An in-demand drummer of jazz’s sixth wave, Lenny White cut his teeth with Jackie McLean before hooking up with Miles Davis in 1970 and inventing the future of the genre. Credits on Davis’s Bitches Brew, Santana’s Caravanserai, and Chick Corea’s Where Have I Known You Before led to a deal with Nemporer Records in 1975, where White cut two monuments of progressive jazz: Venutian Summer and Big City.
Lenny White’s sophomore solo LP, 1977’s Big City, comes straight out of New York. Brassy horns, polyphonic synths, grand piano, and in-the-pocket-drumming abound. At the album’s heart is the nearly-ten minute, three-piece “Enchanted Pool Suite.” A rush of harps, strings, and walking basses swell and contract, and then finally—mercifully—break loose into an all-out prog jam sesh, where Lenny puts on a drum clinic beneath spotlit guitar solos, trilling violins, and Jan Hammer’s Minimoog. Get into the pool.
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