Anita, Bonnie, Jean and Ruth Pointer formed their eponymous band in Oakland, California in the Seventies and proceeded to draw quite successfully upon a remarkably wide variety of musical influences, from Tin Pan Alley to soul to country.
Their fourth album, Steppin', came out in the summer of 1975 and launched with a classic: "How Long (Betcha' Got A Chick On The Side)," a funk-laden groove that soared to the top of the R&B charts and just grazed the Top 20 on the pop side. The other tune that got a little traction on the pop charts was another funky track, this time from the pen of Allen Toussaint: "Going Down Slowly."
The sisters pay tribute to Duke Ellington in a medley called "I Ain't Got Nothin' But The Blues," and then take a page from the Andrews Sisters' stylebook in "Save The Bones For Henry Jones.". But perhaps the emotional core of the album is the ballad "Wanting Things," a sweet and evocative interlude between the album's high energy pop and funk tracks.
Producer David Rubinson, who had worked extensively with Herbie Hancock during the early Seventies, brought the jazz keyboardist in to guest on clavinet, and the nearly ubiquitous Wah Wah Watson added his trademark guitar sound to the mix.
Lastly, you gotta love the cover's illustration of hi-heel sneakers, Seventies style. It would be two more years before the country was full-on in the throes of Saturday Night Fever, but the Pointers were definitely fashion-forward.