Long Island's AIR only made one album. As solitary statements go, it's exceptional. Divinely elevated by Googie Coppola's beautiful voice, this transcendent masterpiece of soulful jazz-rock fusion has become increasingly tricky to track down. 45 years on from its initial release, Be With Records finally make it available again on vinyl.
The highlights are many and memorable. From the irresistible groove of Mr. Man to the heavenly piano vocal of Jail Cell; from the funk-fuelled brass breaks in Man Is Free to the haunting, unforgettable Sister Bessie, it is easy to understand why this record has been long revered amongst aficionados.
Yet the entire record is without weakness and, therefore, selecting standout tracks seems redundant. If ever there was an album to surrender to in full, this is it. A perfect blend of rock and jazz, the record's greatest asset is surely Googie's uniquely expressive voice - the like of which we'll never hear again.
Much like the music contained within, the original jacket was a thing of total beauty, presented as a lavish gatefold with a distinctive die-cut logo on the front flap. Accordingly, in keeping with the quality of all Be With reissues, this has been painstakingly recreated, along with the original liner notes. Sonically, Simon Francis' dextrous mastering adds real clarity and muscle throughout and, as ever, it has been pressed at a reassuringly weighty 180g.
Treasured by 'selector' luminaries such as Jeremy Underground, MCDE, Floating Points and Hunee, this startling record is beloved by everyone who has heard it. Buying the original - if you can find it - would set you back a small fortune so Be With's latest archival release is one that is already being warmly welcomed from all corners of the global record-buying community.
Motor City Drum Ensemble