Lenny White - The Adventures of Astral Pirates. 1978 USA

One presumes Lenny White was hitting the wacky weed pretty hard during this era, if we are to absorb the concept, cartoons, and story line of The Adventures of Astral Pirates. Well, no matter, as White has turned in a powerful, mostly instrumental, jazz fusion album not that far removed from his other gig with Return to Forever. So Chick Corea was into Medieval knights and White was into... alien pirates from antiquity. Like I said, could have been the bud...

What makes The Adventures of Astral Pirates such a great album is the solid compositions, strong melodies, some indigenous global sounds, and - to be expected - expert musicianship. It would be easy to laugh off a work such as this, but doing so would be at your loss. And what I respect most about White's album, is that he doesn't feel the need to remind you that he's a monster drummer. Other than a small bit on 'Assault', this is truly ensemble material. A good one that I feel is often times overlooked.

Personal collection
LP: 1978 Elektra

An album like this needs the full gatefold to appreciate, so that you can get the outrageous story and artwork. With a marquee name like Lenny White, one would think this album would have thrived in the CD reissue market. No such luck. There are 2 Japanese presses, and one on the always basic Wounded Bird. And what's most disappointing about the second Japanese reissue (2015) is they went for the jewel case instead of a mini-LP. Of all albums, this one needs that format, as mentioned above. As such, I'm sticking with the LP for this title.

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