Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tys Van Leer - Nice To Have Met You

One of the weirdest songs ever to sneak into the American pop charts was “Hocus Pocus” by Dutch progressive rock super group Focus, led by Thijs van Leer. The song peaked at number nine in the spring of 1973. From then until 1977 Focus had gained worldwide popularity so van Leer ventured into the solo jazzy field by going to New York and recording this album for Columbia Records. This was sort of his American debut. He even changed his first name from Thijs to Tys. The album was produced by percussionist Ralph McDonald and sax player Tom Scott and it mixed all of van Leer’s classical roots as a composer and flutist with his accomplished piano and organ playing. Personnel included a line-up of New York finest studio musicians: Ralph MacDonald on congas & percussion, Richard Tee on keyboards, Eric Gale, Eef Albers and Steve Khan on guitar, Anthony Jackson on bass, Harvey Mason on drums, Tom Scott, Michael Brecker, Alex Foster, Lou Marini and Ronnie Cuber on saxes, Randy Brecker and Jon Faddis on trumpets, Barry Rodgers on trombone, plus a string section & some background vocals. This rip from vinyl is generously provided by Smooth of the former blog My Jazz World. Unfortunately this album has never been released on CD.
Track Listing:
1. My Sweetheart
2. Nice To Have Met You
3. Pastorale
4. Bahama Mama
5. Hocus Pocus
6. Tonight Beneath The Sky
7. Rosebud (sampled above)
8. Super Ffishell

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