Thursday, September 23, 2010

Herb Geller - The Power Of A Smile

From the fantastic Herb Geller LP 'Rhyme And Reason'. This tune 'The Power Of A Smile' and 'Space A La Mode' both feature the amazing Mark Murphy on vocals. This tune works on so many levels for me. It's jazzy, it's danceable, spacey and down right SICK. It's epic in proportion and length and has a big band feel. It traverses through many different levels including genius horn arrangements and amazing percussion arrangements yet brings it back to the same groove it started with. It stems from the world of vocal jazz, in the realms of Eddie Jefferson and Gil Scot Heron to name a few. It brings me back to the days when I was being educated by the Acid Jazz comps coming from the UK. The days of 'New York Afternoons' by Richie Cole and 'Chicken Lickin'' by Funk Inc. I was just beginning to sink my teeth into that sound and went from Acid Jazz to Rare Groove like some kinda wildfire. So, I've always had an affinity for this sound. I think those comps were on the 'Street Sounds' label. Anyone remember those?

I think I came into this LP via trades with the legendary Beni B. Way back in the day, when we worked at KALX together, long before he embarked on his own hip-hop label. That was a good time for trading and learning amongst peers for me. Beni turned me onto a small handful of grails. So, not sure exactly..but thanks to Beni for possibly putting me up on this ages ago. I may have obtained some not so rare, pretty common pieces in my dealings with him too. But, I learned my lesson. And, a few of you out there have learned your lesson via trading with me as well. All a part of the game I suppose.

The tune takes us on a voyage through several landscapes. A bed of samples for any Rhodes, guitar and sax fan. I hardly post up jazz stuff, so this is long overdue 'cause I am indeed a fan. I like the positive feel and 'Cosmic' approach that this LP has, and it's apparent in 'Power Of A Smile'.
In searching for more info on Mark Murphy and Herb Geller I found two interesting blogs...
lovingly called.. 'Happy as a fat rat in a cheese factory'
which seems dedicated to Rhodes Electric Piano.. Man, do I miss mine!

These blogs are both chock full of information and have tons of other related LP's. So, rather than repeat that info, you can seek it out. Please search those sites for this entire LP and many other interesting albums. Just start by searching for Mark Murphy or Herb Geller, and go from there. Wow, I've really outdone myself. Like you need me to teach you how to search for music. Next I'll be giving instructions on 'how to use the internet'. That'll be the day. But seriously. I'm not trying to be the final word or an expert in any genre, so I'll leave that to the other folks. I just love music. Some of this and some of that. As I've said before..this is just my experiences with music..and a kind of ever evolving mix tape with hopefully an open conversation.....

Herb Geller - The Power Of A Smile

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