Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Lighthouse - 1971 - One Fine Morning

One Fine Morning

01. Love Of A Woman (5:52)
02. Little Kind Words (4:15)
03. Old Man (5:35)
04. Sing Sing Sing (3:22)
05. 1849 (6:12)
06. One Fine Morning (5:14)
07. Hats Off (To The Stranger) (3:37)
08. Show Me The Way (2:25)
09. Step Out On The Sea (5:04)
10. Sweet Lullaby (4:56)

Total time - 44:32

Additional tracks on Repertoire Records CD
11. One Fine Morning (single edit) (3:21)
12. Take It Slow (Out In The Country) (3:05)
13. Sweet Lullaby (single edit) (4:04)

- Dick Armin / cello
- Ralph Cole / guitar, vocals
- Don Dinovo / viola
- Paul Hoffert / keyboards
- Keith Jollimore / vocals, wind
- Bobby McBride / percussion, vocals
- Pete Pantaluk / trumpet
- Skip Prokop / guitar, drums, vocals
- Howard Shore / saxophone
- Larry Smith / trombone, vocals
- Louis Yacknin / bass

In retrospect, it seems surprising that this superb album came so early in the career of Lighthouse. A change of record label and the arrival of new lead singer Bob McBride combined with the appointment of producer Jimmy Lenner all gave the band the sense of direction the so needed so badly. "One fine morning" is a supremely confident album, filled with tight jazz rock based songs.

"Love of a woman" kicks things off in fine upbeat style, the brass section driving McBride's strong vocals forward. McBride's style is similar to that of Blood Sweat and Tears' David Clayton-Thomas, although his voice is usually slightly gruffer. "Little kind words" belies that gruffness though, this tastefully soft track having a delightful melody and some fine harmonies. The arrangement on this track is particularly striking.

"Old man" sets out as a fairly conventional pop based song before the brass section lifts the pace, introducing a lengthy instrumental workout for the entire 11 man line up. "1849" tells the tale of a wagon train headed for the California gold rush in that year.

Two singles were taken from the album appearing consecutively here. The title track "One fine morning" is a wonderful BS&T like fast paced number. The song has strong harmonies and a great feel good atmosphere, with superb guitar work driven ever higher by the brass arrangement. "Hat's off (to the stranger)" also has a BS&T feel, but focuses on the slower big production sound.

"One fine morning" is an excellent collection of jazz rock songs. The album does not contain the improvisations or extended soloing of previous releases, these being replaced by an altogether tighter approach. As such, the prog aspects are less obvious here than on other Lighthouse releases. That aside though, the music is supremely melodic, and the performances of the extended line up uniformly excellent.

The Repertoire records CD re-release contains three additional tracks. Two of these are simply single edits of tracks on the album. The third, "Take it slow (out in the country)" is a single edit of the opening track from the following "Thoughts of moving on" album.

The Vertigo release of the album came complete with a superb Roger Dean illustration of a Lighthouse formation.


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