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Percy Faith And His Orchestra ‎– Black Magic Woman (1971)

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Percy Faith And His Orchestra ‎– Black Magic Woman (1971)

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1    Black Magic Woman
2    The Sun King
3    Big Yellow Taxi
4    If
5    Reza (Ray-za)
6    The Wailing Of The Willow
7    Viva Tirado
8    Oye Como Va
9    Wave
10    Never Can Say Goodbye
11    Tres

Arranged By, Conductor – Percy Faith
Brass – Ralph Osborne
Guitar, Bass – Al Hendrickson, Lou Morrell, Max Bennet, Red Callander
Percussion – Earl Palmer, Jack Arnold, Mark Holland
Producer – Richard Perry
Strings – Erno Neufeld
Trombone, Woodwind – Anthony Ortego
Trumpet – Bill Tole

 

Percy Faith demonstrates the efficacy of his approach to music-making, with its appropriations of current pop hits mixed with worthy lesser-known material, on this excellent collection. It is anchored by several recent radio favorites; indeed, Bread's "If" and the Jackson 5's "Never Can Say Goodbye" were still in the charts when Faith entered the studio in May 1971. But the inspiration for the album clearly was Faith's affection for two Santana hits, "Black Magic Woman" (written by Fleetwood Mac's Peter Green) and "Oye Como Va" (written by salsa great Tito Puente). Faith's interest in Latin music was longs-tanding, and he retained vital elements of the Santana versions in his own arrangements, notably the organ in "Black Magic Woman." He also recalled the Latin flavor of the Beatles' LP cut "The Sun King" from Abbey Road and used it as a good change-of-pace after the lively opener. But Faith could turn out a chart for a lush ballad like "If" in his sleep; it's the unusual choices that make this one of his best albums. Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" seems like an odd selection on paper, but Faith treats it like a swing novelty, understanding the playfulness of the melody, which contrasts with the lyric (unheard here anyway). The relatively unknown Harry Nilsson/Ian Freebairn Smith number "The Wailing of the Willow" is like some lost piece of movie music, while El Chicano's 1970 chart entry "Viva Tirado" recalls the film music of Hugo Montenegro. And Faith furthers his own cause with an original composition, "Tres," that features some wonderful piano improvisations (can it be the conductor himself?). While the Latin feel is never far from his thoughts, Faith has melded a variety of material into an effective whole, proving that, at 63, he still has plenty of creative fire. ---William Ruhlmann, AllMusic Review

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Last Updated (Friday, 30 March 2018 13:47)

 

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