Sunday, November 25, 2007

SKY KING / SECRET SAUCE

Digitized from the original vinyl recording released in 1975 on Columbia records.
ALBUM INFO:
Produced By: Martyn Ford
Engineered By: Stan Tonkel, Low Waxman, Don Meehan
Recorded At: CBS Studio B, New York City
Cover Art: Roger Huyssen
Format: Mp3
Bit Rate: 192 kbps
TRACK LISTING:
Secret Sauce
People, People, People
Looking Forward
Makes Me Feel So Good
Don't Be Afraid (Of What You Don't Understand)
Hot Mustard
Still In Love
Why Don't You Take Us
Pedro
Special Place
THE BAND:
Chris Brubeck (Dave Brubeck, the jazz great's, son) - Bass, Trombone, Piano, Vocals
David Ross Mason - Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Rick (R.J.) Jacobi - Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Richie Morales - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Chris Coan - Lead Vocals
Guests:
Peter (Madcat) Ruth - Harp, Jews Harp, Vocals
Lee Pastora - Congas, Bongos
Jerry Bergozi - Saxes
Perry Robinson - Clarinet
Lenny Pickett - Sax, Flute
Emillo Castillo - Sax
Stephen Kupka - Sax
Greg Adams - Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Joshie Armstead, Maretha Stewart, Cissy Houston - Vocals
WEBSITE(S):
http://www.brubeckmusic.com/index.html

REVIEW:
I don't really remember after all these years how I came to find this album but I'm glad I did. It was a big favorite back in the day and it still sounds great tonight. Dave Brubecks Son, Chris, is the leader of the band, but he's just one of a myriad of very talented musicians that grace these vinyl grooves. I defy you to still still in your chair for the duration of all 10 tracks. Take off your shoes and bop around to all the great funky Tower Of Power horns and soulful Madcat harp. Being a drummer and bassist of sorts, a rhythm section like this band posseses is a stone gas to listen to. To the best of my knowledge they only put out this one disc and then disappeared. If you love music that gives you happy feet then I'd be willing to bet you'll enjoy this one. I've included a cover pic. I hope you'll take the time to take a listen.
CONTACT:
READ THIS for more information on this album.

Tom

26 Comments:

Blogger hayday said...

Hi Tom.

I bought this LP the other day in late December, at bargain price. I was really stunned when I play this! Searching the net, I've came across your page.

I don't know if this LP is famous, but it sounds really great, say, progressive funk music, I'd like to call it :-).

Thursday, January 10, 2008 at 7:21:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Found "Why Don't You Take Us" on the Strange Breaks & Mr Thing compilation and fell in love with the track. Was so pleased when I found this upload but unfortunately the link is broke. Any chance of a fresh upload please?

Sunday, June 1, 2008 at 9:46:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Tom Eckels said...

Sorry the link went dead. I try to keep up on 'em but sometimes they slip by.
The best thing to do if a link is broken is Email me directly. do that and I can get it fixed pretty quick. If you leave a note in here then it might be a month or two before I see it

Take care

Tom

Tuesday, June 24, 2008 at 11:33:00 PM EDT  
Blogger RJ said...

Hi Tom--

This is RJ from Sky King. I can't speak for any of the other guys that were in the band, but as far as I am concerned, I don't have a problem with you providing our album for free downloading, as it is not actually officially for sale anywhere. In fact, I am glad to finally have a good digital copy of the LP.

Thank you for helping to keep Sky King alive. I have heard from a lot of SK fans on my myspace music page-- it's nice to know that people still remember and dig our music after (ahem) over 30 years.

Nice job on the cover art, too.

Here is a link to my myspace page:

http://www.myspace.com/rickjacobi

All the best--

Rick

Sunday, July 20, 2008 at 9:11:00 PM EDT  
Blogger RJ said...

By the way, most of the album was actually recorded and produced by Steve Cropper at his studio in Memphis. He recorded us for free on spec (including paying for us to stay at a motel for two weeks), and eventually sold the material to Columbia. We finished the recording in NY at Columbia's "A" studio; Martyn Ford was assigned to produce us, and we more or less steamrollered right over him as much as possible. Cropper really deserves most of the credit, but as I recall, he and Columbia were kind of "on the outs" at the time. Cropper was a super-nice guy, and a real pleasure to work and hang out with.

Sunday, July 20, 2008 at 9:40:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Tom Eckels said...

Rick Jacobi!
Wow, it's a gas and an honor to have you visit my little blog. I didn't really think I'd ever hear from some of the folks that I dug so long ago...
I'm glad you understand the intent here and I'm happy to be the one to supply you with a quality copy of your own work in digital form.
Thanks too for the great info you've shared here. This is the kind of sharing that I really enjoy.
On the offchance you stop back this way again sometime maybe you can answer a question about Sky King that's always been on my mind. Was Sky King just a one album get together from the start or was there a plan for a second album that never materialized??? I know I sure would've loved to hear more......
Take care and thanks for the great info!

TC

Monday, July 21, 2008 at 1:09:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Tom Eckels said...

I just got back from your My Space page so you can forgot about my question above, but now my question would be....how the heck do we get that 2nd album out of the vault and into the light? That's criminally insane to leave a 2nd Sky King album hidden away from human ears for over 30 years. It's no wonder the music biz is in disarray with the bigshots making decisions to let good music lanquish in obscurity.
I had no idea that Sky King was based in Ann Arbor and so close to my home. As luck would have it I was just in Ann Arbor on June 12th, 2008 to see the Refugee's (
Wendy Waldman, Cindy Bullens & Deborah Holland) play at the Ark.
I'd be real interested to know too
how y'all got fired from Columbia?? Musta been one heck of a party eh? :-)

TC

Monday, July 21, 2008 at 1:35:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Richard said...

I happened across your blog while doing a search for Sky King. This was one of my favorite Lps of the 70's and I would love to have the music. I read a mention of a link to the music, but I didn't find one. Any help in acquiring this music would be greatly appreciated.
Just seeing the cover again was a lot of fun.
RSM

Thursday, November 6, 2008 at 4:33:00 PM EST  
Blogger Tom Eckels said...

Richard,

Due to recent events I've changed my blog. For information go to the October 26th 2008 post and follow the instructions.

TC

Friday, November 7, 2008 at 11:50:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Chris Coan said...

Hey Tom,
Chris Coan here (lead singer for Sky King) Thanks for bringing back the first album, Secret Sauce. I'd also love to get my hands on the second album, Another Son is Rising. I really needed a digital copy of the songs.
Hey, if you listen carefully to the title rack (Secret Sauce) and note where I scream really ultra high, right after that, there is a burp. They kept it in. Very funny. Recording with the Tower of Power horn section was a gas too.
All the best, Chris

Friday, November 7, 2008 at 3:48:00 PM EST  
Blogger Tom Eckels said...

Chris Coan!

Howdy! it's an honor to have you stop by my little blog and drop a line. Ironic too in that so many blogs are being shut down by the RIAA Gestapo goons recently when most of the blogs do more of a service to promoting good music then the radio stations and the coporate monkeys do......

Anyhow, I very curious about the second album. Did it ever get released officially? Rick Jacobi stopped by here and mentioned it but I think he said it is in a vault somewhere, far from the light of day. I know I'd sure like to have a copy and I'm pretty sure there's a ton of folks out there that'd like a copy also....

Thanks for stopping by man!

Tc

Friday, November 7, 2008 at 4:58:00 PM EST  
Blogger jeff sims said...

Hi everyone, another skyking fan here...I had the late shift at work in 1975 when I first heard secret sauce over the FM radio..I hurried up and called to find out who this was? Got a copy and have it still!!! Being a harmonica player..this LP is full of electric harp! took lessons from this baby!! Over the past 17 or so years have been in contact with the madcat..and just discover RJ's space..and to now hear the one and only chris coan really makes my day! The second album I think sugar blue took on the harmonica spot???

Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 6:55:00 PM EST  
Blogger Tom Eckels said...

alright now, Just cuz I was the one to start this I wanna know.....was the seond album released and it's out there somewhere to be found or not???


BTW....Bi Jeff and welcome. :-)

Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 8:29:00 PM EST  
Blogger RJ said...

Later on in the Sky King saga, Madcat left the band and we did audition Sugar Blue for the harmonica spot. He was really nice and was a solid blues player, but could not cut the more technically demanding stuff. We ended up doing some gigs with this guy who I think went by the name Strawberry; unfortunately, I cannot remember his real name. As I recall, he got a bit closer to some of the Madcat stuff, but Madcat was basically irreplaceable.

The second album. I have some working mixes on cassette tape, some sound better than others. I'm thinking about attempting to digitize them, maybe over Thanksgiving break. If I'm able to make this happen, I'll let you know.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 at 11:26:00 AM EST  
Blogger Tom Eckels said...

RJ,

Not that I'm impatient or anything but if I can help you with that project at all I'd be more than happy to do so. You could make a copy of your best cassette tape and send it this way. I'll digitize it and then send ya your tape back with a digitized copy to boot.
Let me know if I can help, otherwise I'll just sit over here in the corner and be patient :-)

Tc

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 at 9:10:00 PM EST  
Blogger jeff sims said...

this is jeff sims: I loaded one song from skyking secret sauce on you tube: just dial in peter madcat ruth...you will see the cover of the album! any objections and I will remove it?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008 at 5:58:00 AM EST  
Blogger RJ said...

I just created a Sky King myspace page, featuring some songs from the unreleased second album.

http://www.myspace.com/skykingnyc

Enjoy!

RJ

Saturday, November 29, 2008 at 2:52:00 PM EST  
Blogger jeff sims said...

That was a nice thanksgiving treat! As excpected your guitar work and dave r masons is killer!
Chris coans vocals and madcats harp...unreal to say the least!!! You guys could adapt to serve anyone...but vandross in my opionion probably is on another musical page..god bless him..thanks RJ

Saturday, November 29, 2008 at 4:14:00 PM EST  
Blogger Tom Eckels said...

Jeff,

As far as the utube thing goes and using the album cover, no problems frm me. All I did was photograph it, the artwork or the music are not mine.

TC

Sunday, November 30, 2008 at 12:22:00 AM EST  
Blogger Tom Eckels said...

RJ
Thanks for the headsup on what you've done. Headed over there right now to give 'em a listen.

Thanks man

TC

Sunday, November 30, 2008 at 12:24:00 AM EST  
Blogger Cheryl said...

I'm so excited by this string of emails. I have told my husband about Skyking -- I loved this album, but it disappeared during my move(s) after college in the 70's. I saw Madcat perform years after and asked him about getting a copy, and he said HE couldn't get one! I am on the hunt. I attribute my love of the harp to Madcat. I'm listening to Brubeck's Take Five as we speak, and it reminded me of listening to Skyking in the mid 70's. Thank you for posting this blog.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 9:39:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Age taking its toll.... am also thinking of Second Generation, and getting some tunes confused. BOTH are great albums I wish I still owned!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 9:46:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Griskins said...

Read 'em and weep, boys and girls: I remember how I heard this the first time- High school pal name of Mike LeDuc. People People People reminds me of going to the Day on the Green in the Bay Area, or even its precursor, SNACK Sunday. Anyway, the weep part for you is that as I write this, I have my vinyl copy all snug in its jacket right below my turntable. Oh, the other weep part for me is that I am old enough to claim all that. Such is life.

Thursday, January 14, 2010 at 12:50:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TC, I found your blog when looking to see if Secret Sauce has been released on CD. I do have the 30 year old vinyl album. I actually hired Sky King to play at a frat party in Ann Arbor around the time this album was released. (I still have a copy of the contract as a souvenir.) What a mistake that turned out to be! First, my bros didn't dig the sound. But to make matters worse, the band that showed up bore little resemblance to the band on the album. Chris Brubeck didn't show because of another engagement. Needless to say, the Tower of Power horns weren't part of the package either. So what I ended up with might be called the Madcat Ruth band. Now, I have great respect for Madcat, but for a 70s frat party with dates and guys in suits... well, folks were pretty pissed off and rightly so. Nevertheless, the fact that I was still searching in 2010 to see if a CD has been released says a lot about the excellence of that Secret Sauce. In the digital age there is no good reason why the second album is sitting in a vault... it could at least be published digitally, with virtually zero distribution and marketing costs.

Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 11:17:00 AM EDT  
Blogger RJ said...

Anonymous (3/27)-- This is RJ from Sky King. Thanks for your nice comments on Secret Sauce; sorry you had a bad experience with the band. I am a little confused though, as to when this gig might have been.

Secret Sauce came out in early 1975; we were living in New York at that time, and shortly after the album came out, we went on a three-month national tour. We played at Second Chance in Ann Arbor (or was it still Chances Are at that point?), but I seriously doubt that we played any frat parties at that time, and, Brubeck was definitely with us for that whole tour. The time he was out of Ann Arbor for a while was before we moved to NY, so prior to 1975.

Assuming that our gig at your party was prior to the album's release, I don't know how you would have heard it, unless you somehow had a copy of some of the tracks we recorded in Memphis with Steve Cropper (much of this material made it onto the album, with some revisions).

I'm curious... what was the date on the contract that you have?

Re. the second album: certainly it's easy enough to release an album nowadays; anybody can do it. It's not so simple in this case, however. For starters, I'm not even sure who owns the rights to that material at this point. I do know that we don't have a copy of the master tapes; all any of us have is rough mixes. Plus, there is a lot of stuff business-wise that would have to go into doing something like this-- tracking sales, paying royalties, etc. and... who would actually take care of doing the grunt work on all of this? I think basically that Brubeck has moved on, and our manager now owns his own record label. If it could be done, and if there was interest, I would think he would be on this, but he has not expressed any interest in doing so. I assume that nobody thinks it would be worth their time and effort from a financial standpoint, and unfortunately, that's the way things work.

BTW, the song Why Don't You Take Us ended up on a dance mix CD a DJ in England put together. This actually went through proper channels in NY, but I don't imagine I'll ever see any money from it.

Too long ago, too much water under the bridge; everyone has pretty much moved on, I think.

Anyway, thanks for your continued interest in the band, and again, sorry about that gig.

Best--

RJ

Sunday, March 28, 2010 at 8:39:00 PM EDT  
Blogger riclo said...

Just digitalized also. My opinion: The seventies delivered the best music. Music -> instrument. Nowadays there's no room for instrumental parts in a song. Pity ...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at 2:57:00 AM EDT  

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