Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Mike Mainieri & Warren Bernhardt ‎together in Free Smiles: Live At Montreux 1978 [by request]

This album featuring two keyboardists was requested once a while back.  It took me some time to get to on account of the backlog of other records to discuss-- god bless my contacts and helpers for keeping me so supplied with goodies, and I pray this problem continues into the next year...

To cover Mike Manieri first, his 1981 album is far superior to the seventies effort, I don't recall a similar instance where the eighties product is more enjoyable (better composed and progressive) than the seventies-- quite unusual.  There is a Noco Music aspect to the track called L'Image from the album Wanderlust:

In musicianship, it's no contest-- his vibes work is fabulous, flawless.  Why would a guy go from commercial sap in Love Plays (1977) to more advanced progressive fusion in 1981's Wanderlust? 
And look at the atrocious cover photo! (last on the bottom).

Turning now to the other artist, you can see Warren Bernhardt made a number of solo piano albums, for which there is no interest to me, having heard too much of that one-dimensional genre in university.  However, his album called Manhattan from 1979 featured some very tasty fusion without any letdown from start to finish:

In this case of course, his seventies records are far superior to the eighties ones-- which is totally expected and the way the world is supposed to work.  I'll post a 1983 (acoustic) trio album from him that still proves enjoyable with its intricate and occasionally delicate compositions (see cover below).

Regarding this joint LP, the 1978 Live in Montreux, we are dealing with a pure duet so there is not too much textural quality to go around, but the compositions are at times quite ingenious and intricate.  Listen to Mainieri's Garlicky piece here:

Then at the end you will notice how well the last track fits in to our progressive dreams as Warren pulls out that nostalgia-inducing (Moog?) synth for some nice wavy evocations of the Mediterranean Sea on top of Mainieri's vibey arpeggio waters.  Most of the compositions by the latter, note.


  1. Mike's 1977 Love Play

    Bernhardt's Manhattan Update (1980)

    Mike's 1981 Wanderlust

    Bernhardt's Trio (1983)

    And finally the requested album with the two of them together, 1978's Montreux:

    in lossless:

  2. Many thanks once more for this huge update on Warren Bernhardt. It's amazing to see how much work and care you're putting into your posts, and I'm especially grateful for remembering my request. I came across Warren Bernhardt in this youtube video, and was touched by the interplay between vibraphone and Moog during the first two minutes. I am certainly nostalgia-driven and biased, but I haven't heard much of this type on the rest Bernhardt's output. Thanks again for your help and all the best for the turn of the year.

  3. Thanks to your helpers and suppliers, too!