As a diehard Mizell Brothers fan, I’ve always made it a point to embrace their obscure gems. However, I stumbled on this rarity by accident. Ms Brenda Lee Eager has always been a top tier vocalist with great range as many heard on Jerry Butler’s 1972 hits “Ain’t Understanding Mellow” and “They Long To Be Close To You” amongst many other gems.
Upon random discovery 8 years ago, I found a 45 promo copy of “When I’m With You” . Took a listen and was completely blown away by the lush vocals, warm mix and elite production. Soon as I heard the great Harvey Mason on drums I already knew it was The Mizell Brothers on production (the other two guesses would’ve been my friend and mentor Keg Johnson Jr 🙏🏾 or Jerry Peters). I looked at the credits and sure enough Larry Mizell is on the writing and production duties. What’s fascinating about this recording is that it bears a strong variation of Bobbi Humphrey’s 1973 classic “Harlem River Drive”.
“When I’m With You” is a whimsical variant of “Harlem River Drive” bearing similar texture. It also appears that Ms Humphrey is on this session as well to give it the blessing. It was released in 1974 but possibly recorded in 1973 during the “Harlem River Drive” sessions. I only wish there was an entire album to follow up with production by Sky High only. Who knows what’s in the vaults to be unearthed one day. Luckily, I have two copies. The 45 extremely is extremely scarce but beyond worth the hunt.