Hawai’ian Blue: Seawind

1979seawindgroup

Before heading home for the holidays (Hallelujah Lord!) I’ll share an old favorite, Seawind’s self titled debut from way back in 1976.

Imagine this: a Hawaiian band that could play gritty, Tower of Power-influenced funk one minute and instrumental jazz fusion the next, and often expressed a Christian viewpoint. Seawind really did fit that description, and while such uniqueness would terrify a lot of marketing people, it earned the Hawaiian outfit a small but loyal cult following. Seawind wasn’t nearly as big as it deserved to be, but those who were hip to the band really swore by it. Produced by drummer Harvey Wilson in 1976, Seawind is a superb, highly imaginative debut that thrives on diversity. Singer Pauline Wilson excels on sweaty funk gems like “Make Up Your Mind,” “We Got a Way,” and “You Gotta Be Willing to Lose,” and she is equally expressive on more jazz-oriented offerings such as “The Devil Is a Liar” and “He Loves You” (both of which underscore her Christian beliefs). Meanwhile, Wilson doesn’t do any singing at all on the jazz fusion instrumentals “Roadways” and “Praise.” Although Seawind fared well on quiet storm formats, black radio tended to shy away from the album. And at the same time, Seawind didn’t appeal to jazz purists. But even if Seawind was, from a commercial standpoint, too eclectic for its own good, this LP never sounds unfocused — the band knew exactly what it was doing in 1976. All of Seawind’s albums are worth owning, but this one is arguably its most essential.

(AMG)

Seawind

Track Listing

01 We Got A Way

02 You Gotta Be Willing To Lose It

03 He Loves You

04 The Devil Is A Liar

05 A Love Song_Seawind

06 Make Up Your Mind

07 Praise (Part 1)

08 Roadways (Parts I And II)

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