Sons & Daughters of Lite

Let the Sun Shine In

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With the reissue in 2000 of Let the Sun Shine In, Ubiquity's Luv N' Haight imprint managed to unearth yet another gem from the diminishing frontier of out of print rare groove. Originally released by California's Bay Area act Sons and Daughters of Lite during the early '70s, the album had long been a desirable item for music fans who like their jazz, funk, and world styles all tossed into one category-free pot. Rare groove may be the descriptive catch phrase, but the boundaries are blurred on Let the Sun Shine In, with a variety of influences intermingling and informing one another. Marc Smith's thick, supple bass continually dips and bobs around the dense textures mapped out by his bandmates. Distinguished percussionist Babatunde and bandleader Basuki Bala pepper the rhythmic foundations with sparkling vibes and chattering congas and bongos that can often drive the music into Latin territory. Not everything here works. The cheery vocal choir that caps many of the songs, for instance, may dissuade those averse to '70s fusion, whatever the shade. Any faults are easily forgivable, however, when you consider the quality of the solos delivered by Babatunde, Bala, and trumpeter Marty Payne on songs like "Operation Feed Yourself," "A Real Thing," and album closer "Darkuman Junktion." Most of this music sounds entirely fresh, even upon reissue nearly 30 years after the fact.

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