SPRING CLEANING (Part 2 of 2)



Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack: Born To Love
From Born to Love (Capitol, 1983).

Toni Basil: Mickey (Spanish Version)
From 12″ (Chrysalis, 1982). Also available on The Best of Toni Basil.

Lloyd McNeill: Salvation Army
From Treasures (Baobab, 1976)

As I noted last post, I was cleaning out my server and found these left over songs from posts-that-never-happened. I open with the ’80s soul sound of Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack from the title track to their Born to Love album. This song is so butter…every element is just perfect, from how it opens with that distinctive bassline (yeah, yeah, I know, Primo sampled it), to Bryson’s vocals, to that too-pure studio sound with its synths and then they drop in the background singers for the chorus. This is what a sunny day at the park sounds like. The only thing missing is just Roberta!

A Spanish version of “Mickey” is even more campy that the original but that’s what makes this song so great: it’s pop at its best: shiny and energetic, giving a push to the tush and something perfect for all of us 30-somethings to relive our 80’s childhood through. The fact that it’s in espaƱol is pure icing on this sugary treat.

I switch things up completely with the last song – “Salvation Army” by flutist Lloyd McNeill. Though not as well known as colleagues as Harold Alexander or Bobbi Humphrey, McNeill reputation is apparently well-regarded amongst soul jazz heads. This comes off of only one of six albums McNeill released on his own and it’s a gorgeous, near 11 minute composition that reminds me of some of the Yusef Lateef I’ve listened to. There’s definitely a spiritual jazz influence that flows through here and pianist Dom Salvador is actually a bigger focus than McNeill. Kudos to bassist Cecil McBee too who lays down a nice rhythm anchor the whole way through.

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