Shoogie Wanna Boogie [CTI/Kudu, 1976]
Dune [CTI, 1977]
David Matthews' kozmigroov ties are based solely in his work as an arranger (James Brown, latter-day CTI/Kudu hired hand) and certainly not on these two attrocities. Shoogie Wanna Boogie lives up to its cringe-worthy title with an increasingly numbing mix of originals and covers, including "California Dreaming," "My Girl," "You Keep Me Hanging On..." While Barry Miles' freaky synth embellishments are unable to rescue the restraint of the title cut, the cod-disco covers are even worse. Hey, this ain't kozmik, this ain't funkin', and it sure ain't fun. On Dune, Matthews plays at David Axelrod, gettin' conceptual and launching the big beat orchestrations, albeit in a far slicker and less successful manner (the astute will immediately heed the Sanborn Alert.) Another album of value solely for a sample-- "Sandworms" from the "Dune" suite-- and not much else. The second side is entirely insufferable. One can't help but wonder if having Googie Coppola cover Bowie's "Space Oddity" looked much better on paper-- somewhere in the western world, somebody is presently buying groceries to this music. Best to completely avoid the saccharined and weak disco/funk takes on a coupla Star Wars themes. Frighteningly bad. [DW]
Also check out his arrangement work on the Mark Murphy LP "Sings", which has incredible vocalese renditions of Red Clay by Freddie Hubbard, Canteloupe Island and Maiden Voyage by Herbie Hancock and Vera Cruz by Milton Nascimento.
[Jimmy Lo Santo]