Harvey Mandel

The Mercury Years

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Double-CD reissue repackages the entire contents of his first three LPs (1968's Cristo Redentor, 1969's Righteous, 1970's Games Guitars Play) in their original track sequence, with extensive, informative liner notes. It could be that a more selective, single-disc distillation of the best Mercury material that weeded out the more generic blues-rock tunes would have been more effective. Still, it's a good retrospective of the early work of a somewhat overlooked '60s guitar hero, who helped lay the groundwork for the better elements of fusion and Latin-rock cross-fertilization.

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