Tamba 4 "California Soul" LP coming for Black Friday

Bobberman

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Give it a chance - and another couple of listens. It may sneak up on you. I know it did for me.
I Sure did and I agree Harry the non vocal side Grabbed me First and The rest of the songs Followed now my Tamba 4 A&M trilogy is complete
 

Michael Hagerty

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I don't want to discourage anyone, but I'm on my fourth listen. I still think it's a pretty bland effort (not bad, just meh) and given the state of things at A&M in general in 1969 and the looming expiration of the label's deal with Creed Taylor, I can see why Herb and/or Jerry decided to pass on releasing it.
 

Harry

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Wait till you start hearing "Na Onda do Berimbau" in your head... :)
 

Rudy

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I'm split on how I would sum it up. I'd give it a 2.5/5 rating as a Tamba Trio album (it comes nowhere close to any of the Tamba Trio albums or We and the Sea) but would give it 4/5 just as an album in general. The horns give it a vibe that is closer to what CTi was doing around this time. To be honest, I like this album more than Samba Blim which as I mentioned, sounded like it was recorded under a wet blanket, and is a bit too snoozy at times.

I think what's throwing everyone off is Luiz Eça's playing on the Rhodes--we are all used to hearing him on piano instead, where he can play with a lighter touch and of course, faster than what anyone could do on a Rhodes (which has an entirely different feel). His piano work was such a signature sound that having it missing here kind of draws a little of the spark out of the proceedings. I still hear his style on the Rhodes but it is not as lightfooted as he can be on the piano.

He also arranged all but one (or maybe two) of the horn charts on this record...although he also did arrange the string parts on earlier albums that Tamba Trio/Tamba 4 has done, so arranging was nothing new to him.

We have no idea why it was shelved. I have a feeling Creed Taylor and Herb/Jerry could have had a falling out over CTi and they shelved it for that reason. (A few albums got little or no release at this time.) Either of them could have decided it wasn't worth a release. Or maybe Luiz Eça didn't like the end product. We'll never know. It's rare an album would get shelved after having all the recording, mixing and mastering expenses paid, with no end product. But at least with a digital release, it cost them almost nothing to put it out now.
 

Michael Hagerty

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We have no idea why it was shelved. I have a feeling Creed Taylor and Herb/Jerry could have had a falling out over CTi and they shelved it for that reason. (A few albums got little or no release at this time.) Either of them could have decided it wasn't worth a release. Or maybe Luiz Eça didn't like the end product. We'll never know.
True, and I have no evidence to back this up, but my hunch tells me that since deals are usually based on delivering X number of albums during the period of the contract, and knowing that they would probably not be renewing the CTi deal, they passed on CALIFORNIA SOUL, STONEBONE, the untitled Hubert Laws (SP-3026) and the untitled Herbie Mann (SP-3029) forcing Creed to give them THE OTHER SIDE OF ABBEY ROAD, GULA MATARI, TIDE and BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER---four albums with the highest commercial potential.
 

Rudy

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I wonder if that was a similar situation with George Benson's I Got A Woman and some Blues which was recorded in 1969 but not released until 1984.

Desmond's Bridge Over Troubled Water was not even a Creed Taylor production--Sebesky produced and arranged that set. But other than that and being released on A&M proper, it does fit in with that A&M/CTi sound, making me wonder if Taylor had produced it, but didn't want his name associated with the record at that point.
 

Michael Hagerty

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I wonder if that was a similar situation with George Benson's I Got A Woman and some Blues which was recorded in 1969 but not released until 1984.

Desmond's Bridge Over Troubled Water was not even a Creed Taylor production--Sebesky produced and arranged that set. But other than that and being released on A&M proper, it does fit in with that A&M/CTi sound, making me wonder if Taylor had produced it, but didn't want his name associated with the record at that point.
And Sebesky went along with Creed to the new label, so...

Imagine, though, (assuming I'm right)...A&M just releases what they're given in sequence and CTi launches as an independent with THE OTHER SIDE OF ABBEY ROAD, GULA MATARI, TIDE and BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER. Not that any of those were huge albums, but there'd have been considerably more traction out of the gate than the label had.
 

Michael Hagerty

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PS: Here's how grim the jazz market was in late '69/early '70. The top 10 of the Jazz LP chart from Billboard, February 7, 1970

1. Les McCann and Eddie Harris-Swiss Movement (9 weeks on chart)
2. Isaac Hayes-Hot Buttered Soul (30 weeks)
3. Herbie Mann-Memphis Underground (40 weeks)
4. Quincy Jones-Walking In Space (12 weeks)
5. Herbie Mann-Live at the Whisky A Go-Go (10 weeks)
6. Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66-Ye-Me-Le (6 weeks)
7. Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66-Crystal Illusions (25 weeks)

8. Donald Byrd-Fancy Free (6 weeks)
9. Miles Davis-in A Silent Way (22 weeks)
10. Paul Horn-Inside (5 weeks)

No other A&M or CTi albums made the chart, which was 20 albums.

We know how weak both CRYSTAL ILLUSIONS and YE-ME-LE were in terms of sales---so for CRYSTAL to be top 10 jazz after six months, and YE-ME-LE to be within a couple of notches of WALKING IN SPACE, you know not a lot of product is moving.
 

Rudy

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A lot of that would change, I'm sure--a lot of fusion would start hitting the jazz charts not too soon after, since In A Silent Way led the way for Miles' fusion albums that would kickstart a lot of new music. Herbie Hancock, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return To Forever, etc., I would imagine pulled the jazz chart out of its lull.
 

Michael Hagerty

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A lot of that would change, I'm sure--a lot of fusion would start hitting the jazz charts not too soon after, since In A Silent Way led the way for Miles' fusion albums that would kickstart a lot of new music. Herbie Hancock, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return To Forever, etc., I would imagine pulled the jazz chart out of its lull.
Absolutely---in fact (and I haven't gotten that far yet), that summer, CTi would blow up the chart and really begin the new jazz approach with Freddie Hubbard's RED CLAY.

After my last post, I went a bit further---into April. Paul Desmond's FROM THE HOT AFTERNOON did a week at the bottom of the chart---#20---vanished for a few weeks, then spent four consecutive weeks at #20 and vanished again. CRYSTAL ILLUSIONS finally fell off after 33 weeks and YE-ME-LE spent so much time in the jazz top ten you'd have thought it was a hit record.
 

Rudy

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CRYSTAL ILLUSIONS finally fell off after 33 weeks and YE-ME-LE spent so much time in the jazz top ten you'd have thought it was a hit record.
And I don't even think those are the greatest records out there, especially the latter which actually sounds kind of tired. (I won't even get into the fact that they're not even close to jazz...but at least they had chart recognition regardless.)

I forgot, too--Deodato had a hit single with "Also Sprach Zarathustra" and his Prelude album sold millions, in 1973.
 

Harry

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And in 1972 Jackie & Roy barely squeaked into the Adult Contemporary Top 40 with a #36 for "Time & Love", though hardly jazz.
 
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