Thursday, July 28, 2011

Saracho: En Medio, 1973

This record, led by pianist Gary Saracho and featuring a host of great LA musicians including Roberto Miranda of Pan African People's Arkestra fame, touches on a lot of different styles. There are straight ahead passages, spacey spiritual jazz reminiscent of Pharaoh Sanders, and funky cuts a la 70's Lonnie Liston Smith. It was recorded at The Village Recorder in LA but purchased in New York. The art inside the gatefold cover includes a photo of the band posing in front of a mural that features la Virgen de Guadalupe and an arm with a clenched fist and the words "la raza linda". I can't find any other recordings by Saracho, but other members of the band went on to record more: Bruce Morgenthaler in Hollywood soundtracks, Miranda in the similarly socially conscious PAPA, Jamie Herndon in rock bands and Carmelo Garcia in LA area jazz bands. Marvin Palatt is now a violinist and concertmaster with the Topanga Symphony. The lineup is:

Gary Saracho: pianos
Lawrence Higgins: saxes
Bruce Morgenthaler: basses
Roberto Miranda: upright bass
Jeffrey Bahir Hassan: drums
Jamie Herndon: guitar
Carmelo Garcia: percussion
Owen Marshall: oboe, synth and percussion
Marvin Palatt: violin

05 Conquest de Mejico by Easy Jams

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Earlston Ford Singers: I Can Tell It Was the Lord, 1973

Before getting to the record, let me apologize for my long absence. I've been moving around, but I'm more or less settled now and I have a brand new turntable, so the rips will hopefully start sounding better from now on. I'll be posting a lot more regularly from now on too. This album is a big change of pace for this blog: part soul, part country, part rock, and all gospel. The back cover mentions that unlike most of the artists on Glori Records, Earlston Ford started out in secular music and then moved to gospel. Pretty much everything about this album struck me, from the instrumentals (especially the guitar) to the interplay between Ford and the chorus to the band's ability to play so convincingly in different genres and tempos, making the country cuts really sound like they came off a country record and playing the rock and roll cuts like a dedicated rock band. I couldn't find much information on Ford himself, but it seems like he recorded a lot of gospel records (there are a lot on ebay), one as recently as 1997.

You Never Stop to Thank Him by EasyJams