The second sampler from the MCA Master Series and the first for 1987 features four artists from the label’s signed roster:
John Jarvis, also on the first sampler, releases two songs from his second album. Yes, between 1986 and the first 1987 sampler, he put out another album, “Something Constructive”.
Edgar Meyer, also on the first sampler, also created a new album, “Dreams of Flight.” And from this album are pulled four songs for the sampler. Interestingly, three of the songs on the sampler (Trio) are merged into one track on Dreams of Flight.
Acoustic Alchemy makes its first showing in the sampler albums with the immediate hit, Mr. Chow, which (as most breakout hits are) is not fully representational of their sound. Another song from their first album, Red Dust and Spanish Lace, is included: Stone Circle.
Giles Reaves is also presented on the album and his style of music is definitely at odds with the rest of the pack. The variation is appropriate for a sampler, but I can imagine many people skipping over his two tracks because they are so freeform and don’t blend in.
As mentioned, this sampler’s overall sound is mixed, but with the exception of Reaves, the sound would be jazz/classical. Reaves does provide the MCA Master Series with an electronic sound, and in the specific case of his first album, Wunjo, it is a meditative, tranquil sound officially labeled as “Space Music”.
The album artwork is designed in the second motif, with a large white border and a colorful center image. The border on this CD is slightly off-white, like the Acoustic Alchemy album cover, where the others are pure white. A styling technique used and repeated in all later samplers is to have the album covers of the showcased artists mixed into the center image. Also in keeping with the artistic style of the albums, the covers’ center artwork sometimes breaks its intended borders and extends into the outer frame.