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Jack of Diamonds
     

Jack of Diamonds

by John Phillips
 

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Although John Phillips record releases virtually ground to a halt after his 1970 solo debut album, he did continue recording intermittently in the '70s. The 13 tracks forming the core of Jack of Diamonds are an approximation of how a second Phillips solo LP might have sounded, pieced together from various sessions in 1972 and 1973. Phillips made a great

Overview

Although John Phillips record releases virtually ground to a halt after his 1970 solo debut album, he did continue recording intermittently in the '70s. The 13 tracks forming the core of Jack of Diamonds are an approximation of how a second Phillips solo LP might have sounded, pieced together from various sessions in 1972 and 1973. Phillips made a great contribution to mid-'60s pop
ock as chief songwriter for the Mamas & the Papas, and to be harsh, this batch of tunes is not only weak in comparison, but also finds him losing his central threads of stylistic identity. Maybe it has something to do with the confusion of finding his music increasingly out of step with the times, but much of this is pretty lethargic, nearly faceless, early-'70s singer/songwriter fodder. Sometimes inspired by the time he was spending in New York, the songs reflect a vague sense of dislocation, discontent, and sketches of slightly odd characters and milieus without connecting deeply. As a solo singer, he seems inadequate to the task of fully expressing the complexities he apparently wants to probe. The instrumentation is a too-tame form of laid-back jazzy early-'70s rock, despite (or because) of the presence of pros like Jim W. Gordon, Van Dyke Parks, and some of the Crusaders. "Jack of Diamonds," aka "Me and My Uncle," is a real good song, but you won't know it from the lounge-ish reading he gives it here, and it's terribly inferior to the versions cut by Dino Valenti, Judy Collins, and Mike Wilhelm. The five cuts designated as bonus tracks -- not intended for a second Phillips album, but recorded between 1970 and 1973 -- are both different in mood and a little more satisfying, including the two songs he contributed to Robert Altman's eccentric movie Brewster McCloud; a couple Mamas & the Papas recordings that didn't make their ill-fated final album, "People Like Us"; and another version of "Me and My Uncle."

Product Details

Release Date:
11/09/2010
Label:
Imports
UPC:
0693723507729
catalogNumber:
924068

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

John Phillips   Primary Artist
Van Dyke Parks   Keyboards
Larry Carlton   Guitar
Joe Sample   Keyboards
Denny Doherty   Vocals
Terry Melcher   Vocals
Michelle Phillips   Vocals
Red Rhodes   Pedal Steel Guitar
David T. Walker   Guitar
Louie Shelton   Guitar
Bobbye Hall   Percussion
Peter Ivers   Harmonica
Hal Blaine   Drums
Gary Coleman   Percussion,Vibes
Cass Elliot   Vocals
Alan Estes   Percussion
Wilton Felder   Saxophone
Ed Greene   Drums
Eric Hord   Guitar
Jim Horn   Saxophone
Bobby Keys   Saxophone
Tony Newton   Bass
Donald Peake   Guitar
Jim W. Gordon   Drums
William A. Richardson   Guitar
Joe Osborn   Bass
James Hughart   Bass
Bill Cleary   Vocals
Johnny Phillips   Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Kathleen Vantrease   Keyboards

Technical Credits

Gene Page   Orchestral Arrangements
John Phillips   Composer
Lou Adler   Producer
Cary E. Mansfield   Executive Producer
Olivia Page   Orchestral Arrangements
Steve Rosenthal   Producer
George Wilkins   Orchestral Arrangements
Jeffrey A. Greenberg   Producer,Liner Notes
Bill Cleary   Producer
Johnny Phillips   Producer
Sean Troxell   DAT Transfer

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