Jackie & Roy / Jackie Cain / Roy Kral

A Wilder Alias

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Jazz vocal duo Jackie Cain & Roy Kral's 1974 CTI release A Wilder Alias features the brilliant vocal interplay and crisply harmonized lines the two were known for, albeit in a more modal and experimental setting befitting the aesthetic of the time period. Rather than covering standards here, most of the melodies are sung without actual lyrics -- and the lyrics that are here are more like sung poetry -- making for vocals that blend right in next to the other instruments. In that sense, such tracks as the sprightly, swinging "Niki's Song," the expansive title track, and the fast-moving "Waltz for Dana" bring to mind something along the lines of McCoy Tyner -- Kral is a superb keyboardist as well as singer -- backing the vocal ensemble Free Design. It also doesn't hurt that joining Jackie & Roy here are bassist Harvie Swartz, drummer Steve Gadd, vibraphonist Roy Pennington, flutist Hubert Laws, and saxophonist Joe Farrell. These are ambitious, funky, and somewhat fusion-style cuts that fans of '70s jazz should certainly check out.

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