|Momentum diminished, then vanished. Remakes
of standards "My Old Flame," "Let It Be Me," "Ooh Poo
Pah Do," "Yesterday I Heard The Rain," "Sea Of Love/Dock
Of The Bay," "Twilight Time," and "How About Me (Itís
Over)" all failed to chart. Then, in 1972, Nino and April signed with A
& M Records and recorded a "Sweet and Lovely" inspired version
of Francis Laiís theme from the film "Love Story." This rather
bizarre approach did not win favor in America, but the interpretation hit #4
in Holland and Belgium, and was well-received all over Europe.
One year later, Nino, with fictional studio group Fifth
Avenue Sax, enjoyed a solo instrumental hit with his pulsating disco-type
offering "Sister James" (#53). Co-produced and written with Nino by
songwriter-producer extraordinaire Jeff Barry, the tune had only one enigmatic
line of lyrics, sung by Nino and JeffÖ"Donít play no gamesÖ.on
After April heard a rather tribal sounding track called
"Safari" on Ninoís 5th Ave. Sax album, she was inspired
to write a set of lyrics to match and to record the song as her solo vocal.
She ended up with "Sleep Baby Sleep," a somewhat controversial
(again!!) tale of a 34 year old vixen hovering over her sleeping 21 year old
lover. "They can say itís not right" chirped AprilÖ"but
they donít hold you at night." Retitled "Wake Up And Love
Me," the R & B flavored production was recorded, and
"April" (no Stevens) inched into the Hot 100 in 1974.
Nino continued to exercise his skills as a studio
saxophonist, appearing on albums by such artists as Linda Ronstadt, Dion, John
Lennon, Cher, and Kenny Rankin. April and Nino bubbled under again with a
comical vocal version of the Crusaderís instrumental "Put It Where You
Jeff Barry and Nino co-wrote a new song in 1975 called
"You Turn Me On." Recorded in the vein of "Deep Purple,"
replete with yodels and harmonica, the number (originally recorded for
European release only as "Who Turns Me On?") received substantial
airplay on middle of the road stations and reached #38 in Adult Contemporary
popularity. Instead of the usual recitation by April, the duet featured a
point/counterpoint, call and response refrain.
In the 90ís Nino and April continued to perform both
separately and as a team. In 1991, April released a cabaret-styled solo CD
entitled "Carousel Dreams" which contained both well-known and new material.
In 1990 and 1993, Nino was encouraged by Ahmet Ertegun to
return to his musical roots. He released two critically acclaimed and best
selling jazz albums ("Tenor Saxophone" and "Nino") on Atlantic. Ninoís lyrical tenor saxophone stylings
richly complimented the lavish, Brazilian influenced arrangements. In 1995,
Nino also released "Live At Cicada," which had been recorded on his