John Heartsman and Circles Music Of My Heart

Heartsman was a consummate journeyman musician of a type that just doesn't exist anymore. The liner notes tell of his hundreds of R&B sessions with artists both popular and obscure, while hardly ever getting the chance to record under his name. Music Of My Heart was a private pressing that Heartsman sold primarily to the patrons of Basin St. West in Sacramento, his steady gig with his band Circles in the mid-'70s. Joined by singer Janice La Von and drummer J.J. Funderburke, Heartsman explores a grab-bag of jazz, blues, funk and soul. That these live performances sound professional is a given, but Heartsman brings a considerable amount of inspiration to his guitar, flute and keyboard parts in this mostly original set. Old chestnuts like "The Thrill Is Gone" and "Every Day I Have The Blues" feature pleasing band/audience chemistry. On his originals, he switches between all three instruments, vocals and extremely dub-wise effects, sometimes within a single song, to great effect. This is a pleasingly loose and funky affair. (Jazzman)