Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Seawind - Light The Light - 1979 - A+M

Seawind have, on the quiet, turned out some phenomenal tunes throughout the 70s and 80s and never to my mind get the attention they deserve. Best known for their 1976 CTI cut, "He Loves You", they moved to Herb Alpert's brilliantly eclectic A+M label and issued this superb soulful jazz-fusion set in 1979. With horns led by Jerry Hey - who is still VERY active today, and lead vocals by the very talented Pauline Wilson, "Light The Light" should be an album that you own on CD. As far as I am concerned most of this album is essential, so when it was re-issued on CD in Japan it wasn't a case of whether I would order a copy. The Brazilian samba rhythms on "Free" are punchy and suit Pauline's voice so well. The rhythm is almost like Eddie Russ' "See The Light" and the vocals border on Angela Bofill.

"Sound Rainbow" is a very mellow funker with some subtle yet alluring synth and a funky bass line. This is great, and the piano-led "Light The Light" owes a lot to what Melissa Manchester was giving us on "Don't Cry Out Loud". Brilliant. If you like more of a jazz-0fusion flavour then "Morning Star" will definitely be your cup of tea. More soulful, however, is "Imagine" which has a Minnie Riperton / Ricard Rudolph feel and vocals reminiscent of Carole Bayer-Sager. "Enchanted Dance" has some cool flute work, reminding me of Dave Valentin's contemporaneous work such as "Pied Piper" or "We'll make Love", so if you like your jazz-fusion with a smattering of flute, Jerry Hey's trumpet and a summery vibe then this track is for you. Sadly we don't get sets like this any more. It's about time we did.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe

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