Tuesday, July 24, 2012

More "unofficial" CTI titles released in Europe, including an odd Bob James 12" single

Among the many "unofficial" CTI titles being released in Europe this Summer is this odd 12" single by Bob James. Under the fake catalog number CTI 6148, it includes two songs that originally appeared in different CTI albums, but are no longer part of the CTI catalog; in fact, both tracks are now owned by James himself and belong to his Tappan Zee label.

"Nautilus" was part of James' CTI debut, "One," while the famous (and much-sampled) rendition of Paul Simon's "Take Me To The Mardi Gras" comes from Bob James' "Two." Both tracks were recorded at Van Gelder Studios by the legendary engineer Rudy Van Gelder, an essential part of the CTI history.

"Nautilus" was cut in February 1974 with Bob James on keyboards (Yamaha YC30 organ and Fender Rhodes electric piano), Gary King on electric bass, Idris Muhammad on drums, Ralph MacDonald on percussion, and Richie Resnicoff on electric guitar, plus a large string section led by the violin virtuoso concertmaster Harry Lookofsky.

"We were working on a theme, I started using a particular stop on the Yamaha organ which sounded very good, like some underwater effect," Bob James recalled. "Creed Taylor thought it might suggest a cavern, with stalacties, but I felt it was more like a submarine journey."

"Mardi Gras," recorded on January 15, 1975, features Bob James (Fender Rhodes with a lot of distortion obtained through the use of delay and flanger), Eric Gale (playing both electric bass AND rhythm guitar!), Andrew Smith (drums), Arthur Jenkins & Ralph MacDonald (percussion), Eddie Daniels (clarinet) and Tony Studd (trombone), plus strings. One more essential item to CTI collectors.

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