SONG OF THE DAY The Mysterious Flying Orchestra – Shadows

PrimaryAnyone that knows me may just think that today’s choice of song is a bit too ‘smooth’, but there is something about this smoochy tune that garnered enough of my attention to think, ‘yes, I’m liking a bit of this’.  I dare say that I’ll play this another day and not feel the same, but such is the beauty of documenting what takes your fancy at any given time! I think it’s the gentle crescendo of the strings that clinched it, actually!

The Mysterious Flying Orchestra were a short-lived US jazz and fusion studio project created and directed by John Coltrane’s iconic producer Bob Thiele. True to their name, The Mysterious Flying Orchestra have remained a pretty mysterious and underground act of the 70s jazz landscape, fading away quicker than expected. Leaving only one self-title album in their wake (which was issued on Bob Thiele’s own Flying Dutchman label), they came and went in the same year.

Issued in 1977 and described as a “feast of jazz funk”, this record has gained popularity over the years, especially with hip hop artists such as Gang Starr who has sampled some of these tunes! The extensive studio orchestra featured players like Jerry Friedman on electric guitar, Jon Faddis on trumpet and Bob Mintzer on sax, among the almost fifty people that are associated with this record (more members are listed below).

Taken from this record comes Shadows, a song by Lonnie Liston Smith (who plays keyboards on the track). Like a lot of the music I’ve been drawn to recently, this instrumental excursion possesses a certain richness, presenting itself in a very cool flow of escapism. Outside its hot and muggy, but my ears are basking in cool!! Check it out above.

Musicians / Personnel :
Directed By (Musical Director) – Bob Thiele
Electric Bass – Wilbur Bascomb
Electric Guitar – Jerry Friedman, Larry Coryell, Richard Resnicoff
Electric Piano – Don Grolnick, Lonnie Liston Smith, Pat Rebillot
Drums – Wilby Fletcher, Charles Collins, Andy Newmark
Percussion – Guilherme Franco, Bob Thiele
Congas – Lawrence Killian
Saxophone – Bob Mintzer, Steve Marcus, Eddie Daniels, Phil Bodner, Charlie Mariano, Babe Clarke
Flute – Eddie Daniels, Donald Smith
Trumpet – Jon Faddis, Lew Soloff
Trombone – Tony Studd
Violin – Emanuel Green, Gene Orloff, Harry Lookofsky, Joseph Malignaggi, Julie Held, Leo Kahn, Max Cahn, Sylvan Shulman, Doreen Callender, Julien Barber, Max Ellen, Noel DaCosta, W. Sanford Allen, Selwart Clarke
Viola – Alan Shulman, Jesse Levy, Al Brown
Cello – Kermit Moore, Ronald DeVaughn
Acoustic Guitar – Gene Bertoncini
Vibraphone, Percussion – George Devens
Arrangers – Horace Ott, Glenn Osser
Engineer – Harvey Goldberg
Remix – Bob Thiele, Harvey Goldberg

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