Lamont Dozier, one of the architects of modern music – a giant of classic soul and contemporary pop – passed away on August 8th at the age of 81. It might have seemed that in the later years the veteran was taking stock of his achievements – publishing autobiography “How Sweet It Is” and issuing "Reimagination": an album of acoustic renditions of gems he helped to have penned – yet it wasn’t the case. More than anything, it signified the Motown legend’s careful curating of his legacy and keeping his career on the rails, in the ever-relevant state.
Quite possibly Mark Murdock’s most loved project – existing alongside MASHEEN MESSIAH, THE NEW EMPIRE and his solo and collaborative output – the ensemble named CYMBALIC ENCOUNTERS had a heavyweight aura to them from the very beginning: from 2013’s when this Japan-based American, who’d played in Peter Banks’ EMPIRE, roped in Percy Jones and John Goodsall to contribute, as composers and performers, to his “Cymbalic Encounters” album. It wasn’t a one-off affair, though, as The BRAND X veterans stayed on to appear on that record’s successors, 2020’s "Exploration Of The Southern Constellation" and its follow-up that’s titled “Cerulean Cathedral” and is slated to be out on September 16th on CD and as a download and on October 21st on vinyl.
First issued in 1971 to an initially lackluster reception, Rory Gallagher‘s “Deuce” album has cast a long shadow over the years, its opening and closing numbers – “Used To Be” and “Crest Of A Wave” – becoming surefire concert classics with the Irish guitarist’s brilliant delivery stoked by the rhythm section of Gerry McAvoy and Wilgar Campbell. So it will be a real treat for completists and aficionados to delve into the record’s a bit belated 50th Anniversary Edition which is to see the light of day on September 30th in a variety of formats, including a four-CD deluxe box set.
A bass institution unto himself and a stalwart of fusion scene, Jeff Berlin has always been vocal about to his creative and melodic influence, naming the great late Jack Bruce as an ultimate composer and performer. This is why Jeff’s “Jack Songs” that was issued on August 2nd as a CD and digital download must be considered a labor of love – especially given the album’s two-year gestation during which a certain crowdfunding platform went bankrupt. Such problems didn’t deter Berlin from soldiering on and inviting a stellar line-up of fellow players to take part in the project.
There are many amazing musicians who are mainly known for playing in various high-profile ensembles but never getting to project their own personality onto a collective project, which is why their solo efforts are often revelatory. This is especially true when it comes to bassists such as Marco Mendoza: a participant of bands like JOURNEY, BLACK STAR RIDERS and WHITESNAKE, the 59-year-old has three albums released under his name, with the fourth slated to be issued on September 16th to further the veteran’s position in the ranks of rock.