I’ve always wondered if it’s pronounced Hey-good, Ha-Good or Hag-ood… Here we begin with Canadian composer, Hagood Hardy’s best known album, “The Homecoming”
The album, naturally, begins with the title track “The Homecoming” which is actually Mr. Hardy’s best known song, and you know I do find writing about instrumental albums to be the most difficult because, how do I describe exceptional piano playing? Next up comes the track, “I Won’t Last A Day Without You” and for the jazz albums I’ve listened to lately, this one seems to be one of the higher up ones in terms of the music. We go on to the track “My Elusive Dreams” and it’s a slower one, but so far this album has proved to be a lot more than I expected, very relaxing and calming. Then we go onto “Jennifer’s Song” – who is Jennifer? I don’t know. This song is slow, calming, relaxing. Then we go onto the Paul Williams track, “You and Me Against the World” and we seem to be keeping up with this relaxing, downtempo pace on this side of the record. I don’t know why, but I kind of get the Mister Rogers Neighborhood vibe from this track, maybe it’s the vibraphone? “Travellin’ On” ends the A-Side, and hey, there is lyrics! Vocals, and they’re good!
The B-Side opens with “Balloons” and this one has some pretty interesting piano playing, and it’s not a bad way to open the B-Side. “Clouds” follows, starting off strong before going into the quiet, downtempo pace. This one does pick back up, with some amazing playing from the players on this album, which include Laurie Bower and Ed Bickert. Gordon Lightfoot’s “Cold on the Shoulder” comes next, and what a wonderful instrumental version of such a great Lightfoot song. “Wintertime” comes next, and this one has vocals again, and it’s like a chorus of vocalists singing over the piano playing, but sometimes just singing a cappella. It’s interesting, that is for sure. We go onto the track “Quorum” and it has that jazzy sound to it. It’s good though. So far this album has actually been pretty enjoyable. Oh, I definitely like the guitar playing that comes in on this one occasionally, the drumming is nice too. The album closes with the track “The Trouble with Hello is Goodbye” and it’s a nice smooth, jazz song. A decent way to end the album.
LAT 1003 (Attic Records)
S5191 (Canadian Talent Library)
Recorded at Manta Sound
Repertoire – Arthur Collins & Cathie Roberts
Arranged & Conducted By Hagood Hardy, Jim Pirie, Micky Erbe & Rick Wilkins
Cover Design – Rene Stubbs
Cover Photograph – Hagood Hardy
Engineer – Sy Potma
Engineer & Mixed By – Dave Greene
Production Executive – Mal Thompson
The Players – Adele Armin, Albert Pratz, Andy Benac, Bernie Piltch, Berul Sugarman, Bill Richards, Brian Leonard, Chris Dedrick, Corol McCartney, Dave Lewis, Don Parrish, Don Thompson, Ed Bickert, Erica Goodman, Eugene Amaro, Frank Fusco, Fred Rizner, Gary Williamson, Hagood Hardy, Jim Pirie, Josef Sera, Laurie Bower, Leonard Solomon, Mel Berman, Moe Koffman, Morry Kernerman, Paul Armin, Pearl Palmason, Peter Schenkman, Richard Armin, Dick Berg, Rick Homme, Ron Hughes, Ron Laurie, Sam Hersenhoren, Sandy Watts, Stanley Kolt, Stanley Solomon, Stephanie Chomyk, Teddy Roderman, Vern Kennedy, Vicki Richards, Walter Babiak
Producer – Hagood Hardy & Peter Anastasoff