hoppy Jones (who died in 1944) backed him flawlessly…