Which Part Of His Her Music Belongs To The Singer-Songwriter The Most Notable Of Cat Stevens’ Session Musicians

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The Most Notable Of Cat Stevens’ Session Musicians

Cat Stevens was a very successful folk-rock singer of the late 1960s and 1970s, enjoying considerable success and recognition on both sides of the Atlantic.

In late 1969, his recorded output underwent a marked change, after he dispensed with the production services of former Springfield guitarist Mike Hurst and recruited ex-Yardbirds bassist Paul Samwell Smith. The latter took a more positive view of the new folk-rock direction Stephen wanted to take, and with a new record deal signed for Chris Blackwell’s Island Records, Kat was able to embark on a prolific period of writing and recording.

Before this new direction took shape, the likes of Peter Gabriel played flute on Mona Bon Jacon, while Nicky Hopkins also played keyboards on the same album, having contributed an electric piano to The Beatles Revolution among others. However, Samwell Smith was now critical to Stevens’ new sound design, as he introduced him to new session players who would be essential to the creation of his groundbreaking Island albums.

Arguably, the best of all Cat Stevens session musicians was a guitarist named Alan Davis, also known as Dido Lala in the music business (this moniker is the title of his first solo album, in the mid-1970s). Davies was a prominent facet of the then-emerging folk-rock genre, and his finger-style guitar, matching backing vocals and overall perfectionist attitude meshed well with Stevens, so much so that he went on to appear on all but two Stevens albums. albums before his retirement.

Stevens’ retirement from the music business in 1979 left Davies particularly low, but their friendship was such that 27 years later when Stevens re-emerged as Joseph, Davies was once again by his side and made an invaluable contribution.

Other notable session players who participated in Cat Stevens’ output included: singer Linda Lewis, who had solo hits herself in the 1970s; Herbie Flowers who is perhaps better known as the bassist with rock/classical conglomerate Sky (and for his bass line on Lou Reed’s Walk On The Wild Side); David Sanborn, a saxophonist of some repute; Brenda Russell, who had a solo hit in the 1980s with her song Piano In The Dark; Art Garfunkel, who sang on the Numbers album; Chick Corea, the legendary keyboardist recently passed away (2021), a member of the Mahabishnu Orchestra and his own Return To Forever project, who played on the Izitsu album – and finally, Alki Brooks who sings prominently on the old schoolyard’s Remember The Days.

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