Tuesday, 19 January 2021

D Train ‎– You're The One For Me (1982)

Genre: Electronic, Funk / Soul
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Unidisc, Prelude Records

01.   You're The One For Me
02.   Walk On By
03.  Tryin' To Get Over
04.   Lucky Day
05.   D Train Theme
06.   Keep On
07.   Love Vibrations
08.   You're The One For Me (Reprise)
        Bonus Tracks
09.   Walk On By (Remix)
10.   D Train (Dub)
11.   Keep On (Remix)
12.   You're The One For Me (Remix)
13.   Keep On (Radio Edit)

Drums – Howard King 
Percussion – Steve Kroon
Saxophone – Gene Ghee
Trombone – Janice Robinson
Trumpet – Earl Gardner, Frank Williams, Kamau Adilifu
Guitar – Ed Tree Moore
Harp, String Contractor – Gene Bianco
Cello – Jesse Levy, Seymour Barab
Strings, Horns, Arranged By – Hubert Eaves III, Sinclair Acey
Strings – Marilyn Wright, Marvin Morganstern, Max Ellen, Paul Gershman, Regis Iandiorio
Viola – Harry Zaratzian, Julien Barber, Semour Berman, Ted Israel
Vocals, Arranged By – Hubert Eaves III, James Williams
Written-By – Hubert Eaves III, James Williams
Producer, Rhythm, Keyboards Arranged By, Keyboards, Programmed By – Hubert Eaves III

D-Train was the sound of American urban music in the early 80s. The professional collaboration of school friends James "D-Train" Williams and Hubert Eaves III, the duo created a slender catalogue of richly soulful, dynamic dance music that was steeped in gospel. Williams wrote and sang and Eaves produced, arranged and played.

Their mixture of electronics and emotion led to some compelling moments, most notably their calling card and most enduring anthem, You're the One for Me. With its sequenced handclaps, thundering synth bass and its fluttery, repetitive electronic melody, the song is enlivened by Williams' throaty delivery.

When he sings the repeated refrain of “With the love I have inside of me, we could turn this world around,” over the breakdown, it is like the world's most charismatic preacher encapsulating the remarkable purity and longing of the first flush of true love. The song gave them a Billboard Dance number one and a top 30 UK hit in February 1982.

The uplifting and inspirational Keep On is almost equal to the album’s title track. It too has a remarkable, repeated breakdown (“Sky is the limit and you know that you can have what you want, be who you want”), which was later incorporated into the Rockers Revenge version of Eddy Grant’s Walking on Sunshine.

The rest of the album simply cannot live up to these two tracks, but it continues their rapturously exuberant theme. Lucky Day is a sweet, conventional ballad; and Love Vibrations, with its fast synth bass, sounds like early Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis productions. A version of Walk on By, although slightly perfunctory, acts as a marvellous showcase for Williams.

Although they only made three albums, D-Train created some of the most enduring records of the early 80s. They took their heady template and developed it to its apogee with Music from their 1983 album of the same name, but You're the One For Me captures a moment where the old met the new, and it still sounds vibrant. Its influence can be heard on early house records, such as Farley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk’s Love Can't Turn Around and Ten City’s That's the Way Love Is.
Daryl Easlea  / BBC Review

Beaver & Krause ‎– Gandharva (1971)

Style: Blues Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Ambient
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Music On Vinyl, Warner Bros. Records

A1.   Soft / White
A2.   Saga Of The Blue Beaver
A3.   Nine Moons In Alaska
A4.   Walkin'
A5.   Walkin' By The River
B1.   Gandharva
B2.   By Your Grace
B3.   Good Places
B4.   Short Film For David
B5.   Bright Shadows

Harp – Gail Laughton
Alto Saxophone, Flute – Bud Shank
Baritone Saxophone – Gerry Mulligan
Bass – Ray Brown, Rod Ellicott
Drums – George Marsh, Lee Charlton
Piano – LaMont Johnson, Mike Lang
Synthesizer– Bernard L. Krause
Synthesizer, Organ – Paul Beaver
Lead Voice – Clydie King, Patrice Holloway
Guitar – Howard Roberts, Mike Bloomfield, Rik Elswit, Ronnie Montrose
Voice – Bernard L. Krause, Bill King, Edna Wright, Evangeline Carmichael, Lewis Morford, Ron Lee Hicklin, Vanetta Fields
Producer – Bernard L. Krause, Paul Beaver

In electronic music circles -- and among "heads" in general -- the names of Beaver & Krause have attained an almost mystical status that their small back catalog frankly struggles to live up to. Sure, they were matchmakers when commercial rock and electronic music were circling each other warily -- it was Bernie Krause, in particular, who introduced the Moog synthesizer to the likes of George Harrison and Micky Dolenz (though he neglected to show them how to put it to good use). Yet much of their recorded work sounds remarkably timid when compared to that of other electronic pioneers of the period. Ironically, the most powerful music they committed to record involved hardly any electronic input whatsoever. The suite that filled the second side of Gandharva was recorded in San Francisco's Grace Cathedral -- chosen for its extended decay time and as a space that would make the most of new quadrophonic recording techniques -- and involved jazz legend Gerry Mulligan on baritone sax and Bud Shank on alto sax and flute. Also present were Gail Laughton, playing two harps simultaneously, Howard Roberts on guitar, and Krause on Moog -- though he can only be heard adding the very occasional rumble. But what made the music unlike any previously recorded was Paul Beaver's serene performance on the cathedral's pipe organ. The combination of sax and church organ has been attempted many times since (by Keith Jarrett and Jan Garbarek to name but two), but never have the results come close to matching these. "Short Film for David," "Good Places," and Mulligan's own "By Your Grace" are works of extraordinary stillness and beauty, with both Shank and Mulligan soaring effortlessly. Speaking recently, Krause described Gandharva as "an attempt to express our collective spirituality musically" that would "bring music from a point of noise to a place very much quieter and more contemplative." Unfortunately, it's the "point of noise" -- to wit, much of what was side one of the vinyl edition -- that lets down the album badly. "Saga of the Blue Beaver" is a standard-issue blues-rock jam, while "Walkin' by the River" is an equally humdrum gospel workout. What these tracks are doing on an album like Gandharva is anyone's guess. The only traces of B&K's pioneering spirit to be found on side one are the electronic manipulation of Patrice Holloway's powerful a cappella performance on "Walkin'" and the brief synth-generated breathing effect of "Soft/White," originally written for the film Performance. Small fry indeed. Nevertheless, all is forgiven in the light of what follows.
Christopher Evans / AllMusic