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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Outside The Golden Circle Of Your Love..." - Occasional Rain by TERRY CALLIER (2008 Universal 'Originals' CD Remaster), 4 Aug. 2009
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This review is from: Occasional Rain (Audio CD)
'Lost Masterpiece', 'Forgotten Classic', 'An Album You Must Hear Before You Die' - take your pick... Because 1971's "Occasional Rain" by TERRY CALLIER genuinely fits them all - it really does.

Hailing out of Chicago and a childhood pal of Curtis Mayfield - Callier had put out only 1 album before this called "The New Folk Sound Of..." on US Prestige in early 1965 (see separate review). It did little business. Session years then went by until his signing to the Chess offshoot label Cadet, where he made 3 albums with legendary producer and writer CHARLES STEPNEY. The other two albums are "What Color Is Love" (1973) and "I Just Can't Help Myself" (1974) which are equally good - especially "Color" (see reviews for both).

Charles Stepney is another big name in small circles - a hero of sorts for soul lovers. He was involved in The Rotary Connection with Minnie Riperton, produced four albums with The Dells and even twiddled the knobs on the iconic and now much-vaulted psych-blues-fusion album "Electric Mud" by Muddy Waters. I'd personally scour down anything he had a hand in...a genius...

UK and Europe released July 2008 - “Occasional Rain” by TERRY CALLIER on Universal/Verve Originals 0602517664883 (Barcode 602517664883) is a straightforward CD transfer of the June 1971 US LP on Cadet Records CA 50007 and plays out as follows (43:26 minutes):

1. Segue No.1 - Go Ahead On
2. Ordinary Joe
3. Golden Circle
4. Segue No. 5 - Go Head On
5. Trance On Sedgwick Street
6. Do You Finally Need A Friend
7. Segue No. 4 - Go Head On [Side 2]
8. Sweet Edie-D
9. Occasional Rain
10. Segue No. 2 - Go Head On
11. Blues For Marcus
12. Lean On Me
13. Last Segue - Go Head On

Two other words printed on the back inlay beneath the CD also give this reissue the edge - GAVIN LURSSEN. He's an American sound engineer and I've sung his praises before (see separate reviews for "Gold" by THE CRUSADERS and "Careless" by STEPHEN BISHOP). Lurssen has just short of 900 mastering, remastering and audio restoration credits to his name (Universal, Hip-O Select) - his work stretches back decades, so he knows his way around a master tape or two. He was also called upon by the George Harrison Estate to handle the 2014 remaster of the Triple-LP Box Set/2CD Remaster for “All Things Must Pass” (see review).

I mention this because a lot of the songs on here are quietly soulful, Stepney didn't clutter them with instruments except when it complimented the melody - so the remaster needed the deftest of touches and Lurssen has done that. The sound quality isn't trebly or loud or showy - it's just there - sweet as a nut - the music just 'sails' out of your speakers in the most gorgeous way. You're left with a genuine sense of shock on two fronts (a) why has this beautiful soul album gone unnoticed for so long by the vast majority of music lovers out there and (b) a sense of relief - that in finally releasing "Occasional Rain" in 2008, Universal have picked the right guy to do the job.

Musically it breaks down like this - there's eight 8 songs separated by five 40-second "Segue" bits. No one knows why the first Segue is called "Go Ahead On" and the other 4 "Go Head On" (which is what the lyric is)? Some people think the Segues cool, while others feel they haven't worn well and now sound gimmicky. Personally, I find the songs surrounding them so beautiful that I don't notice...they're that good. I would love to hear the full song proper...

The most famous track off the LP is "Ordinary Joe" which has turned up on Acid Jazz type compilations and was a big draw in the UK. Other highlights are the acoustic urban trouble song "Trance On Sedgwick Street" which along with "Blues For Marcus" features the beautiful Cello work of EARL MADISON - and combined with Callier's impassioned vocals makes the tracks sound like Cat Stevens meets Nick Drake - really lovely and soulful. The love songs are up there as well - "Do You Finally Need A Friend" and the truly gorgeous "Golden Circle" (lyrics above). There's a strange guitar ping that floats over "Occasional Rain" giving it an ethereal other-worldly feel - very soulful and very Donny Hathaway in structure and churchy feel. Then comes the album's big finisher - and what a peach it is. "Lean On Me" is an impassioned six and half minute long friendship song with backing vocals from Minnie Riperton and Kitty Haywood - it's just gorgeous and finishes the mellowest of LPs on a genuine high.

Downside - although the gatefold card digipak is nice to look at, for me one of the big let downs is the complete lack of a booklet and therefore a sense of history, photos, insights etc... If ever a soul album deserved a little more luxury shown, then "Occasional Rain" is it.

If you're unconvinced and have heard too many praising reviews before - the entire LP is available on iTunes as a download - I'd recommend trying "Golden Circle" or "Occasional Rain" or "Lean On Me"- you'll be hooked. (The 2008 "Originals" remaster of "What Color is Love" is also available on iTunes).

Like Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On", Donny Hathaway's "Extension Of A Man" and Stevie Wonder's "Innervisions" - this is a proper soul album - a gem all the way through and sill beautiful and inspiring to this day - some 30/40 years after the event.

Of late Terry Callier has morphed (like Richie Havens) into a sort of elder statesman of soul still spreading his gospel of love and understanding - check out "Timepeace" from 1998 - unbelievably good and relevant to the now and not just past glories.

I've warbled on a bit I know, but this album deserves it. Buy it, cherish it, enjoy it - and I envy you the journey...

PS: This disc is part of Universal's "ORIGINALS" CD Series - digipak CD reissues of Jazz, Soul, Funk, Fusion and Latin albums (120+ and counting) spread across a vast number of the company's labels - see the 'comment' attached to this review for a full list...
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Initial post: 4 Aug 2009 13:26:22 BDT
Last edited by the author on 4 Nov 2009 09:38:34 GMT
Mark Barry says:
- Universal's "ORIGINALS" CD Series -
Reissue CDs in Gatefold Digipaks of Classic Albums covering the 1950's through to the 1990's
The series encompasses many famous record labels - Verve, Mercury, Fontana, A&M, Cisca, Blue Thumb, Kudu, ABC, Philips, Impulse, Cadet, Polydor etc
These titles started 2007 and are on-going into 2009
This List is in Artist and Title Alphabetical Order (Original LP Release Date)

Laurindo Almeida - see STAN GETZ
1. New Orleans Nights - LOUIS ARMSTRONG and the ALL STARS (1950)
2. Satchmo At Pasadena - LOUIS ARMSTRONG and the ALL STARS (1951)
Louis Armstrong - see also ELLA FITZGERALD
3. A Tear To A Smile - ROY AYERS UBIQUITY (1975)
4. Change Up The Groove - ROY AYERS UBIQUITY (1974)
5. He's Coming - ROY AYERS UBIQUITY (1971)
6. Lifeline - ROY AYERS (1977)
7. Ubiquity - ROY AYERS (1971)
8. Vibrations - ROY AYERS (1977)
9. Virgo Red - ROY AYERS (1973)
10. You Send Me - ROY AYERS (1978)
11. Chapter One: Latin America - GATO BARBIERI (1973)
12. Chapter Three: Viva Emiliano Zapata - GATO BARBIERI (1974)
13. Chapter Two: Hasta Siempre - GATO BARBIERI (1973)
14. Ruby. Ruby - GATO BARBIERI (1977)
15. Tropico - GATO BARBIERI (1978)
16. Basie Land - COUNT BASIE (1963)
17. On My Way & Shoutin' Again - COUNT BASIE (1963)
18. Intimacy - WALTER BEASLEY (21 October 2008)
19. Just Kickin' It - WALTER BEASLEY (1989)
20. Walter Beasley - WALTER BEASLEY (1987)
Louis Belson - see STAN GETZ
21. I Got A Woman And Some Blues - GEORGE BENSON (1970's material, 1984)
22. Shape Of Things To Come - GEORGE BENSON (1969)
23. Soul Finger - ART BLAKEY and the JAZZ MESSENGERS (1965)
24. Bobo Motion - WILLIE BOBO (1967)
25. The Brazilian Scene - LUIZ BONFA (1965)
26. Braziliana - LUIZ BONFA and MARIA TOLEDO (1965)
27. Return Of The Brecker Brothers - THE BRECKER BROTHERS [Randy and Michael] (1992)
28. Just Between us - NORMAN BROWN (1992)
29. Jazz Samba - CHARLIE BYRD (1962)
30. Occasional Rain - TERRY CALLIER (1972)
31. What Color Is Love - TERRY CALLIER (1973)
Paul Chambers - see OLIVER NELSON
32. Children Of Forever - STANLEY CLARKE (1973)
Rudy Collins - see DIZZY GILLESPIE
33. A Love Supreme - JOHN COLTRANE (1964)
34. Ascension - JOHN COLTRANE (1965)
35. Crescent - JOHN COLTRANE (1964)
36. Impressions - JOHN COLTRANE (1961)
37. John Coltrane And Johnny Hartman - JOHN COLTRANE and JOHNNY HARTMAN (1963)
38. The John Coltrane Quartet Plays... - JOHN COLTRANE QUARTET (1965)
39. Kulu Se Mama - JOHN COLTRANE (1965)
40. Live At Birdland - JOHN COLTRANE (1963)
41. Meditations - JOHN COLTRANE (1965)
42. New Thing At Newport - JOHN COLTRANE and ARCHIE SHEPP (1965)
John Coltrane - see also DUKE ELLINGTON
Gal Costa - see ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM
43. Images - THE CRUSADERS (1978)
44. Old Socks, New Shoes...New Socks, Old Shoes - THE CRUSADERS (1970)
45. Pass The Plate - THE CRUSADERS (1971)
The Crusaders - see also JOE SAMPLE and DAVID T. WALKER
46. Ascenseur Pour L'echafaud - MILES DAVIS (1957)
Paul Desmond Quartet - see GERRY MULLIGAN
Eric Dolphy - See OLIVER NELSON
47. A Dream Fulfilled - WILL DOWNING (1991)
48. Come Together As One - WILL DOWNING (1989)
49. Faces In Reflection - GEORGE DUKE (1974)
50. I Love The Blues, She Heard My Cry - GEORGE DUKE (1975)
Harry Edison - see STAN GETZ
51. Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins - DUKE ELLINGTON and COLEMAN HAWKINS (1962)
52. Duke Ellington & John Coltrane - DUKE ELLINGTON and JOHN COLTRANE (1963)
53. Plays The Theme From V.I.P. & Others - BILL EVANS (1963)
Bill Evans - see also OLIVER NELSON
54. Out Of The Cool - GIL EVANS ORCHESTRA (1961)
55. Octet - MAYNARD FERGUSON (1955)
56. Ella In Hamburg (Live) - ELLA FITZGERALD (1961)
57. Ella In Hollywood - ELLA FITZGERALD (1961)
58. Porgy & Bess - ELLA FITZGERALD and LOUIS ARMSTRONG (1957)
59. At The Shrine - STAN GETZ (1954)
60. Big Band Bossa Nova - STAN GETZ and GARY McFARLAND (1962)
61. Dynasty - STAN GETZ (1971)
62. Getz/Gilberto - STAN GETZ and JOAO GILBERTO (also features Astrud Gilberto) (1963)
63. Getz/Gilberto No.2 - STAN GETZ and JOAO GILBERTO (1964)
64. In Stockholm (Live) - STAN GETZ (1956)
65. Jazz Samba Encore! - STAN GETZ (1963)
66. Sweet Rain - STAN GETZ (1967)
67. Stan Getz With Guest Artist Laurindo Almeida - STAN GETZ and LAURINDO ALMEIDA (1963)
68. Jazz Giants '58 - STAN GETZ, GERRY MULLIGAN, HARRY EDISON, LOUIS BELSON and The OSCAR PETERSON TRIO (1958)
69. Swing Is Here - TERRY GIBBS (1960)
70. A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness - ASTRUD GILBERTO and WALTER WANDERLEY (1966)
71. The Astrud Gilberto Album - ASTRUD GILBERTO (1965)
72. Look To The Rainbow - ASTRUD GILBERTO and GIL EVANS (1966)
Astrud Gilberto - see also STAN GETZ and JOAO GILBERTO
Joao Gilberto - see also STAN GETZ and JOAO GILBETO
73. The Cool World - DIZZY GILLESPIE (1964)
74. Dizzy Gillespie Goes Hollywood - DIZZY GILLESPIE (1963)
75. Dizzy On The French Riviera - DIZZY GILLESPIE with CHRIS WHITE, RUDY COLLINS, LALO SCHIFRIN and LEO WRIGHT (1962)
76. I Just Dropped By To Say Hello - JOHNNY HARTMAN (1963)
Johnny Hartman - see also JOHN COLTRANE
Coleman Hawkins - see DUKE ELLINGTON
Roy Haynes - see OLIVER NELSON
77. Used To Be Duke - JOHNNY HODGES and his ORCHESTRA (1954)
78. Lady Sings The Blues - BILLIE HOLIDAY (1956)
79. The Artistry Of Freddie Hubbard - FREDDIE HUBBARD (1962)
Freddie Hubbard - see also OLIVER NELSON
80. At The Museum Of Modern Art - MILT JACKSON (1970s)
81. Treasure Island - KEITH JARRETT (1974)
Jazz Messengers - see ART BLAKEY
82. Rio Revisited - ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM and GAL COSTA (1989)
Antonio Carlos Jobim - see also Elis Regina
83. Quincy Jones Explores The Music Of Henry Mancini - QUINCY JONES (1964)
84. The Quintessence - QUINCY JONES ORCHESTRA (1962)
85. You've Got It Bad Girl - QUINCY JONES (1973)
86. Live At The Apollo - B.B. KING (1990)
87. Arabesque - JOHN KLEMMER (1977)
88. Barefoot Ballet - JOHN KLEMMER (1976)
89. Goin' Latin - RAMSEY LEWIS (1966)
90. The In Crowd - RAMSEY LEWIS TRIO (1965)
91. Live At The Bohemian Caverns - RAMSEY LEWIS TRIO (1962)
92. Home Is Where The Music Is - HUGH MASEKELA (2LP set on 1CD) (1972)
Gary McFarland - see STAN GETZ
93. Down Here On The Ground - WES MONTGOMERY (1967)
94. Goin' Out Of My Head - WES MONTGOMERY (1965)
95. Blues In Time - GERRY MULLIGAN and PAUL DESMOND QUARTET (1957)
96. Lonesome Boulevard - GERRY MULLIGAN (1990)
Gerry Mulligan - see also STAN GETZ
97. The Blues And The Obscure Truth - OLIVER NELSON [featuring PAUL CHAMBERS, ERIC DOLPHY, BILL EVANS, ROY HAYNES and FREDDIE HUBBARD] (1961)
98. In A Romantic Mood - OSCAR PETERSON (1955)
99. Oscar Peterson Plays The Jerome Kern Songbook - OSCAR PETERSON (1952)
100. Oscar Peterson and Nelson Riddle - OSCAR PETERSON and NELSON RIDDLE (1963)
101. Oscar Peterson Trio + One - OSCAR PETERSON TRIO and CLARK TERRY (1964)
Oscar Peterson Trio - see also STAN GETZ, SONNY STITT
102. Blues In the Closet - BUD POWELL TRIO (1956)
103. Come Into Knowledge - RAMP (1977)
104. Elis & Tom - ELIS REGINA and ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM (1974)
See also ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM
Nelson Riddle - see OSCAR PETERSON
105. Quiet As It's Kept - MAX ROACH (1960)
106. On Impulse! - SONNY ROLLINS (1965)
107. Swing Street Café - JOE SAMPLE and DAVID T. WALKER (1981) [Keyboardist and Guitarist with The Crusaders]
108. Piano, Strings And Bossa Nova - LALO SCHIFRIN (1962)
Lalo Schifrin - see also DIZZY GILLESPIE
109. Everybody's Somebody's Fool - LITTLE JIMMY SCOTT (1950s Material)
Archie Shepp - see JOHN COLTRANE
110. Let It Be Me (Live) - NINA SIMONE (1987)
111. Hobo Flats - JIMMY SMITH (1963)
112. Live At The Village Gate - JIMMY SMITH TRIO (1963)
113. Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? - JIMMY SMITH (1964)
114. Sonny Stitt Sits In With The Oscar Peterson Trio - SONNY STITT and OSCAR PETERSON (1957)
Clark Terry - see OSCAR PETERSON
115. ...Plays The Contemporary Music Of Mexico And Brazil - CAL TJADER (1962)
Maria Toledo - see LUIZ BONFA
David T Walker - see JOE SAMPLE
116. At Mister Kelly's - SARAH VAUGHAN and HER TRIO (1957)
Walter Wanderley - see ASTRUD GILBERTO and WALTER WANDERLEY
117. All The King's Horses - GROVER WASHINGTON, Jr. (1972)
118. A Secret Place - GROVER WASHINGTON, Jr. (1976)
119. Feels So Good - GROVER WASHINGTON, Jr. (1975)
120. Inner City Blues - GROVER WASHINGTON, Jr. (1971)
121. Reed Seed - GROVER WASHINGTON, Jr. (1978)
122. Soul Box - GROVER WASHINGTON, Jr. (1973)
Chris White - see DIZZY GILLESPIE
Leo Wright - see DIZZY GILLESPIE
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Mark Barry
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Location: London

Top Reviewer Ranking: 15