THE WRECKING CREW - THERE WAS ONLY ONE BAND BEHIND THEM ALL
They were the studio musicians behind some of the biggest hits in the 1960s and 70s. From Be My Baby to California Girls Strangers in the Night to Mrs. Robinson You've Lost that Lovin Feelin to Up, Up and Away and from Viva Las Vegas to Mr. Tambourine Man the group dubbed The Wrecking Crew played on them all. Six years in a row in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Grammy for Record of the Year went to Wrecking Crew member recordings.
The talents of this group of first call players were used on almost every style of recording including television theme songs, film scores, advertising jingles and almost every genre of American popular music, from the Monkees to Bing Crosby. Notable artists employing the Wrecking Crew's talents included Nancy Sinatra, Bobby Vee, the Partridge Family, David Cassidy, Jan & Dean, the Mamas & the Papas, the 5th Dimension, the Association, the Carpenters, Glen Campbell, Cher, John Denver, the Beach Boys, Simon and Garfunkel, the Grass Roots and Nat King Cole. The record producers most often associated with the Wrecking Crew are Phil Spector, who used the Crew to create his trademark Wall of Sound and Beach Boys member and songwriter Brian Wilson, who used the Crew's talents on many of his mid-1960s productions including the songs Good Vibrations, California Girls, Pet Sounds, and the original recordings for Smile. Members of the Wrecking Crew played on the first Byrds single recording, Mr. Tambourine Man, because Columbia Records, namely, producer Terry Melcher did not trust the skills of Byrd musicians except for Roger McGuinn. Spector used the Wrecking Crew on Leonard Cohen's fifth album, Death of a Ladies Man. Two of their members, drummers Hal Blaine and Earl Palmer, were among the inaugural Sidemen inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000, while the entire Wrecking Crew was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2007. According to Blaine, the name the Wrecking Crew was derived from the impression that he and the younger studio musicians made on the business older generation, who felt that they were going to wreck the music industry. ~ Amazon
CAECILIE NORBY / LARS DANIELSSON - JUST THE TWO OF US
Just the Two of Us is an intimate duo album by this husband and wife pairing. Apart from songs by Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and Abbey Lincoln, the pair play their own compositions. The variety of expression that they achieve together, the sheer opulence of their musicality will amaze the listener. For many years Norby and Danielsson are a married couple but musically they went their separate paths for a long time: Norby was the pre-eminent funk and jazz singer in Denmark, until she took herself off to America, long before other Scandinavian singers followed her example. She became the first European female artist to be signed to the Blue Note label, a move which led to working with global stars such as Mike Stern and Chick Corea. Lars Danielsson, from Sweden, also has a major international career to his name, working alongside the likes of Charles Lloyd and the Brecker Brothers; but over and above that, he has developed as an artist (and also as a producer) through being a long-standing member of the ACT label family, and is now regarded as one of the most significant European jazz musicians. ~ Amazon
CAROL WELSMAN - ALONE TOGETHER
6-Time Juno (Canadian Grammy) Nominee, Carol Welsman launches Alone Together, showcasing the rhythmic swing of her piano playing, the warm, embracing sound of her voice, and her irresistible way with a lyrc. Early reviews have cited Alone Together as the album that will cement Welsman's ascendency to the upper levels of the contemporary jazz vocal world. Carol's voice and piano are backed by an assemblage of world class players that include trumpeter Wallace Roney, bassist Rufus Reid, drummer Lewis Nash and guitarist Jay Azzolina. Together, Carol and her musicians interact with the intuitive togetherness of jazz vocalizing at its finest. The songs sung and played by Carol Welsman are a thrill you can only feel and experience with awe but find hard to explain, like your first ride on a roller coaster. Blessed with so many musical gifts - taste, time, projection and a rhythmic sense of when to change chords - Carol's piano is beyond reproach, warm yet rhythmically sharp, giving her voice a perfect hammock of support to swing in. I'm not an easy pushover, but she's got what it takes to take me. - Don Heckman- International Review of Music