Pleasure – 1977 – Joyous
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Sublime jazzy soul from Pleasure one of the greatest groups of the west coast scene of the 70s and a key force in defining the Fantasy Records groove of the time! Pleasure have a sound that’s head and shoulders above most of their contemporaries especially groups on major labels who tried for this sort of blend, but never made it come off that right usually too smooth or too commercial. The mighty Wayne Henderson is a key factor in their sound as he produced some of the best tracks with that well-balanced groove he brought to his best work under At-Home Productions umbrella.
This is a @320 vinyl rip of my original Fantasy record with covers.
A1 Joyous (6:26)
A2 Let Me Be The One (5:11)
A3 Only You (3:20)
A4 Can’T Turn You Loose (4:14)
B1 Sassafras Girl (6:46)
B2 Tune In (6:37)
B3 Dance To The Music (4:50)
B4 Selim (3:48)
Pleasure couldn’t have asked for a more appropriate producer when, in late 1976, it employed Wayne Henderson on Joyous. A band that frequently brought jazz overtones to its funk-soul foundation, Pleasure needed someone who held jazz and R&B in equally high regard — and Henderson easily fit that description. The Texas trombonist first made a name for himself playing hard bop with the Jazz Crusaders, but as the 1970s progressed, he became increasingly R&B-friendly. Henderson was exactly the sort of producer that Pleasure needed, and the band’s appreciation of jazz comes through on the up-tempo funk numbers (which include “Dance to the Music,” “Let Me Be the One,” and the title song) as well as the dreamy quiet storm gem “Sassafras Girl.” Pleasure brings this vinyl LP to an appealing close with a jazz-funk instrumental titled “Selim,” which isn’t typical of Joyous on the whole — most of the tunes are vocal-oriented. This is a funk-soul record first and foremost, and it is also a classic that underscores Pleasure’s risk-taking nature.
70s Funk-Soul with Jazz overtones, that was Pleasure. Joyous was an achievement even for Pleasure; that’s saying something because the LPs before and after it were anything but dull. “Crusader” Wayne Henderson decided to produce this LP, and it turned out to be an excellent idea; Joyous contains some great songs: there is the title song which lives up to its title (we danced whenever the song was played in the clubs), and there’s Sassafras Girl, for me, the best song Pleasure ever recorded, complete with good solos (among others, Wayne Henderson playing his trombone), structure and arrangement.