UPDATED 18/12/09 - Most of the text below is 'as was' when written, but since some things have changed, here's a quick update: EMI have made this album digitally available via iTunes (and probably other outlets too). I think that the band were long ago cut out of any money from the album, as the label it was on has changed hands on numerous occasions. I'd still like to see their follow up found and the whole lot put out as a 'Complete Earth Disciples' package, but that looks fairly unlikely, as even the guys in (or connected to) the band, can't locate masters. I've updated the Four Brothers Beats' link, as they've moved their blog here: 4BB. I'm not sure that the album is available anywhere in blog-land right now, but since it can be bought... go buy it! And anyone with info on masters or acetates for the follow up, please get in touch.
I can't take credit for discovering or sharing this fabulous album, that goes to Soulbrotha and co. over at the exceedingly tasty Four Brothers Beats blog.
The music is a sublime blend of jazz, funk, soul and rock, and like much great music, really defies categorization, surpassing such pigeon-holing, and existing on an altogether higher plane. The musicianship is of a very high level, with the drums and guitar deserving special mention. The music manages to marry passion and intensity with mellow subtlety and a real lightness of touch... amazing! This is SOUL music in a truly spiritual sense of the term: four guys groovin' on a cosmic sonic trip... hearts, minds and bodies fused into a new single entity.
Talking of a 'single entitly', here's a pic of the single they released from the album, along with a Youtube video of the album's title track (which was also the A-side of the single.
Recorded in 1969 for Sonny Lester's Solid State label (SS 18064), the band comprised Rudy Reid on keys, Red Holloway's son Jimmy Holloway on guitar (and poss keys also), Reggie Austin on bass, and Reggie Harris on drums. I'm researching this album for a forthcoming article, to be published soon here in the UK. I don't want to give too much away just yet tho', so, as the 4BB guys say, let the music do the talkin'!
I made the composite cover aw from pics at Throwback Music, who also had a link to the album at one point, but their blog has been invite only for some time.
Tracklisting: Getaway Train / La Bahemia / Life Cycle / Earth Island Ferry / Bitter End (Pt. 1) / Native Planet / Spirit of the Bells / Rollin' Over / Serenade of a Summer Butterfly / Bitter End (Pt. 2)