Mizell

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
Any jazz purist who hovered over record bins during the '70s knows to stay away from this, as one quick glance is likely to trigger flashbacks of feeling like a vampire shoved into daylight. Some background info: Fonce Mizell established his do-it-all studio career as part of the Corporation, a Motown team that worked for the Jackson 5, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, and Edwin Starr. His brother Larry, who had recorded with him prior to the Motown gig, began working with him again -- as Sky High Productions -- on Donald Byrd's sharp left turn into funk, Black Byrd. In addition to inciting howls from purists, the session ignited Fonce and Larry's professional ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
Any jazz purist who hovered over record bins during the '70s knows to stay away from this, as one quick glance is likely to trigger flashbacks of feeling like a vampire shoved into daylight. Some background info: Fonce Mizell established his do-it-all studio career as part of the Corporation, a Motown team that worked for the Jackson 5, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, and Edwin Starr. His brother Larry, who had recorded with him prior to the Motown gig, began working with him again -- as Sky High Productions -- on Donald Byrd's sharp left turn into funk, Black Byrd. In addition to inciting howls from purists, the session ignited Fonce and Larry's professional partnership and established their specific sound. Intricately arranged and often incorporating strings and state-of-the-art keyboards and synthesizers, their productions were supremely vibrant, funky, and slick, fusing dancefloor-friendly R&B and jazz to the point where there were no visible seams. Bobbi Humphrey, Gary Bartz, Rance Allen, and especially Byrd a remarkable five-album run all benefited from their genre-bending Blue Note sessions with the Mizells, showcased on this 11-track anthology. There's no point in singling anything out. Each track is filled with rich melodies, complex-elegant rhythms, and lush textures. Whether on a crowded dancefloor or driving with your partner on a summer evening just before sunset, everything translates. The two previously unreleased tracks -- Bartz's blistering "Funked Up," featuring vocals from Syreeta, and the dynamite "N R Time," recorded during Humphrey's Satin Doll sessions albeit without the flutist -- should seal the deal for collectors. As thoroughly enjoyable and representative as this disc is, it's somewhat arbitrary. Blame the Mizells for their quality control, not the people who put the set together. Sky High, a just-as-valuable 1998 set released in Europe, is concrete evidence of this fact, containing only two of the same selections. It reaches beyond the brothers' Blue Note work a couple Johnny Hammond cuts, A Taste of Honey's "Boogie Oogie Oogie" and puts a different spin on their sessions with Allen, Bartz, Byrd, and Humphrey. Both sets still leave much to explore, including but in no way limited to Johnny Hammond's Gears and Gambler's Life which are just as compulsory as the Byrd albums, Roger Glenn's Reachin', and L.T.D.'s Love to the World.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/20/2005
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • UPC: 094633430914
  • Catalog Number: 34309

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Wind Parade - Donald Byrd (6:09)
  2. 2 Reason to Survive - Rance Allen (5:57)
  3. 3 Change (Makes You Wanna Hustle) - Donald Byrd (5:08)
  4. 4 Uno Esta - Bobbi Humphrey (6:42)
  5. 5 Design a Nation - Donald Byrd (4:19)
  6. 6 Lansanna's Priestess - Donald Byrd (7:43)
  7. 7 (Fallin' Like) Dominoes - Donald Byrd (4:32)
  8. 8 Blacks and Blues - Bobbi Humphrey (4:37)
  9. 9 Funked Up - Gary Bartz (6:16)
  10. 10 N R Time - Mizellstory (7:07)
  11. 11 Think Twice - Donald Byrd (7:39)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Mizell Brothers Primary Artist
Rance Allen Guitar, Vocals
Mtume Percussion
Dorothy Ashby Harp
Gary Bartz Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone
Bobbi Humphrey Flute, Vocals
Julian Priester Trombone
King Errisson Conga
Tyree Glenn Tenor Saxophone
Eddie Henderson Trumpet
Chuck Rainey Electric Bass
Charles Davis Synthesizer, Vocals
Roger Glenn Marimbas, Vibes
Bill Summers Percussion
David T. Walker Guitar
Jess Acuna Background Vocals
Oscar Brashear Trumpet
Ray Brown Trumpet
Donald Byrd Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Vocals
James Carter Human Whistle
Margie Evans Background Vocals
Welton Gite Bass
Talita Long Vocals
Harvey Mason Sr. Harmonica, Drums
Craig McMullen Guitar
Fonce Mizell Trumpet, Keyboards, Background Vocals, Clavinet, solina
Larry Mizell Synthesizer, Piano, Keyboards, Electric Piano, Background Vocals, solina
Nate Neblett Drums
Freddie Perren Vocals, Background Vocals, Keyboard Synthesizer
Jerry Peters Organ, Synthesizer, Piano, Electric Piano
John Rowin Guitar
Skip Scarborough Piano, Electric Piano, Clavinet
Stephanie Spruill Percussion, Background Vocals
Syreeta Wright Vocals
Mayuto Correa Percussion, Conga
Roger Sainte Percussion
Kay Haith Background Vocals
Chuck Davis Piano, Electric Piano
Katherine Lyra Background Vocals
George Bohanon Trombone
Sonia Tavares Vocals
Rosario Dávila Background Vocals
Lorraine Kennar Background Vocals
Augie Rey Background Vocals
Michael A. Harris Flugelhorn
Tom Allen Drums
Mizellstory Track Performer
Technical Credits
Wade Marcus String Arrangements, String Conductor
Rick Clifford Digital Editing
Ron McMaster Mastering
Fonce Mizell Arranger, Composer, Producer
Larry Mizell Arranger, Composer, Producer, Digital Editing
Chuck Davis Producer
Eli Wolf Executive Producer
Tyson Leeper Digital Editing
Burton Yount Art Direction
Dylan Dresdow Digital Editing
The Mizell Brothers Audio Production
Filiz Lucero Engineer, Digital Editing
Duane Morris Digital Editing
Rodney Mizell Audio Production
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