With tape restoration and mastering by Gus Elg, a calculated spitshine envelops this recording and positions listeners in the shag carpet-lined haze of a 1970s fusion session. The design by Eric W Mast allows viewers to check out the aforementioned period upholstery through archival photography in the album’s insert, depicting wall-to-wall shag gracing the booths at Mel Brown’s Drum Shop.
Out of the gate, “Latin Summer” burns through with an urgency akin to The Gangsters – an album recorded by members of this band a decade prior. On the Funkadelic-fused “Chrome Dome,” Jimmy Sanders continues to make use of the synthesizer, through squiggling tones and fried bursts, as well as on “Gospel Bridge,” a track that evokes Heavy Weather in its Pollock-like splashes of melody. Jeff Bruce’s fretless bass brings a psych-propelled elasticity to the groove, adding a sinful undercurrent to “Time of My Life” – a languorous tune that could be a Head Hunters outtake – while giving “Song For Valerie” a playful Peaches & Herb-like wiggle.
Transport’s output is staggering for a group entirely unreleased and but a drop in the bucket for Portland’s cottage industry recording business of yesteryear. This installment in the group’s catalog probes a layer deeper.