Friday, August 8, 2008

Vinyl of the Day - "Johnny Hammond: Gears"

Vinyl of the Day
Johnny Hammond: "Gears" (Milestone LP M-9062) 1975
It's amazing to see how "Gears" became, three decades after its original release, one of the most appealing jazz albums in the dancefloor scene.
Hammond's debut LP on the Milestone label, after a long and successful association with Creed Taylor on CTI's subsidiary labels Kudu and Salvation, wasn't well received in 1975. Critics hated it, sales were disappointing.
But, suddenly, in the acid-jazz wave of the 80s, Johnny Hammond's albums became cult hits. Specially "Gears", thanks to a track, "Fantasy", that Johnny co-wrote with Larry Mizell, who co-produced the album with his brother Fonce Mizell.
IMHO, their collaboration on "Gambler's Life", Hammond's previous album for the Salvation label, remains the highlight of their musical partnership. But "Fantasy" took "Gears" to a surprising huge level of fame among DJs and hip-hoppers.
The line-up includes Michael White, Chuck Rainey, Harvey Mason and Kenneth Nash. Larry Mizell, besides having written all the arrangements, plays "solina", a long forgotten keyboard. Fonce Mizell is heard on Hohner clavinet, while Johnny plays Hammond, Fender Rhodes and Arp synths. Orrin Keepnews acted as executive producer.
Below, please take a look in the several new issues of "Fantasy" (on different formats and with many remixes) that were just released by Juno Records in the UK.

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