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Jay Ferguson Brings the Thunder

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Discerning fans of music from the late sixties and early seventies will remember the genuinely great Los Angeles band Spirit.  Their first few albums (Spirit, The Family That Plays Together, Clear, The Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus) are still extraordinary albums; to my ears, they escape seeming dated because Spirit sounded unusual even in their own time – jazzy more than hippie, even progressive in some ways. 

Well, Jay Ferguson was their singer in the early days.  He split early in the seventies to form Jo Jo Gunne, a fine but (I think) lesser band, and then he moved on to a solo career.  The one song everyone will remember from that era is “,” a lush, propulsive ode to the beach, love, and beach love with a cracking good guitar solo from Joe Walsh.  But after six solo albums, Ferguson turned to soundtrack music and has scored more than a dozen movies and TV shows.

Think you might not have heard his work?  You have.  Think of Michael Scott, Dwight Schrute, and Toby Flenderson.  The music you heard in your head as you recognized those characters’ names is certainly Ferguson’s best-known composition: yes, he wrote the award-winning theme to The Office.  So from a psychedelic jazz-rock band to a brilliant TV theme composer – check out the talented Jay Ferguson.  (And allow yourself to groove again to “Thunder Island.”  You know you love it.)


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