Mike Longo: New York ’78

Initially recorded for LP but unreleased until now, this crossover hopeful pitted the jazz blowing talents of pianist Longo, Jon Faddis, Randy Brecker, Curtis Fuller, Slide Hampton, Junior Cook and Bob Mintzer against such then popular dance rhythms as disco, salsa, electro-funk, and boogaloo. As was the practice in the fusion-dominated ’70s, the layered rhythm tracks were pre-recorded by Longo on both acoustic and electric keyboards, with the help of others on clavinette, synthesizer, bass, drums and Latin percussion. Such artificial methods of music making rarely produced anything of value, and this one is no exception. The horn players, though obviously competent, fail to rise above the pedestrian.