Listening to David Axelrod, even after these many years, is still an adventuorus experience, musically bold, unpredictably changing tone and mood, working the edge of the melody, exploring different atmospheres ... well, you may have noticed my reverence for this man.
As a producer, where he made his name first and reach deep recognition, worked with Cannonball Adderley, Lou Rawls, Electric Prunes and David McCallum -yes, Illya Kuryakin- and as distinct as these choices were, realizing some far reaching material in each case.
"The Edge," this anthology, focuses on one specific period of his career, his years at Capitol. So, the albums "Songs of Innocence," "Songs of Experience" and "Earth Rot" are properly represented, with the rest of the material coming from some of his most far out recoding sessions as a producer.
The here material is consistently strong, beautiful and challenging often at once, ahead of its time, never conceding to caution nor selling his vision short. Choosing among these selections, can only be picking a certain kind of gem, pointing to those tracks that move me the most.
One caution for long time fans of Axelrod, If you own the three albums he wrote and performed, what you'll find here will only be his production work. It's worth mentioning, though, that the cuts with Lou Rawls, Letta Mbulu -whoever she is, her track is spellbinding- as well as the tender "Theme from The Fox" with Don Randi and Cannonball's monumental "Tensity," are well worth buying this album.
For people who are new to David Axelrod, or looking for a "point of entry" into his work, this is a perfect purchase. You may even hear in these tunes many of the people you already worshipped. His influence, although little known, has been extensive. This album will introduce you to one of the original sources of some the best music going on today from Jazz to Hip-Hop.