After the Mizell brothers famously struck gold with their revolutionary forward-thinking production for Donald Byrd’s ‘Black Byrd’, their first album for Blue Note, the label suggested they started working with brilliant flautist Bobbi Humphrey - a marriage that turned out to be made in heaven.
Recorded in the summer of 1975 at the Sound Factory Studios in L.A., ‘Fancy Dancer’, their third album together, catches both the Mizell Brothers and Bobbi Humphrey at the height of their powers, their slick and sweeping multi-layered sound honed to perfection.
With a stellar line-up that includes Dorothy Ashby, Harvey Mason, Chuck Rainey and Oscar Brashear, Humphrey’s flute dances through the majestic multi-faceted soundscapes like a precious butterfly, sometimes hovering high over it, always refusing to sit down anywhere.
The tough Afro-Latin inspired jazzrock leanings of ‘Uno Esta’, the giant swirling soundwave that is ‘You Make Me Feel So Good’ and the highly emotional ‘Please Set Me At Ease’ (famously sampled by both Madlib and DJ Premier for the intro of Bahamadia’s classic debut album) are the obvious choices here, but this in an album that needs your full attention as a whole - an album that will never grow old.
It’s also exactly the sort of album you’d want in an audiophile all-analog 180 gram version, mastered straight from the original analog tapes. Does it get any better than this? (Rogier)