Wednesday, 8 July 2009
Dr. Music II
256+ VBR LAME mp3
Vinyl rip & scans from GRT 9233-1004
Continuing with the Dr. Music discography, here's the second album by the pared-down unit Riley had re-assembled. Losing the powerful singers from the previous line-up, Brenda Russell (née Gordon), Terry Black, Rhonda Silver and Diane Brooks, meant more emphasis was put on the musical chops and the result was an album that is almost half instrumental. It's still rooted very much in the same free-form R&B and gospel-inflected spirit as its predecessor, although less obviously chasing radio success and more comfortable with just being itself. If Dr. Music I was the first date - more tense than relaxed, trying a bit too hard to impress - then Dr. Music II has the relaxed attitude attained after having cohabited for a few months.
One roster change made when the band shrunk from 15-piece to 7-piece was a switch to Wayne Stone on drums. No stranger to the crew, he was also in Motherlode with Kennedy and Marco and, like them, had originally come from the rock-soul garage band Grant Smith & The Power. Like Marco, who never returned to the line-up after the first outing, Stone only appears on just the one Dr. Music LP. He lays down a nice break with some sampling potential at the start of "On The Road" and does a good job of keeping it funky and swingin' enough to be more than a bluff throughout the proceedings.
Besides the vocal team, another cut from the first group is bassist/keyboardist extraordinaire Don Thomspon. One of Canada's premiere jazz bassists, he was part of the John Handy Quintet when they played Monterey in '65 and he also played on The 2nd John Handy Album which was posted a while back on Soundological here. The year this particular Dr. Music album came out he was steadily working on stage and touring Canada and the U.S. as part of Paul Desmond's unit and by sometime in '74 he hooked up with Jim Hall and was off to play Europe. I'm not sure sure if it was simply his schedule that precluded him from working on this album since there is no bassist credit at all. It's most likely that the role was filled economically, and to great effect, by Riley's B3. However, Thompson would find the time to participate in Dr. Music's next outing, Bedtime Story, released the following year.
Doug Riley - keyboards
Doug Mallory - lead vocals, guitar
Michael Kennedy - vocals, percussion
Steve Kennedy - vocals, tenor & alto sax, flute
Keith Jollimore - vocals, baritone, alto & tenor sax, flute
Barrie Tallman - tromboneWayne Stone - drums
1 Long Time Comin' Home
2 On The Road
3 In My Life
5 Tryin' Times
6 Doctor Doctor
7 Rollin' Releases
8 Where Do We Go From Here
The Dr. and Soundological make another housecall HERE. (link updated May 23, 2013)