I immediately was groovin' on this nostalgia trip. I heard strains of Sugarloaf, mellow Jade Warrior, Hatfield and the North leanings, pastel impressions of National Health, and even Joe Jackson vocals, (no lie)! This is yet another one of those '70s obscurities resurrected for our digital enjoyment. Dave Lawson is the accomplished writer and arranger of these jazzy, guitar rock-edged, reed-enhanced, and vibes-laced delights. This is hip all the way through the beaded curtains to that hazy back room of expanded dimensions.
Lawson croons and tickles the ivory. Tony Edwards is great guitars, John Eaton is bass, Kenny Beveridge on drums, Lennie Wright does vibes, drums/percussion, Tony Roberts bleeds the tenor sax, flutes, and clarinets while Don Fay adds more flute, tenor, alto, and baritone saxophones.
A full sound and body makes every song a toe-tapping, head-bobbin', shoulders swaying groove-a-thon. Samurai is 100% polished finesse and easily digested. All you guys out there whining about how your girl friend/ wife hates progressive music will find your honey diggin' this stuff. Lawson's keys and vocals are very strong and ever so relaxing. He is a solid swoon-fest.
Seven cuts are studio, with five rare bonus live tracks. Three of the live cuts are different versions of the previous studio cuts and "Concerto For Bedsprings" and "Love You" are truly a bonus. For your extra info, Lawson went on to join Greenslade. Strong recommendations.
Samurai: self-titled (CD, 71:17); Landren Productions LRCD 9612
Reprinted with the permission of John Collinge and Progression Magazine .