1

Five Perfect '70s Albums

SOURCE:

Sign in to view read count
When I go on long drives, what do I grab for the car? Though I love jazz, my CDs of choice on the road are often soul and disco albums from the 1970s. My friends know how much I love this era. One recently asked if I could recommend five perfect albums. No problem. Perfect to me means that every song on the album is fabulous, wonderfully arranged and in just the right order. And no filler.

Here are five gems from the early '70s...

Tower of Power (1973) was the third album from the horn-driven funk band from Oakland, Calif. Arrangements were by baritone saxophonist Greg Adams, and the album featured one of the great soul vocalists of the period, Lenny Williams. Here's So Very Hard to Go...

 

Blue Magic (1974). Just before MFSB broke through with The Sound of Philadelphia on Philadelphia International Records, many of the label's session musicians were playing behind Atlantic and Atco artists, including Blue Magic, a vocal group from Philadelphia. The crew featured guitarist Bobby Eli and producer Norman Harris. This was Blue Magic's first album. Here's Welcome to the Club...

 

AWB (1974) was the Scottish Average White Band's second studio album, and the drums, lyrics, funk and horns remain spot on today. The horns included Michael Brecker (ts), Randy Brecker (tp), Marvin Stamm (tp), Mel Davis (tp) and Glenn Ferris (tb), with arrangements by Roger Ball. Here's Got the Love...

 

That's the Way of the World (1975) by Earth, Wind & Fire dominated the radio and turntables over the summer of 1975 and it remains one of the best albums of the 1970s, excluding the works of Stevie Wonder, of course. The album's jazz-soul feel still dazzles. Here's Happy Feelin'...

 

Dance Your Troubles Away (1975). Houston's Archie Bell and the Drells, of Tighten Up fame in 1968, bounced back in '75 with this superb disco album. The hustle beat had plenty of jump and churn, and Bell's imploring vocal was infectious. Here's I Could Dance All Night, arranged by Ronnie Baker...

Continue Reading...

This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved.

Tags

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Jazz News