Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1974)

- Rick Amendola -- vocals, acoustic guitar

- Ray Bardani -- drums, percussion

- Lenny Giustino (RIP) -- bass

- David Green -- vocals, keyboards

- Keith Hood -- vocals, lead guitar


  supporting musicians:

- Artie Jenkins -- percussion

- Ralph McDonald -- pecussion





- none known





Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Breeze

Company: Just Sunshine

Catalog:  JSS-3501

Country/State: Port Chester, New York

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor cover wear; promo copy; gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: --

Price: $30.00

By the time they went into the recording studio Breeze featured the talents of singer/guitarist Rick Amendola, drummer Ray Bardani, bassist Lenny Giustino, keyboard player David Green and lead guitarist Keith Hood. The band played high schools, dances and clubs around Port Chester, New York, somehow capturing the attention of Michael Lange who signed them as one of the first acts recording for his newly formed Just Sunshine label. 

Working with producers Herb Lovelle and Buddy Scott, these guys came off as professional and proficient on their 1974's debut "Breeze". Showcasing a mixture of popular hits and original material, they were clearly a "soft rock" entity. Images of Bread, Loggins and Messina, Seals and Crofts and Air Supply weren't too far from their sound. A good example was their cover of David Gate's 'Make It with You'. The Bread original was a classic soft rock tune. The Breeze cover version made it even softer. Nice slow dance tune, but it wasn't something you wanted to hear every day. And that proved to be both their creative strength and weakness. By my count six of the ten selections were ballads. Nothing wrong with a nice ballad, but when they account for 60% of a project, that's a bit top-heavy. Amendola and Hood shared writing duties on the seven originals. They also split lead vocals. Amendola's material tended towards the ballads. Hood's contributions such as 'Higher and Higher' and 'Jerusalem' were more varied and provided the album highlights. Of the other four tracks, none was an out-and-out rocker. The opener 'High and Higher' was a nice mid-tempo pop tune that came close to rock territory. Driven by a nice Lenny Giustino bass line, 'Jerusalem' at least had a bouncy up-tempo melody (along with some curious lyrics). I've certainly heard worse debuts, but this one just didn't have much going for it. 

One album and one obscure 45 and that was it for the band. Bassist Giustino apparently passed on at a young age.


"Breeze" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Higher and Higher   (Kevin Hood) - 2:20   rating: *** stars

Well, the good news is this wasn't the Jackie Wilson tune that Rita Coolidge had a hit with.  The bad news is this smooth pop tune wasn't much better.  Actually that wasn't a fair comment.  For a mid-'70s pop tune, this wasn't half bad - smooth and commercial with a nice vocal from Rick Amendola.

2.) Make It with You  (David Gates) - 3:55   rating: ** stars

This was quite an accomplishment ...  Showcasing David Gates' wispy voice, the Bread original wasn't exactly a hard-rockin' tune.  The arrangement was drastically different, but these guys managed to make the Bread original sound like Scandinavian death metal.  Wonder how many high school dances this was played at?

3.) Rosa  (Rick Amendola) - 2:25   rating: ** stars

Shock - an original, Bread-styled ballad.  'Rosa' was pretty and totally innocuous.

4.) For the Love of a Lady   (Rick Amendola) - 3:40   rating: ** stars

Well, 'For the Love of a Lady' cemented their niche as a ballads band.  I picture them as a New York version of Bread.  Pretty melody; romantic lyrics, wispy vocals ...  pass.  That didn't stop their label from floating the song as an instantly obscure single:





- 1974's 'For the Love of a Lady' b/w 'If I Never Saw Your Face' (Just Sunshine catalog number JSA-519)






5.) We Gotta Get You a Woman   (Todd Rundgren) - 3:28   rating: ** stars

The Todd Rundgren original was tuneful and kind of funny.  The Breeze version stayed true to the Rundgren version but lacked anything to improve on the original.  Forgettable.


(side 2)

1.) If I Never Saw Your Face  (Rick Amendola) - 3:40   rating: ** stars

The ballad 'If I Never Saw Your Face' sounded like it had been written for a television sitcom theme song.  Slick and forgettable.

2.) You've Got My Love  (Keith Hood) - 3:35   rating: ** stars

Geez, how many ballads can a band fit on an album?   Obvious too many.  Well, at least Hood had a nice voice - slightly tougher than the normal vocalist.

3.) Jerusalem  (Keith Hood) - 2:45   rating: **** stars

If I was forced to pick a standout performance, 'Jerusalem' would get my nod. First the song wasn't a ballad. Next, propelled by a nice Giustino bass line and some cheesy David Green keyboards (meant cheesy in a good way), it had a modestly engaging melody, highlighted by a good Keith Hood guitar solo. 

4.) Morning At Daybreak  (Rick Amendola) - 2:30  rating: ** stars

I'm not an English major, but there was something about the title that struck me as grammatically challenging.  'Morning At Daybreak' was another Bread-styled ballad.  Pretty and completely forgettable.  Ten minutes after hearing it you won't remember a single chord.

5.) Do You Believe In Magic?   (John Sebastian) - 2:48  rating: ** stars

The spoken work introduction might have seemed like a good idea at the time, but it wasn't.  The rest of the song was a rote and forgettable cover of The Lovin' Spoonful hit.





 (John Sebastian) - 2:40