From the Vault...


"Platinum Jazz"

© Avenue Jazz/Rhino Record Year of Release: 1977

track listing
  • War Is Coming!
    War Is Coming!
  • Slowly We Walk Together
  • Platinum Jazz
  • I Got You
  • L.A. Sunshine
  • River Niger
  • H2Overture
  • City, Country, City
  • Smile Happy
  • Deliver The Word
  • Nappy Head
    (Theme From
    "Ghetto Man')
  • Four Cornered Room

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    War related sites:
    War Website
    Previous Review: #741
    Michael Nesmith--And The Hits Just Keep On Comin'
    Next Review: #743
    Traffic--John Barleycorn Must Die
    "Platinum Jazz"

    War's 1977 release, Platinum Jazz is a compilation of instrumental and vocal tracks from their previous albums. War is best remembered for their vocal hits, such as "Low Rider," "Cisco Kid," "The World Is A Ghetto," and "Why Can't We Be Friends." Fans of Latin music and New Age jazz will appreciate Platinum Jazz, as it defines War as a band that inspires different musical styles.

    The first song, "War Is Coming! War Is Coming!" is a previously unheard track, from producer Jerry Goldstein's War recordings at Far Out Productions. Combining funk and Latin rock, "War Is Coming!" certainly makes true to the album's liner notes regarding this song, To spice up the album..."

    Orginally released as a single in June 1977, "Slowly We Walk Together" was the B-side to "L.A. Sunshine." (Both songs are included on this album.) "Slowly We Walk Together" defines the soft soul sound of the 1970s. Its sound definitely does fit the album's title, as it could easily get airplay on New Age/Smooth Jazz radio stations. "L.A. Sunshine" combines Latin Rock as heard in Santana's music, with vocals in the style of funk/soul as heard in Earth, Wind & Fire. As a whole, this one is definitely funky.

    Combining pop and a slight touch of jazz, the instrumental "Platinum Jazz" features the harmonica as the main instrument. It was originally from the soundtrack of The River Niger. For the light jazz/rock fan, this one is an enjoyable track. "I Got You" was also from the same soundtrack, and it is a true Smooth Jazz romantic tune, with great string arrangements. The instrumental title theme, "River Niger" is easily compared to funk tunes as "The World Is A Ghetto," and could easily fit that album's selections of tunes.

    The instrumental "H2Overture" has the Smooth Jazz sound, and was originally from War's release, Deliver The Word. "City, Country, City" (from The World Is A Ghetto) has a somewhat country influence with the harmonica, yet it kicks into another funky jazz groove. The harmonica is heard again in "Smile Happy" (from Why Can't We Be Friends?), as this song is less funky as "City, Country, City" in the beginning of the song, yet towards the end, it gets funky once again, as heard on previous tunes on this release. "Deliver The Word" (title track from the album of the same name), includes vocals, and is true 1970s slowful Soul.

    "Nappy Head", the theme from "Ghetto Man" (from All Day Music has a Latin flavor, and can easily be compared to Santana's "Let The Children Play." It can also be compared to "Spill The Wine," a song War had recorded with Eric Burdon, previously in 1970, with its Latin-flavored music accompaniment. "Four Cornered Room" has a more Latin-rock sound, and could easily fit the songs heard from Eric Burdon & War's The Black-Man's Burdon release.

    Different musical styles are heard on Platinum Jazz; jazz is a good word to describe it best. Not the standard big-band jazz, nor easy listening jazz, it is best defined as New Age/Smooth Jazz, also having some Latin influenced tracks, which mostly defined War's music as a whole, in general. Particularly pointed towards Jazz music, Jazz fans will enjoy this album the most, as compared to other sources of music.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Avenue Jazz/Rhino Records

    Previous Review: #741
    Michael Nesmith--And The Hits Just Keep On Comin'
    Next Review: #743
    Traffic--John Barleycorn Must Die