12" Vinyl Single Record
Like the first four releases in the series, the fifth 12-inch "Giant Single" on Soul-Cal Records combines an uplifting message with a soaring melody over the most rugged of driving, raw disco beats. Leon Mitchison leads his Eastex Freeway Band in a propulsive ode to the feelings of love and freedom. The call-and-response group vocalizing is sure to get the dance floor hyped, even thirty years after the track's original release on Mitchison's own Mitchitone Records in 1974. Mitchison, a saxophonist, bandleader and former principal, formed The Eastex Freeway Band from a core of local standout teenage musicians including Gerald Calhoun on bass, Earl Spiller on guitar, Alva Nelson on keys and Craig Green on drums. All these young players had been trained under Conrad O. Johnson in the formidable Kashmere High School Stage Band, the pride of Houston's Fifth Ward and the most intimidating, dynamic, and, of course, funky high school band of all the time. For the Mitchitone Recordings, Mitchison harnessed their consummate musicianship, infusing the funky fury into his unique, hard-edged R&B vision. The resulting music stands the test of time, reaching from the heart of Houston, Texas, to music-lovers everywhere thanks to Soul-Cal. "Love Is" is presented here in two previously unreleased versions - an extended vocal take, which ends with the band vamping off the reels with an exuberance that transcends its early 70s recording, and a stripped down instrumental.