Comin’ At Ya (1976)
Coke Escovedo

  1. Diamond Dust (Bernard Holland)/Vida (Thomas “Coke” Escovedo)

Coke Escovedo – timbales, congas, percussion, vocals
Errol Knowles – lead vocals
Frank Mercurio – keyboards, synthesizer
Abel Zarate – lead guitar
Gabor Szabo – guitar solo
Mark Phillips – bass
Glenn Symmonds – drums
Nathan Rubin and the San Francisco Soul Strings – strings

Arranged by Mark Phillips and Coke Escovedo

Produced by Pat Gleeson
Assistant Producer: Coke Escovedo
Engineered by Neil Schwartz

Recorded March 1976 at Different Fur Studios, San Francisco

1 issued on LP in 1976 on Mercury SRM-1-1085 [LP] (other titles without Gabor Szabo)

The San Francisco-based percussionist Thomas “Coke” Escovedo (1941-86) – brother of Pete and uncle of Sheila E, themselves renowned percussionists – was known at the time for his stints in Santana and Azteca. Gabor Szabo knew Escovedo from the Santana days and the guitarist frequently opened for Azteca in 1972.

Comin’ At Ya, the second of Escovedo’s three Mercury records, seemingly eschewed the percussionist’s Latin-rock legacy in favor of a pop set aimed at pleasing the disco crowd. Not an uncommon tact to take at the time.

Szabo makes one passing appearance on the all-too brief “Diamond Dust/Vida” (2:22), the album’s sole instrumental. The intriguing Latin rhythm suits Szabo fine; and while the guitarist is heard in character and within his element here, Pat Gleeson’s flashy pop production mutes Szabo’s bubbling twang too far down in the mix.

Indeed, Szabo’s performance here, as with Charles Earland several months later, is most certainly overdubbed. But, in this case, he’s mostly worthwhile, too.