Echoes of Elegance: Jazz Gems from the 1970s


“Songs from the Vault: Reel #5” by Jane McNealy and Harold Battiste, Jr. is a musical journey back to the 1970s, filled with jazz vibes and heartfelt melodies. The EP features two timeless tracks, “Why Can’t I Have It Too” and “Movie Star,” showcasing McNealy’s songwriting prowess and Battiste’s legendary saxophone work.

In “Why Can’t I Have It Too,” McNealy’s piano sets a melancholic tone, complemented by Battiste’s emotive saxophone, capturing the personal and societal struggles of the era. On the other hand, “Movie Star” brings a funk-infused groove, with Battiste’s saxophone leading the way alongside McNealy’s keyboard wizardry and ethereal vocals.

The story behind these songs adds depth to the listening experience, highlighting the creative partnership between McNealy and Battiste. From the beginnings of “To Be Fred” to recording sessions at Hollywood Central Recorders, their collaboration blossomed, resulting in timeless classics.

Harold Battiste, Jr.’s contributions to music are monumental, from his pioneering work at AFO Records to arranging hits for artists like Sam Cooke and Sonny and Cher. His legacy as a musician, producer, and educator continues to inspire generations.

Overall, “Songs from the Vault: Reel #5” is a testament to the enduring creativity of Jane McNealy and the musical genius of Harold Battiste, Jr. It’s a must-listen for jazz enthusiasts and anyone looking to experience the magic of vintage sounds from two exceptional artists.


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