brooklyn

Esposito, Hokenson & Sudano…

Two years before Brooklyn Dreams would hit on Casablanca with their Donna Summer duet, “Heaven Knows,” this 1977 self-titled debut appeared on Jimmy Ienner’s Millennium Records imprint. Summer makes an appearance here as well on “Old Fashioned Girl,” a song that is indicative of most of the material on this set, not extraordinary but respectable and quite listenable.

There’s nothing to jump out and grab you like the immaculate “Tighter, Tighter,” the Tommy James tune Bruce Sudano hit with when he was a member of Alive ‘n Kickin’ in 1970, but the album works much better as a total listening experience than had the Alive & Kicking LP, displaying innovations the previous band was attempting to find. Interesting to note that Tommy James himself hit on the Millennium label in 1980 with “Three Times in Love” while Bruce Sudano returned to Ienner’s fold in 1981 with a solo disc, Fugitive Kind.

The material wanders a bit stylistically, but is consistently good — “Hollywood Circles” a bit of a departure from the near disco of this set, a rock & roll tune of sorts that finds itself in direct contrast with more mainstream-of-the-day titles like “Another Night at the Tango.” It’s no “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” but works in its own way.

Joe Esposito, Eddie Hokenson, and Sudano are adept at blending their voices in an interesting disco-doo wop fashion, a good concept and the key thing that gives the group its identity. Tony Maiden of Rufus shows up on “Sad Eyes” (not the excellent 1979 Robert John hit) and Skip Konte’s production is certainly slick enough.

It’s just that much of it is dated decades after the fact, the group failing to make an impact outside of their affiliation with Summer. A song like “Music, Harmony & Rhythm” just doesn’t have the punch that the O’Jays, Spinners, and Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes poured all over their Gamble & Huff releases, something Tavares were able to do with their Top 40 appearances.

The strength here is on titles like “I Never Dreamed” where the voices embrace a strong melody and deliver the goods on a stirring ballad. Had the band reworked Sudano’s majestic co-write with Tommy James, 1969’s Top 20 smash “Ball of Fire,” there would have been something extra special here to really lift this disc above the generic competition. “A” for effort, but not quite what it could be.

Discography

Brooklyn Dreams

Big Break Records 2010

Tracks: Music Harmony And Rhythm, Sad Eyes, I Never Dreamed, Don’t Fight The Feeling, Another Night At The Tango, On The Corner, Street Dance, (Baby) You’re The One, Old Fashioned Girl, Hollywood Circles, Sad Eyes (Single Version), Music Harmony And Rhythm (12″ Disco Version) & Street Dance (12″ Disco Version).

Musicians on the Brooklyn Dreams album: Joe Esposito, Eddie Hokenson, Bruce Sudano, Andre Fischer, Dennis Belfield, Velyer Hildebrand, Al Ciner, Snuffy Walden, Tony Eisenbarger, Tony Maiden, Ron Stokert, Mark Olson, Skip Fonte & Joe Lala.

Won´t Let Go

Casablanca Records 1980

Tracks: Lover In The night, Heartbreaker-Breakaway, Spinnin’, Beautiful Dreamer, Back On The Streets, I Won’t Let Go, Fallin’ In Love & A Moment In Time.

Musicians on the Won´t Let Go album: Joe Esposito, Eddie Hokenson, Bruce Sudano, Mark Bensi, Tony Braunagel, Keith Forsey, Snuffy Walden, Bobby Womack, Kevin McCormick, Les Hurdle, Dave Aston, Rick Kelly, Nicky Hopkins, Bob Conti & Gary Herbig.

Joyride

Casablanca Records 1979

Tracks: Hot Lovin'(Summer In The City), For The Love Of The Music, Too Much For The Lady, Take Me Back, Your Love So Good To Me, One And Only, Daigo & Love Love’s Desire.

Musicians on the Joyride album: Joe Esposito, Eddie Hokenson, Bruce Sudano, Keith Forsey, Les Hurdle, Jeff Baxter, Jay Graydon, Steve Lukather, Thom Rotella, Thor Baldursson, Keith Forsey, Bob Conty, Al Perkins & Gary Herbig.

Sleepness Night

Casablanca Records 1979

Tracks: Make It Last, That’s Not The Way That Your Mama Taught You To Be, Sleepless Nights/Send Me A Dream, Fashion For Me, First Love, Street Man, Touching In The Dark, Long Distance, Coming Up The Hard Way & Heaven Knows.

Musicians on the Sleepless Nights album: Joe Esposito, Eddie Hokenson, Bruce Sudano, Ed Greene, Mike Baird, Chuck Rainey, Scotty Edwards, David Hungate, Jay Graydon, Thom Rotella, Lee Ritenour, Bob Esty, Jay Winding, Victor Feldman, Bob Esty, Dan Wyman, Jerry Jumonville, Lew Soloff, Barry Rogers, Michael Brecker, Lew Del Gatto, Jerry Hey, Steve Madaio, Chuck Findley, Gary Herbig, Bill Reichenbach, Pattie Brooks, B.J. Foster, Paul Jabara, Arnold McCuller, Danny Peck, Brenda Russell & Carlene Williams.

Brooklyn Dreams

Millenium Records 1977

Tracks: Music Harmony And Rhythm, Sad Eyes, I Never Dreamed, Don’t Fight The Feeling, Another Night At The Tango, On The Corner, Street Dance, (Baby) You’re The One, Old Fashioned Girl & Hollywood Circles.

Musicians on the Brooklyn Dreams album: Joe Esposito, Eddie Hokenson, Bruce Sudano, Andre Fischer, Dennis Belfield, Velyer Hildebrand, Al Ciner, Snuffy Walden, Tony Eisenbarger, Tony Maiden, Ron Stokert, Mark Olson, Skip Fonte & Joe Lala.

Previous

Comments are closed.

  • Blue Desert Newsletter