Some of the funkiest, most soulful disco grooves ever committed to vinyl are heard on this Vocalion release, comprising Keith Mansfield's 1979 Night Bird album. As well as being among the UK 's leading composer-arrangers, Keith is one of the legendary names within the world of library music. During the late 1960s and '70s, along with names like Alan Hawkshaw, Brian Bennett and John ny Pearson, he was responsible for many of the best jazzy, funky moments contained within the catalogues of publishers including KPM, Amphonic Music, Bruton Music and Conroy. Indeed, Night Bird was recorded in 1979 – the height of the disco era – for Amphonic Music, and here receives its first ever commercial release (library music is normally available only to professionals in the broadcast industries). Recorded at the famous, and now sadly defunct, Lansdowne Studios in London 's Holland Park , Night Bird demonstrates why Keith is so highly regarded.
The music slots into the same category as the sophisticated disco-funk being produced in America at the same time by composer-producers such as Norman Connors and Eumir Deodato. All the Keith Mansfield trademarks are present: the pulsating rhythms of Gladiator complete with exciting tenor and soprano sax solos and punchy brass; the relaxed, slinky grooves of Night Bird, Don't Call Collect and Asleep in Your Shadow; and the sheer, relentless funk of Making the Cut and Thunderfoot. Keith's pedigree as a big band arranger comes to the fore in many of the tracks due to his superb brass writing (in the late 1960s and early '70s he was trumpet legend Maynard Ferguson's arranger and producer). Night Bird features the instrumental skills of several well-known UK session musicians including keyboardist Alan Hawkshaw, drummer Barry Morgan and bass guitarist Dave Richmond, who bring Keith's vibrant scores brilliantly to life. Simply put, this release contains some of the most exciting, exquisitely produced disco-funk you're ever likely to hear.
Remastered from the original analogue stereo tapes.