Jazz Dispensary has announced the latest release in its Top Shelf series, the band Pleasure’s long out-of-print classic Joyous. Produced by Wayne Henderson (The Jazz Crusaders), the 1977 album has a blend of Soul, Funk, Disco, and Jazz. As with every title in the Top Shelf series culled from Craft Recordings’ vaults, Joyous has been cut from the original analog tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio and pressed on audiophile-quality 180-gram vinyl at RTI.
The LP is housed in a tip-on jacket, featuring faithfully reproduced original designs. Returning to vinyl for the first time since its original release, Joyous is out January 6th, 2023 and available exclusively at JazzDispensary.com.
Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Pleasure formed in 1972, blending the talents of two local acts: The Franchise (featuring drummer Bruce Carter, guitarist Marlon “The Magician” McClain, and bassist Nathaniel Phillips) and The Soul Masters (featuring keyboardists and brothers Donald and Michael Hepburn, saxophonist Dennis Springer, trombonist/guitarist Dan Brewster, vocalist Sherman Davis, and percussionist Bruce Smith).
The act caught the ears of Jazz Crusaders co-founder and trombonist Wayne Henderson. Under Henderson’s wing, Pleasure signed to Fantasy Records (home to the likes of Creedence Clearwater Revival and Vince Guaraldi), where he would produce four of the band’s albums, including their 1975 debut, Dust Yourself Off, 1976’s Accept No Substitutes and 1977’s Joyous, marking the band’s final album with its original line-up.
Since its release, Joyous has only grown in its popularity and has become a favorite of DJs and is known through sampling, particularly the title track, which has appeared in releases by Janet Jackson, LL Cool J, Eric B. & Rakim, Sugarhill Gang and Daft Punk, among many others. “Let Me Be the One,” meanwhile, was also sampled in tracks by the likes of Public Enemy and Ultramagnetic MCs.
If you follow Jazz Dispensary, they have also added a new colorway to their “Catnip” T-shirt for the holidays. The design features an original illustration by Favorite Vegetable.