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Saturday, 26 March 2011

Paulinho Da Costa - Happy People (1979)

From The Lost Record Covers Club
When I first started at Phonodisc - PolyGram's pressing plant I looked after new album production.  Each month there was a release plan and there were always at least two for jazz label Pablo.  I hadn't had any exposure to jazz beyond the mainstream so it meat nothing to me.  The guy in charge of manufacturing was such a jazz nut that it was the only thing he ever asked me about.  Not how the Saturday Night Fever runs were going, the Grease release, the New Dire Straits or Roxy.  No, it was always about the 1,000 press run of the latest Pablo release.  I used to check out stuff that I didn't know by taking an album to the QA booths.  These were positioned by the pressing floor and the QA guys would take samples and play them for checking that the manufacturing process was at it's best.

One surprise was this album which, when I inspected the sleeve, included the cream of session talent that often featured on the best US albums of the day.  James Gadson (Drums); Nathan Watts (Bass); Larry Carlton (Guitar); Michael Boddicker (Keyboards) to name a few.  Paulinho Da Costa was the go to guy for percussion at this time and here produced an album linking soul, pop, jazz and latin.  Guest vocalist Philip Bailey (of Earth Wind And Fire) is in fine form on "Deja Vu" with Bill Champlin ("Take It On Up" and Seeing Is Believing"); Deborah Thomas ("Carnival Of Colours" and "Put Your Mind On Vacation") and; Carl Carwell ("Let's Get It Together") all delivering the goods.  Polydor released "Deja Vu" as a 12" single for club play as part of the "Stepping Out" series but success eluded both that track and the album.

The artwork was the first in a line of "Pablo Today" releases as the brand tried to branch away from just issuing archive releases on the jazz greats.

Pablo Today - 2312 102

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