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BFT 153 Reveal


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1 – Susan Cowsill -   “Wawona Morning” from the album ‘Just Believe It’, 2004 Blue Rose Records

Image result for susan cowsill just believe it


She was the little preteen sister member when the Cowsills had their run of 1967-1969 hits, including “The Rain, The Park, and Other Things” and “Hair”.  “Retired” at the age of 12, did some background singing in the 70’s and 80’s for Dwight Twilly, etc., came back 20 years later in the great Continental Drifters, and wrote and recorded two solo albums of incredibly moving singer/songwriter  material, including the amazing “Crescent City Sneaux” about the aftermath of Katrina (she lives in New Orleans).  Between her solo work and her Continental Drifters/Psycho Sister collaborations with former Bangles singer/lead guitarist  Vicki Peterson (who married one of Cowsill’s brothers), no   artist has brought me more joy over the past quarter century.  Cowsill and her husband Russ Broussard wrote this.  She wrote or co-wrote almost entire album, co-produced it with Broussard.  Allmusic raves about it, calling it “masterful music from a major talent”.  http://www.allmusic.com/album/just-believe-it-mw0000170254



2 – Gil Scott-Heron – “Peace Go With You, Brother” from the album ‘Winter in America’, 1974 Strata-East Records

Image result for gil scott heron winter in america

He is greatly missed – we need him more than ever.  And I consider this song his foremost masterpiece.  It holds just as true now as it did in 1973.

3 – Don “Sugarcane” Harris – “Runnin’ Away” from the album ‘Cup Full of Dreams’, 1974 MPS Records.

Image result for sugarcane harris cup full of dreams

Fascinating musician, my favorite electric violin player.  Started out as half of the R&B duo don & Dewey in the pre-Beatles era, did a rewarding stint with Frank Zappa (that’s Harris on the Hot Rats album) played with Harvey Mandel in the underrated Pure Food and Drug Act following their stretch with John Mayall.  This album includes Dewey Terry on keyboards, and many of the musicians from the Mayall ‘Back to the Roots’ and ‘USA Union’ albums.  Harris burns on this cut.



4 – Jimmy Heath – “Faraway Lands” from the album “Love and Understanding”, Muse Records.

  Image result for jimmy heath love and understanding

Great composition, great group, great album.  This was Heath’s prime period, was very sad when he chose to go retro with his brothers on Columbia (who compromised all of their jazz musicians except Dexter Gordon in the mid-70’s).

5 – Frank Walton – “Shorter’s Vibe” from the album ‘Reality’  Delmark Records 1978

Image result for frank walton reality

I had never heard of Walton or this album prior to seeing it on Stefan’s listing and buying it.   Pretty interesting Chicago group.  In addition to Walton, Ari Brown on TS/SS, Henry Threadgill on AS (don’t hear him on this cut), Jodie Christian on piano.



6- Mark Masters – “Is It Not True Simply Because You Cannot Believe It?”  from the album ‘Priestess’,  1990 Capri Records.

Image result for mark masters priestess

Wonderful arrangements on four Harper cuts, plus another four cuts featuring Jimmy Knepper,

7 – Nicole Mitchell’s Ice Crystal – “Adaptability” from the album ‘Aquarius’, 2013 Delmark Records.

Image result for nicole mitchell aquarius

Traded for this one with another board member and was stunned when I heard it!  Obviously influenced by Dolphy’s “Out To Lunch”, but also very different in other ways.

8 – Grachen Moncur III – “New Africa” from the album ‘Exploration’, 2004 Capri Records

Image result for grachan moncur exploration

Not too shabby of a group.  Great update of Moncur’s late 60’s compositional gem.  The album really highlights what a great writer Moncur is, and the Masters arrangements are fabulous.

9 Santana – “Echizo” from the album ‘Santana iV’, 2016 Santana IV Records.

Image result for santana iv

I really like the album, everyone plays well.  The lyrics on the carnal cuts are an utter embarrassment (they would be bad enough sung by someone in their 20’s, but positively mortifying being sung Gregg Rolie when he is pushing 70), the cosmic brotherhood stuff is a little silly in 2016 America, but pleasant enough, even sung by 75 year old Ronald Isley (the combo works better than I would have thought).  The instrumental stuff is pretty great, as is the musicianship on the vocal stuff.  There is also a live show available on CD/DVD/Blu-Ray that I highly recommend if you are into it, though Carlos still often says goofy things when he talks.  But he and Neal Schon sound great together, and are having a wonderful time, as are all involved.

10 – The Bangs (later known as the Bangles) – “Bitchen Summer/Speedway”, recorded 1982, from the compilation ‘Ladies and Gentlemen---the Bangles!”, 2014 Omnivore Records

Image result for bangles ladies gentlemen

Written by Susanna Hoffs and David Roeback (cult hero of The Rain Parade and Mazzy Star), performed by Hoffs, and Debbi and Vicki Peterson.  If you’ve ever seen the Bangles live, you know they are monster musicians, and their “Hazy Shade of Winter” is one of my favorite pieces of music ever.  While I’m not surprised no one got this, if you listen, they do tell you who it is right at the beginning of the cut.  Vicki Peterson joined the Continental Drifters (Susan Cowsill, Pete Holsapple of the DB’s), married one of Cowsill’s brothers, and joined with Susan Cowsill to create side act the Psycho Sisters.



11 – David Weiss & Departure – “I Have a Dream” from the album ‘Snuck In’, 2010 Sunnyside Records.

Image result for david weiss snuck in

J.D. Allen on tenor (not a Tony Tenor).  Wonderful group, Weiss is an incredible musician.

12 - Gil Scott-Heron – “Peace Go With You, Brother (reprise)” from the album ‘Winter in America’, 1974 Strata-East Records.


Image result for gil scott heron winter in america


Reprised cause it has to be, same as on the original album.

13 – Susan Cowsill -   “Wawona Twilight” from the album ‘Just Believe It’, 2004 Blue Rose Records


Image result for susan cowsill just believe it


No one picked up that this was also a reprise of the first cut, trying to end well and to add a double symmetry to the BFT.  Janson Lohmeyer is the pianist (I’ve never heard of him before either, but think this is beautiful).

Edited by felser
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1 hour ago, sidewinder said:

Thanks for this BFT, enjoyed it. Confirms also that I would have never got any of the tracks which totally stumped me in 1000 years, so an education !

My favorite (but most costly!) part of other people's BFT's is being educated on tracks I like but don't know!

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2 hours ago, tkeith said:

Egad... been in a listening rut... I actually own TWO of these that I did not ID.  Sad, OJ... sad.

I often find I've done that on BFT's, two or three cuts sitting on my shelf that I misidentify or think I've never heard.

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