Every so often you enter a record store and are amazed to find them playing something rare and beautiful and almost totally unknown to you.
As a pretty heavy music buyer this takes some doing but with ‘Sounds of the City Experience’ Jazzman records succeeded.
As the liner notes explained this Bronx group are unknown for the simple reason they recorded an album guaranteed to fail.
Not because it was awful or untimely or they were just plain unlucky.
This album was put together for a tax shelter. In other words, the album was recorded as a way of hiding less than legitimate money and deliberately buried by the people who produced it (a notorious label called Tiger Lily with reputed mob connections).
You might ask why would a musician wish to make an album that had literally zero chance of success? The answer was that in making the record they could at least prove their chops to people in the biz and maybe get a chance to make music with someone who was ready to back them.
If I had been a record executive in the seventies and come across this gem, I would have fallen over myself to give the band a recording contract. The album is full of tight funky grooves and soulful vocals and sounds like music made by people who love the idea of recording a song rather than the idea of being a big shot recording artist.
It’s one of those records that you can just put on and leave on without fear of being pulled out of your reverie by a duff track. It short it is an album of total excellence that but for the good fortune of walking into a good record store at exactly the right moment, I might have been ignorant of until by dying day. Life can sometimes be wonderful.