Sunday, 15 January 2012

"Faces In Reflection" by GEORGE DUKE. A Review Of His 1974 Jazz-Fusion Album Now Remastered Onto A 2008 CD In Universal's "Originals" Series.


This review is part of my "SOUNDS GOOD: Exceptional CD Remasters Soul, Funk & Jazz Fusion" Download Book available to buy on Amazon to either your PC or Mac (it will download the Kindle software to read the book for free to your toolbar). Click on the link below to go my Author's Page for this and other related publications:


                       http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00LQKMC6I

"…Faces Reveal Shadows…You Can't Conceal…"

As a fan of Seventies Jazz-Funk and Jazz-Fusion, I must admit to lack of knowledge on this one – and it's a gem I’ve been missing out on.

This 2008 CD remaster on Verve B0011514-02 is a straightforward reissue of "Faces In Reflection" - a rare Jazz-Fusion album by George Duke originally released in 1974 in Europe and the USA on MPS Records/BASF (it had no British release). It's also part of Universal's "Originals" CD series. All of these discs are remastered, housed in card digipaks with original artwork reproduced on the outer and inner flap (usually no booklet) and are pitched at mid-price. The series is extensive - Jazz, Funk, Soul, Latin, Big Bands and Fusion albums across the multinational’s vast array of labels (see list below). But the big news for fans here is the SUPERLATIVE NEW SOUND…

KEVIN REEVES handled the mastering and it’s a fabulous job done - the sound quality is 'so' good. Being Fusion and filled with keyboard flourishes and jazzy drum patterns – the remastering needed to enhance the playing – and it has. "Piano Solo No. 1+2" for instance has slight hiss – but it’s not dampened out nor compressed – it’s allowed to breath – and lovely for it. You really hear the musicianship. JOHN HEARD is the Bass player and NDUGU the Drummer – all other instruments are by GEORGE DUKE.

Reeves has an impressive track record – he’s remastered the beautiful "What Color Is Love" album by Terry Callier (also in the "Originals" series), the Hip-O Select reissue of Barry White's "I've Got So Much To Give" from 1974, Volume 2 of the Smokey Robinson series, the "United Artists Collection" double for Gordon Lightfoot and two fantastic Crusaders albums "Pass The Plate" (1971) and "Images" (1978) – I've reviewed the lot and his work is exceptional on all of them.

Musically "Faces In Reflection" is a little Todd Rundgren's Utopia (the 1974 debut), a little Frank Zappa, some Mahavishnu Orchestra and a whole lot of keyboard fusion. It's fast and some would say excessively so in places, but it’s better than that. "North Beach" sounds very Brian Auger with its echoed-keyboards and funky feel. The beautifully mellow "Capricorn" has brought customers to our counter enquiring after it on more than one occasion - while the slightly Latin feel of Milton Nacscimento's "Maria Tres Filhos" is an album highlight for me.

Most of the cuts are instrumentals and thankfully there are no self-indulgent 18-minute workouts on here (the longest track is 6:25) and better for it. "Faces In Reflection No.1" is very musical and sounds like something out of a movie soundtrack. One or two tracks have vocal rapping alongside the soloing, but only one has words - the album finisher "Faces In Reflection No.2" (lyrics above).

A bit of an unknown that deserves better frankly – I urge to check it out. Recommended…

*** A List Of Some Of The Titles In Universal's "ORIGINALS" CD Series ***
Labels covered include - Verve, Mercury, Fontana, A&M, Chisa, Blue Thumb, Kudu, ABC, Philips, Impulse etc…

1. New Orleans Nights - LOUIS ARMSTRONG and the ALL STARS (1950)
2. Satchmo At Pasadena - LOUIS ARMSTRONG and the ALL STARS (1951)
3. A Tear To A Smile - ROY AYERS UBIQUITY (1975)
4. Change Up The Groove - ROY AYERS UBIQUITY (1974)
5. He's Coming - ROY AYERS UBIQUITY (1971)
6. Lifeline - ROY AYERS (1977)
7. Ubiquity - ROY AYERS (1971)
8. Vibrations - ROY AYERS (1977)
9. Virgo Red - ROY AYERS (1973)
10. You Send Me - ROY AYERS (1978)
11. Chapter One: Latin America - GATO BARBIERI (1973)
12. Chapter Three: Viva Emiliano Zapata - GATO BARBIERI (1974)
13. Chapter Two: Hasta Siempre - GATO BARBIERI (1973)
14. Ruby. Ruby - GATO BARBIERI (1977)
15. Tropico - GATO BARBIERI (1978)
16. Basie Land - COUNT BASIE (1963)
17. On My Way & Shoutin' Again - COUNT BASIE (1963)
18. Intimacy - WALTER BEASLEY (21 October 2008)
19. Just Kickin' It - WALTER BEASLEY (1989)
20. Walter Beasley - WALTER BEASLEY (1987)
21. I Got A Woman And Some Blues - GEORGE BENSON (1970’s material, 1984)
22. Shape Of Things To Come - GEORGE BENSON (1969)
23. Soul Finger - ART BLAKEY and the JAZZ MESSENGERS (1965)
24. Bobo Motion - WILLIE BOBO (1967)
25. The Brazilian Scene - LUIZ BONFA (1965)
26. Braziliana - LUIZ BONFA and MARIA TOLEDO (1965)
27. Return Of The Brecker Brothers - THE BRECKER BROTHERS [Randy and Michael] (1992)
28. Just Between us - NORMAN BROWN (1992)
29. Jazz Samba – CHARLIE BYRD (1962)
30. Occasional Rain - TERRY CALLIER (1972)
31. What Color Is Love - TERRY CALLIER (1973)
32. Children Of Forever - STANLEY CLARKE (1973)
33. A Love Supreme - JOHN COLTRANE (1964)
34. Ascension - JOHN COLTRANE (1965)
35. Crescent - JOHN COLTRANE (1964)
36. Impressions - JOHN COLTRANE (1961)
37. John Coltrane And Johnny Hartman - JOHN COLTRANE and JOHNNY HARTMAN (1963)
38. The John Coltrane Quartet Plays... - JOHN COLTRANE QUARTET (1965)
39. Kulu Se Mama - JOHN COLTRANE (1965)
40. Live At Birdland - JOHN COLTRANE (1963)
41. Meditations – JOHN COLTRANE (1965)
42. New Thing At Newport - JOHN COLTRANE and ARCHIE SHEPP (1965)
43. Images - THE CRUSADERS (1978)
44. Old Socks, New Shoes...New Socks, Old Shoes - THE CRUSADERS (1970)
45. Pass The Plate - THE CRUSADERS (1971)
46. Ascenseur Pour L'echafaud - MILES DAVIS (1957)
47. A Dream Fulfilled – WILL DOWNING (1991)
48. Come Together As One – WILL DOWNING (1989)
49. Faces In Reflection – GEORGE DUKE (1974)
50. I Love The Blues, She Heard My Cry - GEORGE DUKE (1975)
51. Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins - DUKE ELLINGTON and COLEMAN HAWKINS (1962)
52. Duke Ellington & John Coltrane - DUKE ELLINGTON and JOHN COLTRANE (1963)
53. Plays The Theme From V.I.P. & Others – BILL EVANS (1963)
54. Out Of The Cool - GIL EVANS ORCHESTRA (1961)
55. Octet - MAYNARD FERGUSON (1955)
56. Ella In Hamburg (Live) - ELLA FITZGERALD (1961)
57. Ella In Hollywood - ELLA FITZGERALD (1961)
58. Porgy & Bess - ELLA FITZGERALD and LOUIS ARMSTRONG (1957)
59. At The Shrine – STAN GETZ (1954)
60. Big Band Bossa Nova - STAN GETZ and GARY McFARLAND (1962)
61. Dynasty – STAN GETZ (1971)
62. Getz/Gilberto – STAN GETZ and JOAO GILBERTO (also features Astrud Gilberto) (1963)
63. Getz/Gilberto No.2 – STAN GETZ and JOAO GILBERTO (1964)
64. In Stockholm (Live) - STAN GETZ (1956)
65. Jazz Samba Encore! – STAN GETZ (1963)
66. Sweet Rain - STAN GETZ (1967)
67. Stan Getz With Guest Artist Laurindo Almeida – STAN GETZ and LAURINDO ALMEIDA (1963)
68. Jazz Giants '58 - STAN GETZ, GERRY MULLIGAN, HARRY EDISON, LOUIS BELSON and The OSCAR PETERSON TRIO (1958)
69. Swing Is Here - TERRY GIBBS (1960)
70. A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness - ASTRUD GILBERTO and WALTER WANDERLEY (1966)
71. The Astrud Gilberto Album - ASTRUD GILBERTO (1965)
72. Look To The Rainbow - ASTRUD GILBERTO and GIL EVANS (1966)
73. The Cool World - DIZZY GILLESPIE (1964)
74. Dizzy Gillespie Goes Hollywood – DIZZY GILLESPIE (1963)
75. Dizzy On The French Riviera - DIZZY GILLESPIE with CHRIS WHITE, RUDY COLLINS, LALO SCHIFRIN and LEO WRIGHT (1962)
76. I Just Dropped By To Say Hello - JOHNNY HARTMAN (1963)
77. Used To Be Duke - JOHNNY HODGES and his ORCHESTRA (1954)
78. Lady Sings The Blues - BILLIE HOLIDAY (1956)
79. The Artistry Of Freddie Hubbard – FREDDIE HUBBARD (1962)
80. At The Museum Of Modern Art – MILT JACKSON (1970s)
81. Treasure Island - KEITH JARRETT (1974)
82. Rio Revisited - ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM and GAL COSTA (1989)
83. Quincy Jones Explores The Music Of Henry Mancini - QUINCY JONES (1964)
84. The Quintessence - QUINCY JONES ORCHESTRA (1962)
85. You've Got It Bad Girl - QUINCY JONES (1973)
86. Live At The Apollo – B.B. KING (1990)
87. Arabesque - JOHN KLEMMER (1977)
88. Barefoot Ballet - JOHN KLEMMER (1976)
89. Goin' Latin - RAMSEY LEWIS (1966)
90. The In Crowd - RAMSEY LEWIS TRIO (1965)
91. Live At The Bohemian Caverns - RAMSEY LEWIS TRIO (1962)
92. Home Is Where The Music Is - HUGH MASEKELA (2LP set on 1CD) (1972)
Gary McFarland – see STAN GETZ
93. Down Here On The Ground - WES MONTGOMERY (1967)
94. Goin' Out Of My Head - WES MONTGOMERY (1965)
95. Blues In Time - GERRY MULLIGAN and PAUL DESMOND QUARTET (1957)
96. Lonesome Boulevard – GERRY MULLIGAN (1990)
97. The Blues And The Obscure Truth - OLIVER NELSON [featuring PAUL CHAMBERS, ERIC DOLPHY, BILL EVANS, ROY HAYNES and FREDDIE HUBBARD] (1961)
98. In A Romantic Mood - OSCAR PETERSON (1955)
99. Oscar Peterson Plays The Jerome Kern Songbook - OSCAR PETERSON (1952)
100. Oscar Peterson and Nelson Riddle - OSCAR PETERSON and NELSON RIDDLE (1963)
101. Oscar Peterson Trio + One - OSCAR PETERSON TRIO and CLARK TERRY (1964)
102. Blues In the Closet – BUD POWELL TRIO (1956)
103. Come Into Knowledge - RAMP (1977)
104. Elis & Tom - ELIS REGINA and ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM (1974)
105. Quiet As It's Kept - MAX ROACH (1960)
106. On Impulse! - SONNY ROLLINS (1965)
107. Swing Street Café - JOE SAMPLE and DAVID T. WALKER (1981) [Keyboardist and Guitarist with The Crusaders]
108. Piano, Strings And Bossa Nova - LALO SCHIFRIN (1962)
109. Everybody's Somebody's Fool - LITTLE JIMMY SCOTT (1950s Material)
110. Let It Be Me (Live) - NINA SIMONE (1987)
111. Hobo Flats - JIMMY SMITH (1963)
112. Live At The Village Gate - JIMMY SMITH TRIO (1963)
113. Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? - JIMMY SMITH (1964)
114. Sonny Stitt Sits In With The Oscar Peterson Trio - SONNY STITT and OSCAR PETERSON (1957)
115. ...Plays The Contemporary Music Of Mexico And Brazil - CAL TJADER (1962)
116. At Mister Kelly’s – SARAH VAUGHAN and HER TRIO (1957)
117. All The King's Horses - GROVER WASHINGTON, Jr. (1972)
118. A Secret Place - GROVER WASHINGTON, Jr. (1976)
119. Feels So Good - GROVER WASHINGTON, Jr. (1975)
120. Inner City Blues - GROVER WASHINGTON, Jr. (1971)
121. Reed Seed - GROVER WASHINGTON, Jr. (1978)
122. Soul Box - GROVER WASHINGTON, Jr. (1973)

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

INDEX - Artists, Albums, Record Labels, CD Remaster Engineers, Liner Notes Authors, Links etc