"The 2nd James Gang album with the legendary and deceased Tommy Bolin on guitar. It's not as strong as Bang but it has it's moments. Songs like Do It, Crusin' Down The Highway, Spanish Lover, Red Skies and the little ditty Miami Two Step are among the best this has to offer. The reason it's not as strong and compelling as Bang is because Tommy was distancing himself from the rest of the band. Disinterested and wanting to go solo he soon departed after this recording but still managed to deliver some awesome songs. Ron Kenner's voice is great and Tommy did collaborate with Roy on writing a few songs but at least half of the songs were written with Tommy Bolin and Jeff Cook, the singer of Tommy's former band Energy. A great "lost" 70's album."
Strong James Gang effort featuring great Bolin Guitar Work
cd-heaven | 05/18/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This album, the followup to the acclaimed "James Gang Bang", is a strong and somewhat overlooked album. The record features Tommy Bolin on Guitars, and Roy Kenner on Vocals. Bolin plays a variety of styles, from his trademark, searing slide guitar on "Wildfire" to some nice acoustic work (and his lead vocal) on "Spanish Lover". I particularly like "Summer Breezes"...great song and Bolin plays some great slide work, particularly on the beautiful, melodic ending. If you like any of the James Gang's work, or are a Tommy Bolin fan, you've got to add this to your collection!"
One of the best that no one knows about!
Michael S. Welninski | Denver, CO USA | 08/25/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I saw Tommy at Ebbets Field in Denver in 1974 (I was under-age then but nobody seamed to care) and have been a total fan ever since. If he hadn't partied himself to death he would be known as one the greatest guitarists of rock. My friends still wonder what he would putting out now if he was still here. From ballads like the awesome "Alexis" and the rockers like "Post Toastie" he always had something new to test "The Tune Generator". Along with "Private Eyes" and "Bang" highly recommended!"
I'm not a James Gang fan, per se...
ol'guy | 03/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...and only recently discovered Tommy Bolin; much to my loss! This album and "Bang" are two incredible gems of music that I've stumbled on thanks to the critiques on Amazon's Reviews. 70's style rock music with great songs, played by great musicians, seemingly having a great time! If you're a fan of the genre, looking for something you might be missing from your collection than "Miami" is it. Enjoy...."
TB/Gang keep head above the water
CU82 | Atlanta, GA | 04/27/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"James Gang's "Miami" is an excellent example of how an incredible guitarist can display his chops without having to go over the top or crank up the volume and speed just to get your attention. That isn't to say that this disc doesn't have its all-out rockin' moments. Every song has something special from Mr. Bolin in it but a word of caution is in order: BEWARE. Those moments are so finely woven into the fabric of each song that you may not realize that you are getting smoked until the flames have already blazed out of control.
I bought this LP when it first came out in 1974 but never really understood why I liked it as much as I did. Now that I'm older I understand perfectly what it was and what made this a "must have" disc when I transitioned into the CD era. A quick breakdown of the songs will give you an idea of what I'm talking about ...
1. Cruisin' Down The Highway (3:16) - an assortment of acoustic and electric guitars combine to make this mid-paced rocker a prime example of getting smoked before you realize you're on fire!
2. Do It (3:38) - a typical 70's rocker with a nice groove and a great guitar ending.
3. Wildfire (3:30) - the song title says it all ... a bouncy rocker that Roy Kenner really belts out nicely.
4. Sleepwalker (4:01) - the perfect James Gang song ... this would probably rank among the favorites of many JG and TB fans if a poll were to be taken.
5. Miami Two-Step (1:32) - an acoustic instrumental that ended side 1 on the original LP.
6a. Praylude -- a soft, moody instrumental intro that opened side 2 of the original LP; reminiscent of Savoy Brown's "Gypsy" from "Lookin In" which served a similar purpose as an intro to "Poor Girl" to kick off side 1 of that release. 6b. Red Skies (5:59) - heavy blues-rocker that has several changes in tempo to allow both Bolin and Kenner ample opportunities to express themselves.
7. Spanish Lover (3:43) - a pleasant little gem that Tommy Bolin provides the vocals for.
8. Summer Breezes (2:40) - the most upbeat song on the second half of this release with soaring slide guitar and a bright/tight performance by the band.
9. Head Above the Water (4:18) - the perfect finale ... slower tempo and TB showcases his mastery of the guitar to create the perfect mood and effect throughout this masterpiece.
It is easy to look at this album as just another solid Tommy Bolin product but that wouldn't be fair to the rest of the James Gang. The band is tight throughout and Roy Kenner's vocals are perfectly suited for the material. All in all the only thing that I know of that could improve "Miami" is a few more songs. Bonus cuts and/or outtakes from the "Miami" sessions or pairing it with "Bang!" as a 2-on-1 CD would be nice. At just under 33 minutes this release is short but the quality more than makes up for the lack of quantity. "