Jakata hail from south Los Angeles and deliver a sound that is hi-tech, west coast and AOR all rolled into one.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: Light The Night
LABEL: Morocco Records
SERIAL: 6060 CL
) YEAR: 1984
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Jimmy Felber – vocals, keyboards * Steve Kragan – lead vocals, horns * Chuck Coffey – vocals, bass * Chris Myers – drums, percussion, acoustic guitar
Additional Musicians: Robbie Nevil – all additional guitars
TRACK LISTING: 01 Living Like There’s No Tomorrow * 02 Hell Is On The Run * 03 Golden Girl * 04 Can’t Take Your Games Anymore * 05 Tell Him You’re Leaving * 06 Racing For The Dawn * 07 Light At The End Of The Tunnel * 08 Jean Such A Scene * 09 Don’t Ever Let Go * 10 Shadows Of The Night
Jakata’s one-off LP for Tamla Motown offshoot Morocco Records is an album I’ve been playing for a few weeks now. Annoyed that I couldn’t find a half-decent rip of it out there in Blogspot land, I resorted to buying a pristine LP copy from Ebay instead, and boy was I glad I did, as this is a very special little album.
Jakata hail from south Los Angeles and deliver a sound that is hi-tech, west coast and AOR all rolled into one. The band had a number of different members pass through their ranks, and it seems these guys were regulars on the club circuit based around the Long Beach locale.
Keyboardist Jimmy Felber was actually on Tamla Motown’s books as a songwriter, no doubt that is how Jakata managed to land a deal. Most of the songs are sung by Steve Kragan, of the ten he sings six, Chuck Coffey sings two, and Jimmy Felber sings one. There is one instrumental as well.
For this album, Jakata employed the talents of Robbie Nevil, a successful solo artist in his own right (remember his hit songs ‘C’est La Vie’ and ‘Dominoes’), Robbie plays all the electric guitars on ‘Light The Night’.
[L to R] Jimmy Felber, Chuck Coffey, Steve Kragan, Chris Myers
The light and poppy ‘Living Like There’s No Tomorrow’ is the LP’s first track, some nice keys and smooth sax lines keep things breezy, but for me it’s the great voice that Steve Kragan that holds it all together. I have gone on previously about the track ‘Hell Is On The Run’, describing it as a doppelganger of Glory Daze favourites Dakota. Check it out for yourself.
‘Golden Girl’ is primetime west coast, smooth to the touch and easy on the ear. Coffey handles the lead vocal on the Toto like ‘Can’t Take Your Games Anymore’, while Jimmy Felber’s keyboard work takes the dominant position of side one closer ‘Tell Him You’re Leaving’. This one has some unusual characteristics, including the power-pop tempo changer through the middle. Kinda Jekyll and Hyde-like, with The Tubes or Donnie Iris jumping into the song for a bit of fun!
Side two starts out with the instrumental ‘Racing For The Dawn’, a very pomp laden affair which shows that these guys could lift it up a notch or two. ‘Light At The End Of The Tunnel’ is a groovy west coast/pop tune, imagine a white man’s Al Jarreau hamming it up but without the scat vocals.
Felber steps out front on the very funky and slightly bizarre ‘Jean Such A Scene’. It’s well suited to 1984, and perhaps best left there.. lol! Jakata provides their first ballad ‘Don’t Ever Let Go’ deep into the LP (nine tracks in) and it’s a purist AOR sounding tune sung by Chuck Coffey, with Kragan delivering a sax solo for good measure.
The album finale ‘Shadows Of The Night’ is high on percussion and synth fills, the song itself moving along at a decent clip.
All in all, an enjoyable album, and I am highly surprised at just how obscure this album is – until now that is! It’s a pity they never kicked on with a second album. Criminally ignored, ‘Light The Night’ should be sought out by all lovers of hi-tech AOR and west coast. Yes, it’s that good, but as time marches on, there is no sighting of a CD reissue. What a travesty.
Living Like There’s No Tomorrow
Hell Is On The Run
Light At The End Of The Tunnel