Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Leon & Mary Russell - 1977 - Make Love To The Music

Leon & Mary Russell 
Make Love To The Music

01. Easy Love 3:58
02. Joyful Noise 3:38
03. Now Now Boogie 2:55
04. Say You Will 3:38
05. Make Love To The Music 3:54
06. Love Crazy 2:58
07. Love Is In Your Eyes 2:49
08. Hold On To This Feeling 3:51
09. Island In The Sun 5:55

Dave Miner Percussion
Teddy Jack Eddy Drums
Marty Grebb Guitar, Saxophone
Marty Gregg Saxophone
Karl Himmel Drums
Ben Keith Dobro
David Miner Bass, Percussion
Gary Ogan Bass, Drums
Mickey Raphael Harmonica
Leon Russell Bass, Guitar, Keyboards, Piano, Vocals
Mary Russell Keyboards, Percussion, Vocals
Greg Thomas Drums

Leon and Mary Russell's debut album together Wedding Album was a personal and musical triumph for everyone involved. So it seemed obvious that a fairly emmediate follow up album was in order and they delivered one. At the very same time this is a completely different musical experience. Mary's participation on this album on every front is somewhat played down as Leon gets a bit more involved. There's more of a similarity to his earlier solo albums in parts and generally speaking is a mix of tunes similar in flavor to their debut album and some that follow Leon's own musical lead a bit more. "Easy Love" and the title song bare the most similarity to the previous album as somewhat uptempo soul/funk but the groove is a lot slicker and the synthesizer arrangements are a lot less thick overall. Still the music on these songs is every bit as brilliantly written as before. A good number of these songs such as "Joyful Noise","Now Now Boogie","Say You Will" and "Hold On To This Feeling" have a more organic,chunky honky tonk style funk groove more in keeping with some of the earlier Leon Russell solo albums and showcasing the band more than the individual styles of himself and Mary. This album was released the same year as Saturday Night Fever so some of the style of disco does show up on a few of these tracks. Actually the ones that do;"Love Crazy" and "Love Is In Your Eyes" are harder edged disco-funk flavore tunes with some chunky,heavily processed clavinets and some nasty rhythmic exchanges. The swoony romanticism of the previous album is replaced by a heavier sensual passion on this album and these two cuts display that more than others. The last tune on the album features Mary the most on the somewhat psychedelisized caribbean groove of "Island In The Sun". As with the previous album there really are no bad cuts at all on this album. They're all different though and that can be a wonderful thing often enough. In this case the pair require a cohesive musical concept to be their very best and this album doesn't really possess that kind of cohesiveness so it's only one star less powerful than the previous album.

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