I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Mondo Grosso -- Family

Earlier this afternoon, I was writing about Toshiki Kadomatsu(角松敏生)weaving his City Pop magic for Anri(杏里)and her 1983 album "Timely!!", but the day before, I had come across this song on YouTube which took me back to my good old days of R&B back in the late 70s and early 80s. And it was produced by another artist who also wove some fine magic for various other artists.

This was "Family" by 90s musician-producer Mondo Grosso (aka Shinichi Ozawa/大沢伸一). Released in 1995 as a single, it also came out as a track in his album "Born Free" which came out in the same year. Listening to it, I couldn't help but shimmy a bit since the arrangement had me thinking about Stevie Wonder. Great horns and funky/mellow keyboards. It's just so nice and cool. It's no wonder that there were some wonderful tunes later on by songbirds such as Bird and BoA.

"Family" is a cover of the 1980 original by jazz flutist/saxophonist Hubert Laws with his sister Debra Laws providing those happy and velvety vocals. Now I'd be interested in hearing some more from the Laws' family. But I have to ask who the vocalist was in the Mondo Grosso cover. Was it Debra again or someone new? Inquiring minds want to know.

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