As far as fusion albums go, I'd rate this one right up there with the best of them in terms of straight listenability. Other than a couple tracks, the sound here leans heavily on R&B, while retaining the jazz mentality and funk rhythm influence on the periphery. In other words: the shit is smooth, but without ever sounding corny like a Bob James filler. Larry Mizell, the godfather of jazz-funk, plays the puppet master on this one, envisioning a concept album that captures the essence of a 1972 inner-city street walker. Mizell wrote all the songs here, also handling production and all arrangement (with his brother Fonce on vocal arrangement). The opening track "Lansana's Priestess" has long been a digger's favorite, featuring airy Mizell guitar and horn movements punctuated by those catchy bass and drum breakdowns. Can I get a toe tap? My personal choice is the closing cut, a big up to all progressive sisters called "Woman Of The World." All I can think is pure joy. Also check out "Witch Hunt” with its moody bassline, and the popular title track. Unlike Donald's other fusion powerhouse, Spaces and Places, there are no instant satisfaction sample moments, but this album holds together so well and has such a distinct vibe that it has become a year-to-year favorite. MOV 180g pressing housed in full repro gatefold jacket (a must), recommended.
- 180g black vinyl pressing
- faithfully-reproduced gatefold sleeve + center labels
- original release year: 1973
- music label: Music On Vinyl 2023
reviewed by the mgmnt 06/2008