A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.
Steve Miller’s foray into Smooth Jazz Pop got him nowhere in the marketplace, but did result in my becoming a fan back in the late ’80s. Let’s be clear — this is not a record for everyone. If you don’t like at least some Smooth Jazz, you probably won’t like this album. It’s Steve Miller crossing over into that territory, and doing it better than anyone else I know (although that’s not saying much. I’m no expert by any stretch and don’t claim to be.)
What it is is Steve Miller doing a batch of cool, classic songs in a hip, fun way. AMG has it right, “…his taste in material is quite nice…”
This is certainly nothing like Fly Like An Eagle. He already made that record; we don’t need him to make it again. (He actually made it twice as Book of Dreams is from the same sessions!)
A++ Super Hot Stamper sound. It’s big and clear, with zero smear, for most of the side. Track two was a bit veiled but that is pretty typical. The sound could be a tad richer but as it is it’s tonally correct and natural, with good frequency extension in both directions.
A+, this side had a clean clear midrange but suffered from a lack of top end extension and deep bass. It’s enjoyable and musical and far better than the typical copy but side one will show you some of what you are missing, that’s for sure.
God Bless the Child
Born to Be Blue
Just a Little Bit
When Sunny Gets Blue
Willow Weep for Me
This isn’t even a blues album — it’s a jazz album, pitched halfway between soul-jazz and smooth jazz. He’s able to draft such heavy-hitters as Phil Woods and Milt Jackson for guest spots, and his taste in material is quite nice, balancing the overly familiar “Willow Weep for Me” and “God Bless the Child” with relatively obscure R&B cuts like “Ya Ya” and “Mary Ann” and selections that demonstrate that he’s a genuine fan, such as Horace Silver’s “Filthy McNasty.”