Black Ivory

Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1 (1971-77)

- Stuart Bascombe -- backing vocals

- Leroy Burgess -- lead vocals 

- Russell Patterson -- backing vocals 


  supporting musicians (1976)

- Jorge Barreiro -- percussion

- Leroy Burgess -- keyboards

- James Calloway -- bass

- William Dogan -- guitar
- Larry Hackney -- guitar

- Gregory McCray -- keyboards
- Donald Pinkney -- percussion

- Jo-Jo Smith -- percussion


  line up 2 (1977-79)

- Stuart Bascombe -- backing vocals 

- Russell Patterson -- backing vocals 


  line up 3 (1984)

NEW - Lenny Adams -- vocals 

NEW - David Hart -- vocals 

- Russell Patterson -- backing vocals 




- Aleem (Leroy Burgess)

- Logg (Leroy Burgess and David Patterson)

- The Mellow Souls






Genre: soul

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  Baby, Won't You Change Your Mind

Company: Today

Catalog: TLP 1008

Year: 1972

Country/State: Harlem, New York

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor corner wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5156

Price: $35.00


Today all but unknown outside of collectors circles, this talented New York-based soul trio deserved a far better fate than what's befallen them.


The group's sophomore release, 1972's "Baby, Won't You Change Your Mind" again served as a showcase for manager Patrick Adams who in addition to producing was also credited with writing all nine tracks and arranging the set.  While the album's heavy dose of ballads wasn't a radical departure from the debut, the overall feel was more consistent and enjoyable than on the debut.  In particular in his role as lead singer Leroy Burgess seemed have grown far more comfortable in the studio, turning in some impressively mournful performances on songs like the title track, 'No If's And's, or But's', and 'It's Time To Say Goodbye' (the latter featuring some weird percussion effects).  Adams also seemed to have grown as a writer.  Mind you the album had more than it's share of romantic platitudes, but some of Adams' lyrics were pretty impressive - check out 'Time Is Love'.  Ironically, the group were actually even more impressive on their isolated up-tempo numbers.  'Just Leave Me Some' and 'Ticket To Loveland' were killer and would have made for some amazing radio hits had they been tapped for release as single.  Instead Today played it safe going with ballads for the singles:


- 1972's 'Time Is Love' b/w 'Got To Be There' (Today catalog number T-1516 A/B)

- 1973s 'Spinning Around' b/w 'Find the One Who Loves You' (Today catalog number T-1520 A/B)


"Baby, Won't You Change Your Mind" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Baby, Won't You Change Your Mind   (Patrick Adams) - 

2.) Just Leave Me Some   (Patrick Adams) - 

3.) Push Come To Shove   (Patrick Adams) - 

4.) Time Is Love   (Patrick Adams) - 

5.) Spinning Around   (Patrick Adams) - 


(side 2)
1.) It's Time To Say Goodbye   (Patrick Adams) - 

2.) Ticket To Loveland   (Patrick Adams) - 

3.) No If's, And's, or But's   (Patrick Adams) - 

4.) Wishful thinking   (Patrick Adams) - 


With the album going top-40 and the singles all charting, the group should have been poised for massive success. Unfortunately economics intervened.  Today Records ran into financial difficulties and feeling they were being ripped off on royalties the trio refused to record a follow-on.  One non-LP single for the label and their partnership was over ('We Made It' b/w 'Just Leave Me Some' (Today catalog number T-1524 A/B)).  Today subsequently collapsed in bankruptcy.




Genre: soul

Rating: 2 stars **

Title:  Black Ivory

Company: Buddah

Catalog: BDS 5658

Year: 1973

Country/State: Harlem, New York

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor corner wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 

Price: $10.00


I can understand trying to adapt to popular tastes - who doesn't want to be a commercial success ?   That said, by any standard, 1973's self-produced "Black Ivory" was pretty lame.   With the exception of a couple of old school ballads, tracks like 'Dance' and 'Wallking Downtown (Saturday Night)'  were at best professional, but anonymous with the trio (Stuart Bascombe, Leroy Burgess, and Russell Patterson), abandoning most of the traits that made their earlier albums such a pleasure, in favor of   throwing their artistic lot in with the contemporary disco fad.  The only thing worse than the disco tunes was the group's decision to cover Barry Manilow's 'Mandy' coupled with the equally vile 'Could This Be Magic'.


"Black Ivory" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Dance   (Russell Patterson - Leroy Burgess) - 4:56

Mindless disco fodder.   Horrible way to start an album.   rating: ** stars

2.) White Wind   (Stuart Bascombe - Leroy Burgess) - 5:10

Yeah, it was a disco tune, but in contrast to most of the competition, reflected some real interesting moves including intriguing time changes; nice multi-part harmonies, and a real sense of adventure.  It would have been even better without the overwhelming orchestration.   rating: *** stars

3.) Making Love In My Mind  (Lennie Lambert - Bobby Flax) - 2:18

One of the album's more conventional tunes, 'Making Love In My Mind' suffered from a fragile lead vocal and more needless over-orchestration.   rating: ** stars

4.) Mandy / Could This Be Magic   (Richard Blandon - H. Johnson) / (Scott English - Richard Kent) - - 4:10

I won't even speculate as to what they were thinking when they decided to cover these two amazingly lame pop songs.   Barry Manlow for goodness sakes ?   It's all I can do to sit through the tune without feeling my blood pressure start to rise.   Seriously bad moves ...   rating: ** stars


(side 2)
1.) Wallking Downtown (Saturday Night)   (Jorge Barrecio)  - 9:20

This was one of those albums where there was so much bad material it was simply hard to pick the album's nadir.  That said, the seemingly endless 'Wallking Downtown (Saturday Night)' might  deserve the nod.   Set to a thoroughly anonymous disco melody, what you got was nine plus minutes of the title repeated over and over and over and over.   Make it stop !!!   rating: ** stars

2.) Longer Ride  (Stuart Bascombe - Leroy Burgess) -3:37

One of the more commercial tunes on the album, 'Longer Ride' was far better than the disco material, but other than the hyperactive bass (courtesy of James Calloway), there wasn't much to recommend.  rating: *** stars

3.) You Mean Everything To Me    (Graham Layden) - 4:08

The album's standout performance, 'You Mean Everything To Me' was also very atypical for the album - namely a brief return to their old-school roots.   Showcasing Burgess on lead vocals, the result was a gorgeous slice of early-'70s, harmony rich soul that would have made The Delfonics, or The Stylistics green with envy.   rating:**** stars

4.) Can't You See  (Stuart Bascombe - Leroy Burgess) -3:01

Another pretty ballad with Russell Patterson on lead vocals.  rating: **** stars




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