Windows of the Mind


Wewantsounds reissue of Billy Brooks's much sought-after album Windows of the Mind, released in 1974 on Ray Charles's Crossover Records. The album was co-produced by Charles and features such heavy players as Herman Riley, Calvin Keys, and Larry Gales. There's not a huge amount of information to be found about trumpet player Billy Brooks. A solid session musician who'd been around since the '50s, he played with the likes of Lionel Hampton, Cal Tjader, and of course Ray Charles, who signed him to his sub label Crossover Records in the early '70s to release Windows of the Mind. Interestingly, Brooks also appears on Bea Benjamin's 1976 cult classic African Songbird produced by Dollard Brand. Windows of the Mind released in 1974 remains Brooks' only solo album. Windows of the Mind was recorded in Los Angeles and co-produced by Ray Charles. It is a skillful, brass-led mix of jazz and funk performed by such cult players as bassist Larry Gales (Thelonious Monk), drummer Clarence Johnston (Freddie Roach, James Moody), saxophonist Herman Riley (Side Effect, Pleasure, Earth Wind & Fire, Letta Mbulu), guitarists Jef Lee (Roy Ayers, Sylvia Striplin) and cult player Calvin Keys of Black Jazz Records fame. From the groove of "Rockin Julius", "Shetter Cheeze", and "Black Flag" to the mid-tempo jazz mood of "Cooling It" and "C.P. Time" and the cinematic brass pyrotechnics of "The Speech Maker", "Windows of the Mind" is a superb funked-up big band jazz album. Windows of the Mind did reasonably well among the jazz circles when it came out but its fate would change fifteen years later when, in 1990, A Tribe Called Quest heavily sampled its closing track "Fourty Days" for their own "Luck of Lucien" featured on the group's debut album People's Instinctive Travels And The Paths Of Rhythm (1990). The album revolutionized hip-hop and "Luck of Lucien" became one of the album's highlights, thus cementing the reputation of Billy Brooks original LP among DJs and collectors. Original LPs now change hands for a few hundred dollars. Wewantsounds now make this landmark album available again in partnership with The Ray Charles Foundation. Newly remastered audio; comes with original artwork.