This CD contains both of Keith Carradine's mid-'70s long-players, I'm Easy (1976) and the follow-up Lost & Found (1978). Although primarily known for his screen appearances and as the son of actor John Carradine, he demonstrated his musical penchant in the Robert Altman film Nashville (1975). He subsequently won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1976 with his composition "I'm Easy." The tune made a decent showing (number 17) on the pop singles charts, scoring him a deal with Asylum Records. As the title would suggest, I'm Easy (1976) included a remake of that hit. The update sticks fairly close to the soundtrack rendering, with a small string section the primary difference. The remainder of the effort featured some strong MOR melodies under the direction of noted jazz musician Dave Grusin (synthesizer/piano/keyboards). The introspective opener, "Honey Won't You Let Me Be Your Friend," as well as the stark "Spellbound" and jazz-fused R&B on "It's Been So Long" are a few of the highlights. Studio session heavies such as Harvey Mason (drums), Earl Palmer (drums), Dean Parks (guitar), and Lee Ritenour (guitar) provide an ample instrumental bed that never clutters Grusin's arrangements. Lost & Found (1978) contrasts his previous outing with a more organic feel, and sports some choice cover songs. Tom Waits' "San Diego Serenade" and the mid-tempo folksy version of the Beatles' "Rain" are examples, with the latter standing out as wholly distinct from the original with a free-flowing acoustic lead replacing George Harrison's edgy distorted guitar. Carradine's "Smile Again, Laugh Again," the soulful "Chance Blues," and the ballad "Homeless Eyes" are the best offerings on Lost & Found. Producer/arranger Brooks Arthur assembled a team that included Jim Keltner (drums), Ray Neapolitan (bass), and Steve Porcaro(synthesizer). This Collectors' Choice Music release once again makes both platters available after having been out of print for several decades.
AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer