Ghost Writer/One-Eyed Jack/American Boy & Girl

Ghost Writer/One-Eyed Jack/American Boy & Girl

by Garland Jeffreys
     
 

Garland Jeffreys attended Syracuse University in the early 1960s alongside his friend and classmate Lou Reed, and while history does not record if they took a class in literate but street-smart songwriting, if they did, it's a sure bet they both aced the course. Just as much as Reed, Jeffreys is a poet of the New York streets, and his tales of life as a multi-ethnic… See more details below

Overview

Garland Jeffreys attended Syracuse University in the early 1960s alongside his friend and classmate Lou Reed, and while history does not record if they took a class in literate but street-smart songwriting, if they did, it's a sure bet they both aced the course. Just as much as Reed, Jeffreys is a poet of the New York streets, and his tales of life as a multi-ethnic man living on the rough and tumble side of Brooklyn are vivid, smart, passionate, and never afraid to show either force or compassion when needed. Jeffreys was also fusing his rock & roll with roots reggae before the Jamaican sound had broken through to a mass audience in the United States, and similarly, he wasn't afraid to also throw Latin grooves into the mix, but his eclectic sound and uncompromising lyrical stance proved to be a tough sell in the United States, and outside of 1981's Escape Artist, he's been far more popular in Europe than at home. Significantly, three of Jeffreys' key albums -- 1977's Ghost Writer, 1978's One-Eyed Jack, and 1979's American Boy & Girl -- are finally receiving their first release on CD in a two-disc package from the excellent Australian reissue label Raven Records rather than A&M Records, the U.S. outfit that released them back in the day. Ghost Writer wasn't Jeffreys first album, but it was the first where his unique mix of elements finally jelled properly, and while tales of street life dominate the set ("Spanish Town," "Cool Down Boy," and the instant classic "Wild in the Streets"), his celebration of living at the movies, "35 Millimeter Dreams," and the fervent lover's plea "Lift Me Up" show he had plenty on his mind. One-Eyed Jack was cut from similar cloth, with a greater emphasis on autobiographical themes, but didn't connect quite as strongly, though the slinky funk of "She Didn't Lie," the '50s-flavored "Reelin'" (featuring superb duet vocals from Phoebe Snow) and the moody title cut revealed a more varied approach than Ghost Writer, and the cover of "No Woman, No Cry" is superb. American Boy & Girl opted for a leaner approach than the previous album, and there was more bite in his stories of street kids caught in the urban jungle, especially the harrowing "City Kids" and the title song. However, the album also featured the stylized romance of "Matador," which became a major hit single in Europe, and the impressionistic philosophizing of the closing track "If Mao Could See Me Now." Raven's remastering of the three albums is excellent (though the spooky whisper of "Death to Amin!" has been trimmed from the end of American Boy & Girl), Ian McFarlane's liner notes are very good, and the packaging is handsome. Garland Jeffreys' catalog has long deserved better treatment, and this set gives three of his most important albums a well-deserved second life, and it comes highly recommended.

Read More

Product Details

Release Date:
05/03/2011
Label:
Raven [australia]
UPC:
9398800033429
catalogNumber:
334
Rank:
42668

Related Subjects

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Rough and Ready  - Garland Jeffreys
  2. I May Not Be Your Kind  - Garland Jeffreys
  3. New York Skyline  - Garland Jeffreys
  4. Cool Down Boy  - Garland Jeffreys
  5. Ghost Writer  - Garland Jeffreys
  6. Lift Me Up  - Garland Jeffreys
  7. Why-O  - Garland Jeffreys
  8. Wild in the Streets  - Garland Jeffreys
  9. 35 Millimeter Dreams  - Garland Jeffreys
  10. Spanish Town  - Garland Jeffreys
  11. She Didn't Lie  - Garland Jeffreys
  12. Keep on Trying  - Garland Jeffreys
  13. Reelin'  - Garland Jeffreys
  14. Haunted House  - Garland Jeffreys
  15. One-Eyed Jack  - Garland Jeffreys

Disc 2

  1. Scream in the Night  - Garland Jeffreys
  2. No Woman No Cry  - Garland Jeffreys
  3. Oh My Soul  - Garland Jeffreys
  4. Desperation Drive  - Garland Jeffreys
  5. Been There and Back  - Garland Jeffreys
  6. Livin' for Me  -  Mao Band
  7. Bad Dream  -  Mao Band
  8. City Kids  -  Mao Band
  9. American Boy & Girl  -  Mao Band
  10. Matador  -  Mao Band
  11. Night of the Living Dead  -  Mao Band
  12. Bring Back the Love  -  Mao Band
  13. Ship of Fools  -  Mao Band
  14. Shoot the Moonlight Out  -  Mao Band
  15. If Mao Could See Me Now  -  Mao Band

Read More

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Garland Jeffreys   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Dr. John   Piano,Clavinet
David Peel   Background Vocals
Phoebe Snow   Background Vocals
James Taylor   Vocal Harmony
Luther Vandross   Background Vocals
Michael Brecker   Tenor Saxophone,Soloist
Don Grolnick   Organ,Piano,Electric Piano,Clavinet
David Lasley   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Rob Mounsey   Organ
David Sanborn   Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Soloist
Marvin Stamm   Trumpet
George Young   Tenor Saxophone
Ralph MacDonald   Percussion,Conga
Robert Athas   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Chimes,Electric Guitar
Rubens Bassini   Percussion
John Boudreaux   Drums
Randy Brecker   Trumpet,Soloist
Danny Cahn   Trumpet
Tim Cappello   Horn,Keyboards,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Background Vocals
Burt Collins   Trumpet
Rory Dodd   Vocal Harmony
Anton Fig   Percussion,Drums
Steve Gadd   Percussion,Drums,Timbales
Diana Grasselli   Background Vocals
Diva Gray   Background Vocals
Winston Grennan   Drums
Anthony Jackson   Bass
Rick Marotta   Drums
Hugh McCracken   Acoustic Guitar,Harmonica,Electric Guitar,Slide Guitar,Classical Guitar,Soloist
Phil Messina   Trombone
Lynn Pitney   Vocal Harmony
Paul Prestopino   Mandolin
Alan Rubin   Trumpet
David Spinozza   Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Electric Guitar,Slide Guitar,Soloist,Fuzz Guitar,Vocal Harmony
Richard Trifan   Mini Moog
Eric Troyer   Vocal Harmony
Arnold McCuller   Vocal Harmony
Alan Freedman   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Andy Chernack   Electric Guitar
Cohen   Tenor Saxophone,Soloist
Sugarbear   Electric Guitar
Rafael Goldfeld   Bass
Johnny Ace   Bass
Rick Schlosser   Drums
Leon Pendavis   Clavinet
Jeff Marinov   Guitar,Electric Guitar,Soloist
Lou Delgato   Baritone Saxophone

Technical Credits

Dr. John   Arranger
Garland Jeffreys   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Vocal Arrangements
James Taylor   Duet
Robert Athas   Arranger
Tim Cappello   Arranger
Roy Cicala   Producer
Rory Dodd   Vocal Arrangements
David Spinozza   Arranger,Producer,Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Alan Freedman   Arranger
Warren Barnett   Mastering
Vincent Ford   Composer
Ian McFarlane   Liner Notes
Charlie Shays   Horn Arrangements
Ed Freedman   String Arrangements

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >