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Articles Home » 1976 Articles » Greene, Mike - 1976 Midnight Mirage
Greene, Mike - 1976 Midnight Mirage

ARTIST: Greene, Mike
ALBUM: Midnight Mirage
LABEL: Mercury
SERIAL: SRM 1-1100
YEAR: 1976


LINEUP: Mike Greene - vocals, keyboards, saxophone, flute * David Michael - guitars * Michael Holbrook - bass * Rande Powell - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Joni * 02 Midnight Mirage * 03 Down To The Wire * 04 Jay Bluweesie * 05 Perfect Smile * 06 Adobe Highway * 07 I Need A Love * 08 Smile To Me * 09 Circles Round The Sun

Mike Greene was originally a member of the Hampton Grease Band - one of the wildest fusion outfits you never heard. Formed in Atlanta, Georgia during the tumultuous late '60s, Hampton Grease Band developed a big hippie following with their crazy experimental style and playing free shows throughout the South as well as supporting bands like Fleetwood Mac, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Captain Beefheart, Grateful Dead, Procol Harum and Jimi Hendrix. The group signed with CBS, releasing their one and only album 'Music to Eat' in 1971 which sold next to zero, eventually signing to Frank Zappa's Straight Records only to break-up in 1973. Following the split, Greene put together the Mike Greene Band releasing two albums on Mercury 'Pale, Pale Moon' in 1975 and a year later 'Midnight Mirage'.

The Songs
Both albums are classic examples of Southern fusion and 'Midnight Mirage' is a good as it gets. Often you'll find Mike Greene in the Jazz sections of your local shop, or described as such by some internet sellers, but this is only partially true. This is heat-fried fusion with elements of world music and pop thrown on the fire. A lot of warm vibes here and Greene is a competent vocalist somewhat in the Michael Franks/Dan Fogelberg school as well as wonderful sax player which is a featured prominently throughout the record. Surrounded with stellar musicians that weave a colourful tapestry of sound, including his old bud in Hampton Grease Band - bassist Michael Holbrook; fans of Sea Level and the Allman Brothers Band should make space for this record in their collections and from the opening cut 'Joni' you get the feeling this is going to be something special. A few of the many highlights include the title track; a rockish instrumental featuring tasty guitar work from David Michael, the funky and sweet 'Perfect Smile' and the Allman Brothers influenced 'Adobe Highway' making for a dazzling album of light and dark tones and musical riches.

In Summary
Mike Greene's albums have never been on CD which may very well be politically motivated. Following 'Midnight Mirage', Greene became increasingly active in the music business, eventually becoming president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences as well as running the 'Grammy' Awards for several years. Consistently controversial for the way he operated the Grammy's, promoted his own music to major labels and allegations of sexual impropriety eventually lead to his resignation in 2002, never to be seen or heard from again.

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