As part of its continuing exploration of Detroit’s Strata label with DJ Amir’s 180 Proof Records,
BBE Music reissues the 1974 rare jazz classic ‘Inside Ourselves’ by Sphere.
Recorded live on June 28th, 1970 at the Detroit Institute of Arts, ‘Inside Ourselves’ features
John Dana on bass, Jimmy Peluso on Drums, Keith Vreeland on, Electric Piano, Eddie
Nuccilli on Trumpet and Flügelhorn, plus bandleader Larry Nozero on tenor and soprano
Saxophone. The album comprises seven captivating original compositions, written by
Vreeland, Nuccilli and Nozero himself.
Perhaps Larry Nozero’s single most-recognisable contribution to popular music is the
soprano sax solo on Marvin Gaye’s seminal, 'What’s Going On', the title track and tone-setter
for one of soul music’s most successful, not to mention conceptual, recordings.
Like so many talented reedmen before him, Nozero received instruction from Detroit’s Teal
School of Music, creating common ground with Yusef Lateef, Joe Henderson, and Benny
Maupin. Although Nozero flirted with the Strata groundlings briefly in 1964 as a member of
Charles Moore’s Detroit Contemporary 5, he was soon drafted into the military.
A mixed blessing, Nozero took full advantage of the opportunities within the Army Band,
which led to several high-profile jobs upon his return to Detroit. Despite lengthy
engagements with Henry Mancini, Sergio Mendes, and studio work with everyone from
Holland-Dozier-Holland to Berry Gordy, Nozero still relished musical freedom of expression,
which made him right at home on the Strata roster.
While little is known about Sphere as a standalone group aside from its contributors and
producer Bud Spangler, ‘Inside Ourselves’ represents the level of quality jazz expected from
the Strata imprint.