Thursday, May 9, 2019

The Fabulous Rhinestones - Freewheelin' (1973 us, fascinating groovy blues jazz brass rock, 2011 japan remaster)

Produced by Bill Szymczyk on Lang's Just Sunshine label, 1973's "Freewheelin'" offered up a first-rate set.

With all three members contributing material, tracks like 'Down To the City', 'Go with Change' and 'What Becomes of Your Life' bore more than a passing resemblance to Robert Lamm, Terry Kath and Chicago. The Brecker Brothers were even there to provide horn arrangements.  That may not seem like a very promising comparison to some folks, but I'm talking about early career Chicago when they still knew how to craft a rock song.

Perhaps no surprise to learn that Grebb late went on to play with Chicago.   With the exception of the cocktail jazzy instrumental 'Whitecaps' virtually any one of these tracks would have made a decent 45, though Just Sunshine managed to pick what was probably the least appropriate song for a single - 'Freewheelin'' b/w 'Whitecaps' (Just Sunshine catalog number #509).  Given these guys weren't the best looking trio you've every heard it might not have been a total surprise to discover the album did sell squat.  

It’s to their credit that this group didn't reprise the first album here. Yes the Rhinestones have already developed a signature sound but they've brought in an A-team of guests to flesh out some more terrific songs and the result is another big winner. Some of the distinguished guests are David Sandborn {Alto Sax}, Randy Brecker{Trumpet}, Michael Brecker {Tenor Sax} and Barry Rogers {Trumpet}. Joe Walsh programs the Arps. Of notable interest is a nice piece of jazz fusion called "Whitecaps.", It's a perfect ending to a bright and very worthy record.
by Allan J Moore
1. Freewheelin' (Marty Grebb, Harvey Brooks, Kat McCord) - 3:07
2. Down To the City (Kal David, Marty Grebb) - 4:22 
3. Go with Change (Kal David, Marty Grebb, Harvey Brooks) - 3:55
4. What Becomes of Your Life (Marty Grebb) - 3:54
5. Vicious Circle (Kal David, Marty Grebb) - 4:46
6. Do It Like Ya Mean It (Marty Grebb, David Thomas) - 4:05
7. Roots With You Girl (Kal David, Marty Grebb, Harvey Brooks, Kat McCord) - 4:19
8. Hurt Somebody (Leon Russell) - 4:18
9. Whitecaps (Instrumental) (Marty Grebb, Harvey Brooks, Kal David, David Sanborn) - 5:30

The Fabulous Rhinestones
*Harvey Brooks - Bass, Acoustic Bass, Vocals
*Kal David - Vocals, Guitar
*Marty Grebb - Piano, Organ, Mellotron, Saxophone, Guitar, Vocals, Synthesizer
*Dave Sanborn - Alto Saxophone
*Kat McCord - Vocals
*Reinol Isaac "Dino" Andino - Congas
*Greg Thomas - Drums
*Dennis Whitted - Drums
*Jean "Toots" Thielemans - Harmonica
*Joe Walsh - Synthesizer
*Michael Brecker - Tenor Saxophone
*Tito Puente - Timbales
*Barry Rogers - Trombone
*Randy Brecker - Trumpet

1972  The Fabulous Rhinestones - The Fabulous Rhinestones (2011 japan)
1975  The Rhinestones - The Rhinestones (2011 korean remaster)
Related Acts
1968  Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, Steve Stills - The Super Sessions (2014 Hybrid Multichannel SACD 24/88)
1968  Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, Steve Stills - The Super Sessions (2003 remaster and expanded) 
1967  Electric Flag - The Trip
1968-69  Electric Flag - An American Music Band / A Long Time Comin'  
1968-72  The Electric Flag - Live

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