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Fantasy

 

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Exact matches: 5
Exact matches1
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Aquarian DreamFantasy/Chance To Dance ... CD
Elektra/Expansion (UK), 1977/1978. New Copy ... $16.99
A pair of great albums from this Norman Connors side project! Fantasy is righteous soul, but with a wicked groove too – a killer set from Aquarian Dream, made even better by some great Norman Connors production! In a way, Aquarian Dream were to Norman Connors what Ramp were to Roy Ayers – in that the group wasn't really that dominated by Connors, but they did benefit a lot from his groundbreaking work in the jazz funk field – getting a level of sophistication in their sound that's really wonderful – and mixed with almost equal parts soul, funk, and jazz in the instrumentation! Vocals are often in a harmony mode – again in the manner of Ramp – and there's a classy yet cosmic sound to the record that we totally love. (And there's also one more Roy Ayers-like connection in the vocal department – since the group features Sylvia Striplin, who later recorded for Roy's Uno Melodic label!) The album's got a number of nice groovers with a strongly off-beat sound – and titles include "Friends", "It Ain't Whatcha Say", "You're A Star", "Play It For Me", and "Gentle Thoughts". On Chance To Dance, Aquarian Dream step out on their own – working for the first time without Norman Connors at the helm, but in a groove that's still plenty nice! The clubby aspects of the group's sound are played up by arranger/producer Jeff Lane – who'd worked often with BT Express and Brass Construction, and finds a similar groove here with Aquarian Dream – one in which all the best elements are focused strongly on the rhythms! A few mellower moments round things out nicely with a jazzy vibe – and titles include "Disco Juice", "Gettum Up And Dance", "Big Boy", "Why Can't We Do It Like We Used To", "Dirty Trick", and "Love Slave". CD

Exact matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Roy AyersLove Fantasy ... CD
Polydor/PTG (Netherlands), 1980. New Copy ... $18.99
One of our favorite Roy Ayers albums of all time – and an overlooked gem from Roy's late 70s years at Polydor! This set's a bit more laidback and less clubby than some other Ayers work of the period – which means it's got this wonderful jazzy groove throughout – a sweet mix of midtempo modern soul and the vibes-based style that Roy kept on perfecting at the time. Tracks are longer than usual, and they really open up in a way that fits the title – slinky and seductive, but never soppy or commercial at all – that really special blend of warmth and wisdom that's always made Roy Ayers so great. Titles include the sublime title track "Love Fantasy", which begins with Roy chatting up some girl in the intro, then sliding into a nice smooth jazz funk tip on the chorus – plus the great cut "Sigh", a sweet little bubbling number with a wonderfully breathy quality! Other titles include "Believe In Yourself", "Betcha Gonna", "Baby Bubba", and "Rock Your Roll". CD

Exact matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Lester Bowie's Brass FantasyTwilight Dreams ... CD
Virgin/Katalyst, 1988. New Copy Gatefold ... $9.99 12.99
A cooker of a record from Lester Bowie – one that takes the earlier sound of the Brass Fantasy ensemble, and focuses it into a mode that shows his growing love of soul and funk! The set was issued on the the short-lived Venture imprint of Virgin – a surprisingly strong outlook for creative projects like this – and the vibe's quite different than the Brass Fantasy records cut for ECM – with almost a bit more soul at the bottom, and a compact sort of energy that really sends the ideas home. Players include Bowie, Stanton Davis, Malachi Thompson, and Sasul Siddik on trumpets – plus Steve Turre and Frank Lacy on trombones, Vincent Chancey on French horn, Bob Stewart on tuba, and Phil Wilson on drums. Titles include a surprisingly great remake of "Thriller" – plus "Vibe Waltz", "I Am With You", "Duke's Fantasy", "Personality", and "Twilight Dreams". CD

Exact matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
DeodatoKnights Of Fantasy ... CD
Warner (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... $13.99
Smooth jazzy work from Deodato – a record that takes off from his electric keyboard work of the early 70s, and shows his growing interest in modern soul and R&B a the time! Deodato's still a few years way from some of his famous soul production work, but he's already got a great ear for a groove – and works in a style that's tight, but never too slick – the best Joe Sample or Crusaders territory, but even more groove oriented too. You can definitely hear Deodato's growing taste for modern soul here – especially on the seminal club jammer "Whistle Bump", which is a tight keyboard-driven groove, with some sweeping strings underneath wah wah guitar. The cut's the real standout on the album – although there's a few other nice moments, like "Space Dust" and "Lovely Lady", which has a great mellow Bob James-ish sound. CD

Exact matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
New Justin RobinsonAlana's Fantasy – A Tribute To Dwayne Burno ... CD
Criss Cross (Netherlands), 2014. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Saxophonist Justin Robinson serves up a tribute to bassist Dwayne Burno – in a set that wasn't originally intended that way, but which turned out to be Burno's last time in the studio! Dwayne passed away from kidney disease after the album was recorded – and hearing his wonderful work throughout, we're already missing him greatly – for his warm spirit, his flawless sense of swing, and his commanding tone that really seems to hold fast throughout the entire set. The leader is great too – a soulful voice on alto, with a style that takes us back to Jackie McLean in the 70s – and a great writer too – as evidenced by a handful of excellent tracks in the set. The group also features Michael Rodriguez on trumpet, Sullivan Fortner on piano, and Willie Jones on drums – and titles include "Easy E", "Alana's Fantasy", "Jeremy Isaiah", "When We Were One", "Answering Service", and a version of Gary Bartz's "Libra". CD
 
Close matches: 22
Close matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Cannonball AdderleyLove, Sex, And The Zodiac ... CD
Fantasy/BGP (UK), 1974. New Copy ... $11.99
A classic from Cannoball and producer-partner David Axelrod – truly great stuff and maybe even better than the Zodiac set Cannonball did for Capitol! The formula is similar to that one – with David Axelrod producing, electric keyboards by Hal Galper and George Duke, spacey solos by Cannonball and Nat Adderley, and some very hip recitations by Rick Holmes on love, sex, and the zodiac! Holmes is best known as the chappie who cut "Remember To Remember" years later with Roy Ayers – but this album's got a similar "wisdom and knowledge" feel that's pretty wonderful. Titles include "Aquarius: Humanity Plus", "Cancer: All Sides", "Leo: Rosebud", "Aries: Damn Right", "Gemini: Ecstasy", and "Virgo: For Pam". CD

Close matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
AllspiceAllspice ... CD
Fantasy/Dusty Groove, 1977. New Copy ... $8.99 12.98
The only album ever from Allspice – but a hell of an incredible soul record – and one that's kept the group's name strong with collectors and rare groove fanatics for years! The album's on of the best Fantasy Records productions by Wayne Henderson and his At Home team – and like some of the others, is handled with a groove that's tight, yet plenty sophisticated too – light years from mainstream disco or common club of the late 70s, and instead informed by plenty of jazz and deeper ideas as well! The vibe is perfect – as heavenly and righteous as some of the best Roy Ayers club tracks of the time – which proves to be a perfect foil for the Allspice style of mixing male and female vocals – which again is often done in an Ayers-like mode. The sound is sublime throughout – one of those real treasures that should have been a huge record in the 70s, but was barely pressed up at all – and quickly forgotten about by the record company. Yet even after all these years, the whole thing sounds amazing – one of those albums we'd never part with at all! Titles include the groovy "Slipped Away", the funky stepper "Hungry For Your Love" – and loads of other great tunes that include "Love Fire", "Destiny", "She's A Lady", "I Don't Know", and "Give It Time". CD
(On the Dusty Groove label.)

Close matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
David Axelrod & OthersAxelrod Chronicles ... CD
Fantasy, Early 70s. New Copy ... $4.99 14.98
It's great to see that David Axelrod's finally getting his due – and this reissue of material from Fantasy is one of the first reissues of his work in the US! Most cuts here are much more jazz-based than Axelrod's higher-concept material under his own name for Capitol in the late 60s – and the music represents Axe's key move to Fantasy after bigger label fame – a move that he made with Cannonball Adderley, who also figures in on some of these tracks. The CD features 8 tracks from Axelrod's Full Axe album – a tasty bit of funky fusion that's one of his best jazz-oriented releases – plus a sampling of tracks from other albums he produced and/or arranged for Fantasy. Titles from Full Axe include "My Family", "Mucho Chupar", "Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing", and "Everything Counts" – and other tracks include "Cantaro" and "Solitario" by Gene Ammons, "Bach" and "Sierra Morena" by Hampton Hawes, "Quit It" by Nat Adderley, "Goodbye So Long" by Funk Inc, and "Stayin Place" from the Big Man 2LP set. CD
(CD case has a small cutout notch.)

Close matches9
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Big StarRadio City ... CD
Ardent/Fantasy, 1974. New Copy ... $10.99 11.98
A record that may have never hit the radio city it wished for in the title – but a classic that's gone onto have an undeniable influence on so many scenes and styles over the years! This sublime second set from Big Star is even leaner and more focused than the first – a record that has the group losing Chris Bell, yet still retaining a lot of his influence – while the main focus moves over to Alex Chilton, whose ability to sing and write is simply mindblowing! The tunes have these dark, melancholy moments that are unlike anything either Chilton or rock had given the world up to the time – and really almost feel much more like work from a decade later in terms of execution and production. There's no easy labels, no easy terms you could ever hope to ascribe to the record – and that's fine, because it stands majestically well on its own. Titles include "O My Soul", "Life Is White", "Way Out West", "You Get What You Deserve", "Mod Lang", "She's A Mover", "Morpha Girl", "I'm In Love With A Girl". CD
Also available Radio City ... LP 15.99

Close matches10
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BlackbyrdsBlackbyrds ... CD
Fantasy (Japan), 1974. New Copy ... $13.99
A funky jazz treasure – and the band's landmark first album! The Blackbyrds were a legendary 70s combo that were discovered by Donald Byrd while he was teaching at Howard University – and they had a tight style that mixed raw funk influences with smoother jazz playing, creating a sound that was different from many of their contemporaries, and which pushed funk and soul into a whole new level. Byrd's work with the band was as groundbreaking as Larry Mizell's work on his own Blue Note albums – and coincidentally, Larry Mizzell's Sky High Productions handles the studio chores for the set – but in a way that's much more sharply funky than his albums with Byrd! Titles include the tight choppy funk tracks "Do It, Fluid" and "Funky Junkie", plus other nice groovers like "Summer Love", "Gut Level", and "The Runaway". CD

Close matches11
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Joe LocoLoco Motion ... CD
Fantasy, 1961. New Copy ... $6.99 13.98
2 of Joe Loco's best albums (Pachanga With Joe Loco and Going Loco) compiled together on one double-length CD by Fantasy! The Pachanga album has (as you might expect) a good set of Pachanga grooves with Joe on piano, Mongo Santamaria on conga, and Willie Bobo on timbales. Going Loco is a bit more jazz mambo oriented, with Pete Terrace on vibes alongside Joe's off-beat piano. Both LPs are darn tough to find on vinyl, and between the two of them, the set includes "Mi China", "Bon Bon", "Loco Chris", "Jamaquino", and "Pete Mambos On The Terrace". CD

Close matches12
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PleasureFuture Now ... CD
Fantasy/BGP (UK), 1979. New Copy ... $11.99
A wonderful album from Pleasure – a group who were already great before, but who really seem to hit a great new level with this late 70s classic! Pleasure started out as a sweet jazz/funk combo with a great edge to their music – but by the time of this set, they'd actually gotten even tighter and better – but all without losing their depth at all! Most of the group's contemporaries just got slick and commercial – but instead, Pleasure found a way to hone their skills wonderfully – and take on some new spacey and electric touches in the process – definitely pointing towards the funky future promised in the title. The set's filled with some of the funkiest and most soulful moments of the group's career – including "Space is the Place", which has great funky drums on the intro; the mellow "Thoughts of Old Flames", a real stunner with a great moody feel; and the classic "Glide", a great dancefloor groover that still stands up well. Other tracks are all great too – and include "Universal", "Strong Love", "Nothin To It", and "Dedication To The Past". CD
Also available Future Now ... LP 9.99

Close matches13
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New PleasureGlide – The Essential Selection 1975 to 1982 ... CD
Fantasy/Decision, 1970s/Early 80s. New Copy 2 CDs ... $16.99 17.98
A jazzy combo with a heart of soul – and a group who may well be one of our favorite funk groups from the 70s! Pleasure has an amazing way of being tight, yet never slick or commercial – a sound that's right on the money, but far from the mainstream too – which has kept them at the top of the stacks for crate-diggers and rare groove collectors for years! This sweet double-length package is a very well-chosen set of their gems for Fantasy records, and a few later tracks for RCA – a really expansive look at all that's great about the group – with classics mixed with overlooked album cuts and some great funky numbers you might have missed otherwise. Nearly everything Pleasure ever cut is fantastic, but this set is even more fantastic than the rest – and features 25 titles that include "Bouncy Lady", "Dust Yourself Off", "Joyous", "Ghettos Of The Mind", "Only You", "Sassafras Girl", "Glide", "Farewell Goodbye", "Special Things", "Thoughts Of Old Flames", "Give It Up", "Sending My Love", "Stone Love", "Glide (special disco rmx)", "Space Is The Place", "Living Without You", "Let's Dance", and a previously unreleased "Foxy Lady (disco version)". CD

Close matches14
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
PleasureJoyous ... CD
Fantasy/BGP (UK), 1977. New Copy ... $11.99
Joyous grooves indeed – the second album by this legendary 70s jazzy soul outfit – and a landmark album in the Fantasy Records Bay Area funk mode! The record will forever be remembered for the cut "Joyous" – a monster groover with a killer hook, strong funky playing, and a searing tenor solo that wails for about a minute before the vocals even come in! Wayne Henderson produced the record – and it's very much in the mode of work that he was doing for other groups at Fantasy, but also sounds a bit like later jazz funk groups, such as Breakwater or Smoke – tight, but never uptight – funky, but never with the kind of grit you'd find in the indie underground. The vocals are a bit in the Average White Band mode, and the instrumental playing is top-shelf all the way – a monster mix that's possibly carried off better here than on any other album by the group! The album includes 2 instrumentals, "Selim" and "Sassafras Girl", as well as the vocal tracks "Tune In", "Let Me Be The One", and "Can't Turn You Loose". CD
Also available Joyous ... LP 24.99

Close matches15
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PleasureSpecial Things ... CD
Fantasy/BGP (UK), 1980. New Copy ... $11.99
A really special thing from Pleasure – a set that has the group sounding sharper and tighter than ever – with a lean funky groove that's just right for stepping into the 80s! Things are never too slick or commercial – and the core funk combo energy of Pleasure still really comes through strongly – but the guitars and keyboards get even more play than before, following strongly from the vibe of the Future Now album, and it's great mix of mellow steppers and snapping groovers! Pleasure are still very much at the top of their game – with a quality that's way higher than so many other groups who'd been copping their sound for the past few years – as you'll hear on tracks that include "Take A Chance", "Yearnin Burnin", "Law Of The Raw", "You Are My Star", "Spread That Feelin", and "Now You Choose Me". CD

Close matches16
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Sandra RhodesWhere's Your Love Been (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Fantasy/Omnivore, 1973. New Copy ... $15.99 16.98
A nice little album from Sandra Rhodes – an artist who sung backup vocals on more than a few southern soul sides in her day – emerging here on her own in a style that's part country, part rock, and plenty touched by the Memphis soul scene from which she emerged! The album's produced and arranged by Charles Chalmers, and it's got a flanged-out, laidback sound that makes it a bit hipper than you'd expect – almost Memphis meets LA, with a quality that really takes the music past its Tennessee roots, but also without losing them as well. Titles include "Sho Is Rainin", "It's Up To You", "Sowed Love & Reaped The Heartache", "Where's Your Love Been", "No Such Thing As Love", and "Never Grow Old". CD features 7 previously-unreleased bonus tracks from the same sessions – including "Jingo", "I Don't Play The Game", "Linda Was A Lady", "Baby Don't Go", "I'd Rather Hurt You Now", and "Someday Sweet Baby". CD

Close matches17
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Side EffectWhat You Need ... CD
Fantasy/BGP (UK), 1976. New Copy ... $11.99
Quite possibly the greatest album ever from Side Effect – a wonderful set that mixes their soulful harmonies with some killer jazz funk from Wayne Henderson! The album may be the most perfect realization of the groove that Henderson was going for during his At Home Productions years – lots of funky fusion in the instrumentation, but all directed towards a tighter, more soul-based style – that perfect contribution that Fantasy Records made to the world in the 70s – after labels like Blue Note and Columbia first started setting things down. Whatever the chronology, though, this set's a standout no matter how you slice it – damn catchy tunes, incredible vocals, and a set of rhythms that are every bit as hip today as they were back when first recorded – really genre-defining grooves that you'll definitely recognize in the album's classics "Always There" and "Keep That Same Old Feeling" – and will go on to love in the cuts "Life Is What You Make It", "Changes", "I Know You Can", "SOS", "Time Has No Ending", "Finally Found Someone", and "Honky Tonk Scat". CD

Close matches18
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SylvesterSylvester/Step II ... CD
Fantasy/Southbound (UK), 1977/1978. New Copy ... $15.99
A massive double-header – one that features the first two Sylvester albums for Fantasy Records! First up is the self-titled Sylvester – a reworking of his older groove into one that we love more than any other that he ever used – a smooth modern soul style, not really disco, but with a driving approach that would certainly have worked well in the clubs! You gotta give Syl credit here – as it would have been easy for him to turn up the camp a lot in the 1977 disco days – but instead he's sticking strong to his soul impulses, and has come up with a wonderful album of tracks that's like the first Luther album – one that you can enjoy whatever your take on the man, without any introduction to his person or persona. Of course, a big part of the credit also goes to Harvey Fuqua – who's reemerged here from his years at RCA to produce the record – showing his always strong ability to seek out new talent, and bring out the best in them. Titles include "I Tried To Forget You", "Tipsong", "I Been Down", "Loving Grows Up Slow", "Never Too Late", and "Over & Over". Step II is probably Sylvester's biggest album for Fantasy – and for good reason too! The set pushes onto the dancefloor a bit more than before – often with some slight keyboard touches that hint at the Patrick Cowley years, but with none of the coldness of those records at all. The great Harvey Fuqua's producing here with Syl, and the sound is rich and bold – an even more prideful statement than Sylvester's first album on Fantasy. Two Tons Of Fun deliver some great backup vocals, and Cowley lays down a bit of keyboards – and titles include the all-time disco classic "You Make Me Feel Mighty Real", plus "Dance (Disco Heat)", "Just You & Me Forever", "Grateful", and "I Took My Strength From You". CD

Close matches19
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New Cal TjaderAgua Dulce ... CD
Fantasy/BGP (UK), 1971. New Copy ... $11.99
One of our favorite Cal Tjader albums ever – and one of the first to have his vibes working alongside Fender Rhodes! The record's a surprising little set from the start of the 70s – one that almost has Cal picking up some of the New York sounds of a few years before, then mixing them up with a hipper west coast electric style in the end – a Fantasy Records vibe that meshes together a few different modes, and comes up with a rich new style in the process! There's a bit of vocals on the set – somewhat unusual for Cal Tjader, and often used to augment the soulfully snapping grooves of the best tunes – but even more amazing is the heavy use of Fender Rhodes, played here by the amazing Al Zulaica, who's work on the album really ranks right up there with the best early 70s keyboardists on the coast! Zulaica's piano is amazing next to Cal's warmly chromatic vibes – and other instrumentation includes saxes from Bill Perkins, flute from Mel Martin, trumpet from Luis Gasca, moog from Rita Dowling, and percussion from both Pete and Coke Escovedo. Titles include the killer "Aqua Dulce (Cool-Ade)", a fantastic version of "Gimme Shelter", a sublime of Clare Fischer's "Morning", and the cuts "Ran Kan Kan", "Descarga Cubana", "Curacao", and "Somewhere In The Night". CD

Close matches20
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Larry WilliamsThat Larry Williams – The Resurrection Of Funk ... CD
Fantasy/Dusty Groove, 1978. New Copy ... $8.99 12.98
A rare funk album from west coast legend Larry Williams – very different than his heavy R&B of the late 50s, or the brief soul comeback he had with Johnny Guitar Watson in the 60s – and instead a heavy groover with a trippy Cali sound! The record's got a sharp groove right from the start – a vibe that's a bit similar to some of the best Johnny Watson funk of the period – a slight jazzy undercurrent in the instrumentation, with wicked guitar and keyboard bits dancing around each other in the rhythms – often mixed with vocals that have a cool sort of electric feel, and topped with some great horn work from Fred Wesley on trombone and Maceo Parker on alto sax! Rudy Copeland plays keyboards on the album alongside Williams, the the set's got a bit of the feel of Rudy's lost Funky Blindman set – and in a way, also echoes the best strutting, sexy modes of Bootsy Collins too. The album's a surprising gem all the way through – a real lost chapter in Larry's career, and the kind of set that might have broken bigger, had he not died mysteriously a few years later. Titles include "Funky Force", "The Resurrection Of Funk", "One Thing Or The Other", "ATS Express", "How Can I Believe", and "Can't Dance To The Music (If It Ain't Got Funky Rhythm)". CD
(On the Dusty Groove label.)

Close matches21
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New BlackbyrdsFlying Start ... CD
Fantasy (Japan), 1974. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Not the band's first album – as you might think from the "start" in the title – but a classic batch of jazzy, funky, and soulful grooves from The Blackbyrds – one of those combos that few groups could match back in the 70s! The set's got a beautifully put-together feel – tight enough to crossover somewhat big with a larger audience than the group's previous effort – but still filled with the kind of righteous energy that first got them going, a sublime mix of jazzy rhythms and soulful elements, all held together tightly by production from Donald Byrd. Tracks include the big hit "Walking In Rhythm", which was an oft-spun 45 back in the day – plus some great funk moments, like the tasty "Spaced Out", the choppy "The Baby", and the captivating "Blackbyrds Theme". Other cuts include "Future Children Future Hopes", "I Need You", and "April Showers". CD
Also available
Flying Start ... LP 14.99
Flying Start ... LP 7.99

Close matches22
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New BlackbyrdsWalking In Rhythm – The Essential Selection 1973 to 1980 ... CD
Fantasy/Decision, 1970s. New Copy 2 CDs ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Some of the sharpest, jazziest funk you'll ever hope to hear – a smoking collection of the legendary 70s work by The Blackbyrds on Fantasy Records! The group started as a jazz combo under Donald Byrd's supervision – right at a time when Byrd was making his own fantastic funky records in the 70s – but working for the Bay Area Fantasy label, they really took off into an amazing groove that was all their own – still informed by jazz, but free to open up to lots of funk and soul elements too – sometimes with vocals in the lead, sometimes more focus on the kinds of solos that always set them apart from all their contemporaries! The cuts have some wonderful keyboard work from a young Kevin Toney – who's gone onto a lot of fame over the years – and production on all cuts is either by Larry Mizell, Donald Byrd, or George Duke – key 70s jazz funk forces who keep things mighty tight in the studio! The package features work from all Blackbyrds albums of the 70s – including the Cornbread Earl & Me soundtrack, and the Night Grooves remix set – and the package features 25 titles that include "Enter In", "Party Land", "Do It Fluid", "Gut Level", "Summer Love", "I Need You", "The Baby", "Blackbyrds' Theme", "City Life", "Rock Creek Park", "Walking In Rhythm", "A Hot Day Today", "Wilford's Gone", "One Gun Salute", "Supernatural Feeling", "Mysterious Vibes", and "Soft & Easy". CD

Close matches23
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New Jackie & RoyFull Circle (Bogie/Full Circle) ... CD
Fantasy, 1986/1988. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
It's late in the career of Jackie & Roy, but the pair haven't faltered a bit – working here on two different mid 80s albums that are both surprisingly great! Bogie is a live set from 1986 – a dozen songs dedicated to Humphrey Bogart, either from his films, or written in honor of them – performed by Jackie & Roy in a style that's without schmaltz or hoke – and which features some great lyrical twists that are very much in the "smart" Hollywood mode of the postwar years, which was fading strongly by the time of this session. Full Circle is a more straight ahead session – but equally great – with a larger group that includes Conte Candoli, Bill Watrous, Bill Perkins, and Bob Cooper, all of whom give the best tracks a swinging west coast groove. Titles include "Am I Blue", "Bogie", "As Time Goes By", "Sleigh Ride In July", "Never In A Single Year", "Full Circle", and "Line For Lyons". CD

Close matches24
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New PleasureGet To The Feeling ... CD
Fantasy/BGP (UK), 1978. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Wonderfully tight work from Pleasure – a record that definitely lives up to the lean, clean image on the cover – as it's got the group honing their funky skills even more strongly than before! Wayne Henderson's at the helm, finding the group hit this razor-sharp groove that comes through right from the start – really refining their already-great sound into some of the tightest jazz funk on record at the time! Every track is a gem – and the set's got funky killers, mellow steppers, and plenty more – as you'll hear on the cuts "Celebrate The Good Things", "Foxy Lady", "Get To The Feeling", "Ladies Night Out", "No Matter What", and "Farewell Goodbye". CD

Close matches25
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New Cannonball AdderleyPhenix ... CD
Fantasy, 1975. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Sweet funky 70s work from Cannonball Adderley – a record that has him revisiting older tunes from his early soul jazz years – but in ways that give them a whole new electric vibe overall! The album's actually Cannonball's last full studio set, but it's also one of his greatest too – a very hip little record that features arrangements that are slightly bigger than before – almost a CTI sort of mode, with a similar CTI sense of space, sound, and timing! There's some great keyboards on the set – courtesy of George Duke and Mike Wolff – and other players include Nat Adderley on cornet, Airto on percussion, Sam Jones and Walter Booker on bass, and Louis Hayes and Roy McCurdy on drums. The keyboards lead off most numbers, but they're followed strongly by Cannon and Nat – both of whom open up wonderfully in the magical setting of the record! Titles include great new takes on "Sack O Woe", "Work Song", "Jive Samba", "74 Miles Away", "Walk Tall/Mercy Mercy Mercy", "Country Preacher", "Domination", and "This Here" – plus "Hi Fly" and "Hamba Nami". CD

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New Vince GuaraldiBoy Named Charlie Brown – Original TV Soundtrack (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Fantasy, 1964. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Vince Guaraldi's wonderful music for the first-ever cartoon to feature the Peanuts characters in animated form – a sublime batch of jazz instrumentals that forever changed the face of music in shows of this nature! Vince steps out with an amazing sound right from the start – even different than his previous jazz records from the San Francisco scene – with a more careful balance of swing and sadness, lyricism and soul – always played in a subtle, understated way that really makes the music come through with a lasting degree of power. Core sounds are from the trio of Guaraldi on piano, Monty Budwig on bass, and Colin Bailey on drums – and titles include key early versions of the "Charlie Brown Theme" and "Linus & Lucy" – plus "Oh Good Grief", Pebble Beach", "Schroeder", and "Blue Charlie Brown". CD features two bonus tracks – "Baseball Theme (alt)" and "Fly Me To The Moon". CD

Close matches27
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New Luis GascaCollage ... CD
Fantasy/BGP (UK), 1976. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A standout classic from trumpeter Luis Gasca – and a set that may well be the artists' most complete musical vision of the 70s! The group here is larger than on previous records, and Gasca's dropped a bit of his Latin roots in exchange for a soaring, slightly spiritual sound put together by arranger Don Menza – who's really at the top of his game here! There's a perfection and poise that's almost like CTI or Kudu at their best – almost a bit above the usual Fantasy Records session like this from the 70s, too! Other players include Bobby Hutcherson on vibes, Menza and Hadley Caliman on reeds, Patrice Rushen on keyboards, and Harvey Mason on some mighty nice drums – which makes for more than a bit of funk in the mix. Titles include the sweet vibes/Rhodes number "Kathy", the stepper "Sara", and the tracks "Visions", "The Way I Feel Sometimes", "Patrice", "Collage", and "Night People". CD
 
Possible matches: 67
Possible matches28
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B Baker Chocolate CoB Baker Chocolate Co ... CD
LC/P-Vine (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... $26.99
Pure genius from the B Baker Chocolate Company – a set that's equal parts fusion and soul, held together by these rich arrangements that really send the whole thing home! The album's never too slick, yet has a sense of perfection that matches some of the best soulful fusion dates at Blue Note or Fantasy in the mid 70s – a quality that's especially strong on the vocal tracks on the set – one of which features Lew Kirton in the lead! The players are all totally top-shelf – and include Lonnie Smith and Jimmy McGriff on keyboards, John Faddis and Marvin Stamm on trumpets, and Jimmy Ponder on guitar – and the set's got a beautiful balance that few other records like this can match. Lew Kirton sings on "It's Where You're Coming From", and "Dreamer" features Gene Scott – and instrumental tracks include the funky classic "Snowblower", plus "Carousel" and "Spirit Level". CD

Possible matches29
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Boys Town GangDisco Kicks – The Complete Moby Dick Recordings ... CD
Moby Dick/Big Break (UK), Early 80s. New Copy 2 CDs ... $19.99
The full scope of recordings from The Boys Town Gang – a San Francisco trio who were almost a gay disco homage to The Supremes – given their strong lead vocals from singer Cynthia Manley! The group had a warmer sound than some of the more electric hi-energy work on the SF scene in the early 80s – and their sound was a loving throwback to the best disco diva styles of the mid 70s – with Manley firmly in the lead, getting help from the two male members of the group. The set features not only the compete album and single tracks the trio recorded for the Moby Dick label, but also Fantasy Records material, and lots of other label singles as well – 19 tracks that include "Remember Me/Ain't No Mountain High Enough", "Crusin The Streets", "Disco Kicks", "You're The One", "Come & Get Your Love", "I Just Can't Help Believing", "Here I Am", "Signed Sealed Delivered", "When Will I See You Again", "Yester-Me Yester-You Yesterday", and "Dance Trance Medley". CD

Possible matches30
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Chocolate MilkChocolate Milk (with bonus tracks) ... CD
RCA/FTG, 1976. New Copy ... $13.99
A real mindblower from Chocolate Milk – and a record that really shows the evolution of the sound of New Orleans funk since the 60s! Back in that decade, the groove was being carved out by The Meters with Allen Toussaint – but here, Toussaint's working with his new favorites, Chocolate Milk – the group who did lots of studio backup for the producer on other projects, but who sound really great on their own! The instrumentation is razor-sharp, and mixed with these sly soulful vocals – and Chocolate Milk really balance out mellow funk numbers with tighter, faster cuts – in a way that's a fair bit like the best sounds coming from the Prestige/Fantasy Records scene at the time. Titles include "Party Happy", "Spread A Little Love", "You've Got Your Spell On Me", "Never Ever Do Without You", "Running Away", and "Pluck It". CD features bonus tracks – "Grand Theft (7" mix)", "Girl Callin (7" mix)", and "Say Wont'Cha (7" mix)". CD

Possible matches31
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Michael CochraneDiscovery ... CD
Steeplechase (Denmark), 2014. New Copy ... $15.99 18.98
Wonderfully warm work from the great Michael Cochrane – a pianist we always love, and who also seems to be playing a bit of Fender Rhodes on this album too! The instrument's not credited on the back, but turns up in an excellent version of Denny Zeitlin's "Quiet Now" – which is handled by Cochrane with just the right sort of space and tone to really open up the composition – in a way that's very different from the bolder, more soulful tones the pianist uses throughout the rest of the album. As always with a record from Michael, the original tunes are some of the best – and include "Discovery", "MC's Bossa", "Erie Blues", and "Fantasy" – all the kind of numbers that always have us digging for his records whenever we get the chance. Other tunes include "Oblivion", "Yesterdays", and "Visitation" – and the trio includes Daryl Johns on bass and Steve Johns on drums. CD

Possible matches32
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ControllersFor The Love Of My Woman ... CD
MCA/PTG (Netherlands), 1987. New Copy ... $9.99
An overlooked gem from The Controllers – one issued a bit late to be part of the classic wave of group soul, but a set that's still overflowing with really old school harmonies! The Controllers really have a wonderful way of putting over a ballad – letting things build slow and mellow, trading lead parts and harmonies together in a way that really moves the message forward, while never overdoing things too much in search of a hook. And even when the instrumentation is contemporary, it never gets in the way of the vocals – and almost always lays back once the lyrics come in, even on the album's few groovers. Titles include "For The Love Of My Woman", "My Secret Fantasy", "Love Is On Our Side", "Play Time", "Sleeping Alone", "Knocking At Your Door", and "No One's Ever Loved Me More". CD

Possible matches33
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CromagnonCave Rock ... CD
ESP, 1969. New Copy ... $8.99 15.99
Crazy psyche era wierdness from Cromagnon – the band name and album title may reference prehistory, but this stuff is actually way ahead of it's time – if we didn't see the date on this thing, we'd have sworn it to be from the art damaged post punk early 80s! The group is credited to Austin Grasmere, Brian Elliot and "The Connecticut Tribe" – and the instrumentation is billed as vocals, music and sounds – you figure out the rest. The set opens with some soundbites of Hollywood fan fare that segues into a mix of bagpipes, thundering percussion and vocals that sound like screams and whispers at the same time. The following track "Ritual Fest Of The Libido" rivals "LA Blues" by the Stooges in gutteral grunted nightmare soundscapes, but later tracks mix in more laidback grooves that are just as freaky. A total mindfrack of a record, and a pretty amazing one, if not for everybody! Other titles include "Organic Sundown", "Fantasy", "Crow Of The Black Tree", "Genitalia", "Toth, Scribe I" and "First World Of Bronze". CD
Also available Cave Rock ... CD 5.99

Possible matches34
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Coke EscovedoCoke ... CD
Mercury (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... $13.99
An incredible fusion of all the greatness that was going on in the Bay Area scene of the 70s – put together by Coke Escovedo – the brother of Pete and Sheila E, former leader of Azteca, and onetime member of Santana! Yet this set sounds like none of that previous work at all – and instead is great grooving soul, infused both with the sophistication of fusion and some of the Latin elements of Escovedo's roots – all produced to perfection by Patrick Gleeson – who most folks know for his own spacey keyboard work with Bennie Maupin and others! The mix of elements going on is really complex, but comes across with effortless ease – one of those rare fusions that could happen at a bigger label when all the right talents were brought together. The record kind of "out-Fantasys" the best of Fantasy Records in the Bay Area at the time – and makes great use of singers Linda and Calvin Tillery, plus the great Harvey Mason on drums. Titles include wonderful covers of Lamont Dozier's "Why Can't We Be Lovers" and Leon Ware's "If I Ever Lose This Heaven" – plus the tracks "What Are You Under", "No One To Depend On", "Easy Come Easy Go", and "Make It Sweet". CD

Possible matches35
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Five StairstepsFive Stairsteps – The Complete Curtis Mayfield Years (Five Stairsteps (Windy C)/Love's Happening) (plus bonus tracks) ... CD
Outta Sight (UK), Late 60s. New Copy ... $16.99
A pair of killer albums from The Five Stairsteps – 1967's self-titled set for Windy C – plus '68's Love's Happening by The Five Stairsteps & Cubie – together with bonus track on this great set from Outta Sight UK! The Five Stairsteps album is a landmark batch of sweet soul – recorded by the still youthful group that included a 13 year old Kenny Burke! The kids were brought together by their parents Clarence and Betty Burke, but it was Curtis Mayfield who really gave them a push – as he discovered them, produced them, and wrote some excellent songs for them during their best early years. Mayfield's sweet soul style forged with The Impressions runs through most of these tracks – and although the group is young, they really do a fantastic job with the material, and infuse it with a soulfulness way past their years. Titles include "Danger She's A Stranger", "World Of Fantasy", "Ooh Baby Baby", "Don't Waste Your Time", and "Behind Curtains". Love's Happening might be the best record ever by this Chicago soul group! The record's got a full batch of original tracks written and produced by Mayfield – including their amazing, funk steeped version of "Don't Change Your Love", with a breakbeat that lit up the sampler culture for years! That raw drum sound is in effect on even the more delicate numbers, and the lead vocals and harmonies soar or sink deep to the soul, as the groove demands. There's also some kind of tripped out touches in the production in spots, making for a nice balance of sweet soul and leftfield touches. Kind of an underappreciated effort in the grand scheme of Curtis Mayfield productions, but wholly essential! Other titles include "Stay Close To Me", "New Dance Craze", "Baby, Make Me Feel So Good", and "Little Young Lover". 5 bonus singles in the set: "Ain't Gonna Rest (Til I Get You)", "You Can't See", "Change Of Pace", "Madame Mary" and "We Must Be In Love". CD

Possible matches36
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New David FriedmanFutures Passed ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1976. New Copy ... $13.99
One of the coolest, grooviest albums we've ever heard from vibist Dave Friedman – a set that really lives up to the promise we sometimes expect from other records of his, but never find this clearly! Friedman plays both marimba and vibes – the latter with this bold, chromatic quality that comes through even in gentle moments – a bit like Gary Burton, but turned towards much more varied ends here – as the songs really shift in mood and approach, keeping things fresh throughout! Vocalist Rimona Francis lends her lovely wordless singing style to about half the album's tracks – but in a way that's more like an instrument than a conventional jazz singer – and the group also features surprisingly great acoustic piano work from Pat Rebillot (who we mostly know from keyboard sessions), plus Harvie Swartz on bass and Bruce Ditmas on drums. Titles include "Rachel's Samba", "Rodney's Dream Of Fantasy & Self Fullfilment", "Three Pieces", "Trinkle Trinkle", and "A Smile On The Face Of Mourning". CD

Possible matches37
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Hampton HawesNorthern Windows ... CD
Prestige/Universal (Japan), 1974. New Copy ... $13.99
One of the best David Axelrod-assisted albums from the early 70s – a sweet batch of funky cuts with arrangements and backings handled by Axe, and loads of great keyboard lines from the legendary Hampton Hawes! The record really bubbles with the warm and soulful approach Axelrod was using at Fantasy – kind of a step off his stark modern sound at Capitol, but still done with just the right amount of space and appreciation of a funky rhythm. The great Carol Kaye is on bass, and Hawes plays some totally sweeeeeeeet electric keys on the set – really stretching out in ways that are different than some of his acoustic work of a few years before – yet still filled with the same rich sort of imagination. Titles include "Sierra Morena", "Go Down Moses", "Web", "Tune Axle Grease", and "C&H Sugar". CD

Possible matches38
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John HollowayPavans & Fantasies From The Age Of Dowland ... CD
ECM (Germany), 2014. New Copy ... $16.99 18.99
Beautiful blue-tinged work from the generation of John Dowland – a range of 16th century chamber works, performed here by a string quintet headed by John Holloway – in a wonderful style that seems to recast the music of these early composers with some of the dark tones of the ECM New Series – but in a way that still respects the spirit of the original works as well. Holloway never plays with the structure too much – but the recording style, and the use of viola and bass violin really deepens the sound – and creates these dark corners that are completely sublime. The centerpiece is "Lachrimae Pavans" by Dowland – and other works include "Lamento For 2" by Thomas Morley, "Fantasy No 12" by John Jenkins, "Fantasy For 2" by Matthew Locke, and "Fantasy Upon One Note" by Henry Purcell. CD

Possible matches39
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Freddie HubbardFirst Light (remastered edition – with bonus tracks) ... CD
CTI, 1972. New Copy Gatefold ... $9.99
Sweet early CTI work from trumpeter Freddie Hubbard – the kind of groundbreaking electric jazz that really helped him find a new space in the 70s! The album follows strongly from Freddie's classic Red Clay set for CTI – and like that one, it features extended tracks that build beautifully as they roll on – taking Freddie's airy trumpet as the base, and layering in electric piano, flute, guitar, and percussion – plus some wonderfully subtle strings – used sparely, but in just the right way to underscore the wider vision of the record. Arrangements are by the mighty Don Sebesky – and other players include George Benson on guitar, Hubert Laws on flute, Phil Kraus on vibes, and Airto on percussion – plus Richard Wyands on the keys, making a rare CTI appearance here. Titles include a surprisingly great version of "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" which has some great breaks in the middle – plus "First Light", "Moment To Moment", and "Yesterday's Dreams". New version features remastering from original tapes – and 2 bonus tracks – "Fantasy In D" and an live take of "First Light". CD

Possible matches40
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Bob JamesH/Sign Of The Times ... CD
Tappan Zee/Robinsongs (UK), 1980/1981. New Copy ... $13.99
Early 80s Bob James back to back – two very big albums on a single CD! H has a cover that might be a bit gimmicky – with a giant image of a hot dog – but the album's actually one of the more sensitive outings from keyboardist Bob James at the time – a really refreshing blend of modes and styles, served up on Fender Rhodes, Oberheim, and acoustic piano! There's some fairly large arrangements in the mix, but they're never that overdone – and instead often leave plenty of room for the leader to solo out front – a bit like the way that larger charts worked for Hubert Laws during his time at CTI. Bob produced and arranged – and the record's still got some funkier moments in the mix as well. Titles include "Thoroughbred", "The Walkman", "Snowbird Fantasy", "Shepherd's Song", "Brighton By The Sea", and "Reunited". Sign Of The Times is soulful 80s work from Bob James – a record that features him working a bit with Rod Temperton of Heatwave, in a style that's got a few more soul-based modes than before! Temperton wrote half of the tracks on the record – the tighter, catchier ones that often use a bit of backing vocals alongside Bob's keyboards – in a style that nicely breaks the mold a bit from the CTI years, and helps slide his smoother jazz groove into crossover R&B territory. And while you might wince at such a thought, James is actually better suited than most to do this sort of thing – as his sense of presence on the keys is still quite strong, and his traditional feeling for space still keeps the tunes nicely lean overall. Titles include "Sign Of The Times", "Love Power", "Unicorn", "Enchanted Forest", "Steamin Feelin", and "Hypnotique". CD

Possible matches41
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Tizian Jost TrioUnited In The Big Blue ... CD
Enja (Germany), 2013. New Copy ... $9.99 15.99
We love the piano work of Tizian Jost – a player with a really special way of ringing out his tone on the keys, often with this sort of joyful flow that comes across right away! A few notches either way, and Jost might be too sentimental or too smooth – but instead, he's got this really perfect balance of warmer emotions that comes through especially well on this album's all-original tracks. Each number has this fresh sort of sparkle that really fits the mood of Jost's piano – and the trio features well-matched work on bass from Thomas Stabenow and drums from Mario Gonzi. Titles include "Fantasy In Yellow White & Blue", "United In The Big Blue", "Tizi's Business", "Missing The Right Word", "Room 76", and "Fun In The Forest". CD

Possible matches42
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Azar LawrencePeople Moving ... CD
Prestige/Universal (Japan), 1976. New Copy ... $13.99
Stellar reed work from Azar Lawrence – a player who's best known for his acoustic revival in recent years, but who could play with some excellent electric backings during the 70s! The set's less an electric funk outing than it is a spiritual jazz set, with keyboards and guitar in the mix – beautifully put together by the young Skip Scarborough, with a feel that's very similar to Gary Bartz's work with Larry Mizell! Azar's reeds are wonderful – soaring, searching, in a style that's inspired by Coltrane, but with a more direct focus – again like Bartz, or maybe a bit like Hadley Caliman too – and the record features strong work from a lineup that includes Patrice Rushen on keyboards, Lee Ritenour on guitar, Paul Jackson on bass, and Harvey Mason on drums. The whole thing's got a great Fantasy Records funk groove – and includes many nice titles like "Theme For A New Day", "Kickin Back", "Canticle For The Universe", "Gratitude", and a great take on Scarborough's "Can't Hide Love". CD

Possible matches43
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Azar LawrenceSummer Solstice ... CD
Prestige/Universal (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... $13.99
A beautiful album of spiritual soul and Brazilian influenced jazz from Azar Lawrence – and a pretty rare one we're thrilled to have! Lawrence is a stellar sax player with a sound that's a bit like Gary Bartz, which means that he fits in perfectly with the Fantasy-era Prestige Records sound – but the sounds on this set are uncommonly rich and globally influenced. The set's predominantly acoustic, with lots of modal grooves in kind of a Strata East vein – and angular post-Coltrane playing that's very similar to Bartz's work on the Libra album from his early days. Players include Raul De Souza on trombone, Ron Carter on bass, Billy Hart on drums, Dom Salvador, who is really allowed to shine on piano on a few tracks, and drummer & percussionist Guilherme Franco, who brings a world of wonderful percussion on a couple of numbers. Titles include "Highway", "From The Point of Love", "Novo Ano", and "From The Point Of Light". CD

Possible matches44
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Babatunde Lea with Dwight TribleUmbo Weti – A Tribute To Leon Thomas ... CD
Motema, 2008. New Copy 2CD ... $11.99 14.98
A beautiful tribute to the greatness of Leon Thomas – put together by one of the few cats who could get it right! Given that Babatunde Lea's other music already takes us back to the days when Thomas sang with Pharoah Sanders – his leadership on a date like this is a natural – as Lea has a way of hitting just the right sort of righteous vibe to open things up for Leon's message of peace, love, and spiritual fulfillment! The great Dwight Trible handles vocals on the date – a singer you probably already love for his work with Build An Ark – and other players include Ernie Watts on tenor sax, Patrice Rushen on piano, and Gary Brown on bass. The performance is a live one – recorded at Yoshi's in Oakland – and the double-length set features a heck of a lot of music, plus some video content on the second disc! Titles include "Prince Of Peace", "Reaching Up", "Umbo Weti", "Colors", "Sun Song", "African Fantasy", "Song For My Father", "African Tapestry", "Creator Has A Master Plan", "Boom Boom", and "Cousin Mary". CD

Possible matches45
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MadagascarSpirit Of The Street ... CD
Arista/FTG, 1981. New Copy ... $15.99 16.98
An overlooked gem from that great early stretch when Arista was leading the pack when it came to jazzy, sophisticated funk – really hitting hard with groups like Breakwater and Locksmith, and also giving us this sweet little set from Madagascar! The group may not be that well-known by name, but they've got some very famous help on sax and vocals – a young Gerald Albright – plus other singers Marva King, John Barnes, and Sharon Barnes! Things are funky, but never over the top – less an ensemble funk style than a jazz funk groove – kind of a maturation of the 70s Kudu Records mode, taken into some nice lean territory for the 80s! The groove is very upbeat and positive – a lot like the best Fantasy Records styles a few years before – and titles include "Dance Spirit Dance", "International Jamboree", "Pay Attention", "This is When It Counts", "Thank You For Our Song", and "Here Today Gone Tomorrow". CD

Possible matches46
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Henry ManciniMancini's Angels/Theme Scene ... CD
RCA/Vocalion (UK), 1977/1978. New Copy ... $16.99
Two groovy late 70s albums from Henry Mancini – back to back on a single CD! Mancini's Angels has happy Hank surrounded by plenty of cleavage – a cover that's perfect for the album's title play on the hit Charlie's Angels show! Mancini does a great job with the theme to that one, and also adds in some cool keyboards you wouldn't have heard on the original – and the rest of the album is a mix of other mid 70s TV themes, plus some cool originals penned by Mancini himself, but with a very similar flavor – often quite funky, in a soundtrack sort of way. Titles include "Charlie's Angels", "Car Wash", "Silver Streak", "Inspector Clouseau Theme", "Gonna Fly Now", "What's Happening", "The Moneychangers", and "Evergreen". The Theme Scene features plenty of cool 70s soundtrack themes – titles pulled from both film and TV use, some with a feel that's every bit as funky as Henry Mancini's great work on the Cop Show album! Titles include "The Cheap Detective", "Star Trek", "Heaven Can Wait", "Children Of Sanchez", "Battlestar Galactica", "Once Is Not Enough", "Three's Company", "NBC News Theme", and "Fantasy Island". CD

Possible matches47
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Herbie MannLatin Mann – Afro To Bossa To Blues ... CD
Columbia (Japan), 1965. New Copy ... $13.99
An excellent album of Latin material from Herbie Mann – and proof that he's equally great in just about any setting! The album's a rare Columbia Records outing from Herbie – but it's easily one of his greatest of the 60s, thanks to some really smoking arrangements from Oliver Nelson – plus an all-star cast of players that includes Carmell Jones, Dave Pike, Jimmy Heath, Patato Valdez, Willie Bobo, Charlie Palmieri, and a young Chick Corea! Tracks are short, tight, and very rhythmic – grooving in a snapping approach to Latin that's filled with plenty of soul, but which also features plenty of jazzy touches as well. A few tunes here are familiar, but they're given wonderful new treatment by Herbie and Nelson – and the record easily beats most Verve or Impulse sessions of this type at their own game! Tracks include "Bijou", "Ave Maria Morena", "Watermelon Man", "Interlude", "Let's Boom Chitty Boom", "Senor Blues", "Jungle Fantasy", and "Jive Samba". CD

Possible matches48
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MiamiMiami ... CD
TK (Japan), 1978. New Copy ... $13.99
Cool compressed sounds from Miami – a group who are still plenty funky on this rare third album, but one who've also found a great way to serve up their groove as well! The combo's even sharper on the rhythms than ever before – and have a style that's a bit like that key evolution Pleasure took after their first few records for Fantasy – a funk band really going for a cut-above, and finding a way to fuse all their already-great individual components into a rich new whole! Willie Clarke produced, and the album's easily one of his sharpest Miami sets of the time – and is nicely free of the commercial qualities of other big TK Records of the period. Titles include "Eye For An Eye", "Broken Down Man", "Let Me See Some Knees Please", "Strange", and "I've Been Loving You Too Long". CD
Also available Miami ... LP 48.99

Possible matches49
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Mighty FireNo Time For Masquerading/Mighty Fire ... CD
Elektra/Expansion (UK), 1981/1982. New Copy ... $16.99
A pair of overlooked gems from Mighty Fire – back to back on a single CD! No Time For Masquerading is a wonderful debut full length from Mighty Fire – a group whose roots lead back to lots of previous work for Motown, and as The Flakes – stepping out here as a tight quintet with a wonderfully focused sound! Despite the 80s date of the record, the sound feels like the best combo funky soul from the previous decade – really sharp and on the money, but never commercial or chart-sounding at all – a perfect balance of so many wonderful warm elements, with the kind of jazzy touches you might hear in later groups like Incognito or Brand New Heavies. Guitarist Mel Bolton handles the arrangements, and most of the songwriting too – and trumpeter Harry Kim handles the horns, with the same warm vibe he'd later bring to his work with Earth Wind & Fire. Titles include "Sweet Fire", "Love Fantasy", "I Could Write A Love Song", "Missing You", and "Look What You Made Me Do". Mighty Fire is smooth stepping soul from a group who burn with a great mellow version of their name, which really helps to focus their energy throughout! There's a cool, classy vibe to the set – one that draws on the professional strengths of some of the group members, who also find a way to keep things personal and down to earth too – especially at the time of the album's release, when so many other folks were rushing to electrify their groove, and replace a lot of humanity with keyboards and drum programs. Most of the instrumentation is still in the live funk mode – played by the core members of the quintet – and titles include "You Satisfy Me", "Just A Little Bit", "Heavy Rotation", "Start It Up", "Sweet Lady", and "You Got Everything". CD

Possible matches50
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Montego JoeArriba Con Montego Joe (Arriba Con Montego Joe/Wild & Warm) ... CD
Prestige, 1964/1965. New Copy ... $8.99 18.98
2 rare Latin albums from the Prestige/Fantasy vaults – both of them great! The set compiles the records Wild & Warm and Arriba! Con Montego Joe – by congolero Montego Joe, a key figure in the underground New York scene of the 60s. Both albums have a good hard Latin jazz feel, with a little bit of Latin soul thrown in – in the same kind of mix of jazz and Latin that you'd find on the Pucho albums for Prestige at the same time. The bands on both sets include a number of great players, like Leonard Goines on trumpet, Al Gibbons on tenor, Eddie Gomez on bass – and the surprising addition of Milford Graves on percussion and Chick Corea on piano (although any fan of Chick's knows he got his start with Latin bands.) Lots of tasty Latin groovers, including "Fatman", "The Jinx", "Ewe", "Ouch", "Bata Blues", "Haitian Lady", and lots lots more! CD

Possible matches51
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Plunky & OnenessNever Too Late ... CD
Name Brand Records, 2014. New Copy ... $7.99
One of the deeper albums we've heard from Plunky in awhile – a set that's still got some of the smoother jazzy styles of his past decade or two, but one that also seems to offer a lot of input from a younger, fresher generation too! The "Oneness" on the cover is well-put – as the whole thing almost seems to be a Neo Soul reworking of his older Oneness Of Juju material from the late 70s/early 80s – that point when Plunky took his spiritual jazz modes, and forged them with a bit more of a dancefloor groove – a style that echoes all the older Oneness elements, but with a more contemporary vibe overall. Titles include the original numbers "Be About The Future", "Never Too Late", "A New Fantasy", "Space Jungle Love", "Sax Afrique", "Tableau Noir", and "Tribal Vibe". CD

Possible matches52
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Lee RitenourRit/2 ... CD
Discovery/Warner (Japan), 1982. New Copy ... $13.99
A nice mix of 80s groove and jazzy fusion – served up by one of the few players who could make such a set come off so well! Lee Ritenour's fusion work of the 70s always had a fair dose of R&B in the mix – but by the time of this set, he had moved even more strongly into a modern soul-based mode of jazz – one that he clearly helped to influence with his initial work, and which he still rode over strongly with the well-selling Rit series of albums for Elektra. Players on the set include Harvey Mason and Tom Scott – and about 2/3 of the album's tracks feature vocals by Eric Tagg. Titles include "Malibu", "Cross My Heart", "Promises Promises", "Dreamwalkin", "Keep It Alive", "A Fantasy", and "Tied Up". CD

Possible matches53
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Patrice RushenBefore The Dawn ... CD
Prestige/Universal (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... $13.99
Patrice Rushen's second album – and a very sweet batch of keyboard funk! The record has Patrice working in a groove that's almost like that of Herbie Hancock at the time – using lots of electric piano, clavinet, and synth to craft some mighty fine jazz funk grooves. The group's a monster assemblage of Fantasy jazz players like Hubert Laws, Lee Ritenour, Hadley Caliman, and Harvey Mason – and the session crackles with a tight edge that you'll never find in any of Patrice's later work. One of our favorite early Rushen sets, and probably one of our favorite overall! Tracks are long, with lots of great spacey grooves, and titles include "Razzia", "Before The Dawn", "Kickin Back", and "Jubilation". CD
Also available Before The Dawn ... LP 9.99

Possible matches54
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Smoke CityI Really Want You ... CD
Epic/FTG, 1985. New Copy ... $15.99 16.98
A damn great bit of 80s soul – the only album ever issued by Smoke City, but a killer set that we've loved for many years – especially given the group's link to the Chicago scene! The set's perfectly put together – head and shoulders above so much other major label soul of the time – with a mature, sophisticated groove that's really wonderful – almost an extension of the styles explored by Philly International at the start of the 80s, taken forward at a time when so many others were amping up their drum machines and going for too-commercial riffs in their grooves. The vocals alternate nicely between lead male singer Daveon Overton and female singer Starr – and the album also alternates between 80s groove, quiet storm numbers, and even a few slyly jazzy numbers that are perfect for the hipper side of the mainstream soul spectrum at the time. Titles include "Dreams", "Life Of the Party", "Time To Jam", "Back Seat Kind Of Girl", "In The World Of Fantasy", and "Cafe Francois". CD

Possible matches55
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Bill SummersFeel The Heat ... CD
Prestige/Universal (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $13.99
Masterful funky soul jazz from the mid 70s – and one of the best solo albums recorded by Headhunter Bill Summers – a sunny batch of Bay Area funk that really grooves with the best of Fantasy Records from the time! The set was produced by Skip Scarborough, and has that great bubbling, stepping, soulful groove that was Scarborough's best contribution to jazz funk – a trademark groove that was every bit as important to the 70s as the work of Bob James or Larry Mizell! Summers' work on congas and percussion is excellent and the players are totally top shelf – the core group features drums by Alphonse Mouzon, bass by Paul Jackson, and keyboards by Scarborough – and vocalists on the set include Dianne Reeves, Mikki Morris, and Charles Meeks. Titles include "Drum Suite", "Come Into My Life", "People Know", "Just A Matter Of Time", "No One", "Check It Out", and "Que Sabroso". CD

Possible matches56
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Eric TaggSmilin' Memories ... CD
EMI/Universal (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... $22.99
A sunny 70s set from Erik Tagg – a record that's halfway between blue-eyed soul and the warmer territory of singers like Kenny Rankin or Michael Franks! Like both of those artists, Erik Tagg's certainly got something of an ear for jazz, and chooses some great elements in the backdrops for his vocals – a style that's smooth, but never too slick – and definitely in the more personal, more individual side of 70s AOR. The tunes are warm, but never overwhelmingly so – and Tagg's vocals are produced in this cool way that compresses them sweetly alongside the instrumentation. Titles include "Tell Tale Eyes", "Love To Love You", "In December's Cold", "A Fantasy", "After All", "Steamboat", "Sandman", and "Never Had The Feelin". CD

Possible matches57
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Lenny WilliamsChoosing You (with bonus tracks) ... CD
ABC/Soulmusic.com (UK), 1977. New Copy ... $13.99
A killer set from Lenny Williams – done in a smoothly jazzy mode that echoes with a real Fantasy Records groove! Lenny's clearly drawing some great inspiration here from the East Bay scene – working with older Motown producer Frank Wilson on a set of warmly modern numbers that really help him state a strong voice as a solo act. The grooves are all just perfect for Lenny's vocals – funky, but never too much so – and smooth without being slick – a rare balance, but one that comes off perfectly here, and makes the set a great one! Essential mellow soul throughout – with tracks that include "Look Up With Your Mind", "Riding The High Wire", "Choosing You", "Shoo Doo Fu Fu Ooh", "Please Don't Tempt Me", "Trust In Me", and "I've Been Away From Love For Too Long". CD features lots of bonus tracks – "Choosing You (12" single)", "Choosing You (7" single)", "Shoo Doo Fu Fu Ooh (7" single)", and "Look Up Your Mind (7" single)". CD

Possible matches58
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VariousBay Area Funk – Funk & Soul Essentials From San Francisco, Oakland, & The Bay Area 1967-1976 ... CD
Luv N' Haight, Late 60s/Early 70s. New Copy ... $5.99 16.98
A killer! As revolutionary as the music and political climate was in the Bay Area in the late 60s and early 70s, it's damn near criminal that there haven't been more representative collections of the music – enter Luv N Haight Records, who are here with the first ever comprehensive compilation of Bay Area funk and hard soul! The kind of funky music that came out of the Bay in the period differs a bit from a lot of mirror sounds from the other coast, the midwest and the south –artists and groups like Sugar Pie Desanto, P-I-R Square, Marvin Holmes and the Uptights, San Francisco T.K.O and others work with short, tight, hard-clapping blasts of 45 funk. Where the funk of other scenes was designed to bounce you along an elastic groove, the Cali school for the most part specialized in short, sweaty, scratchy numbers that were designed to get you on your feet, than knock you straight on your arse! Truly amazing stuff – all funky 45 numbers, many of which are available for the first time on CD! 16 treasures: "Git Back" by Sugar Pie Desanto, "Foxy Girls In Oakland" by Rodger Collins, "Pickin' Cotton" by Johnny Talbot, "Find Yourself" by Marvin Holmes, "Check Me Out" by Kittie Denise, "Trippin' On The Sound" by Jeannie Tracie, "The Trip" by Eugene Blacknell, "Fantasy" by P-I-R Square, "Oomph" by Marvin Holmes, "Herm" by San Francisco T.K.O.'s and lots more – plus great foldout notes with details on each track. A great sounding, long overdue document of a great scene! CD

Possible matches59
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VariousBrown Door Story ... CD
Brown Door/Shout (Japan), Early 70s. New Copy ... $19.99
A killer collection of funk and soul from an ultra-hip Bay Area label of the 70s – Oakland's enigmatic Brown Door Records – headed up by funk maestro Marvin Holmes! The music's got a beautifully sunny vibe – all the best Bay Area elements of the time, reflected in the scene-crossing, genre-stepping modes that often made the East Bay way more exciting than anything going on in San Francisco – particularly in the cool crossbreeding that would happen between Berkeley, Oakland, and other communities. Holmes' cuts here are a great example of that – still the funk and jazz of his late 60s music for bigger labels, but also pretty stretched-out and open too – filled with an all-encompassing spirit that rivals the best music from the Fantasy studios at the time – but with a hipper, indie vibe all the way through. This spirit also steps over to the work by other artists on the collection, too – and is told in the rich notes and images included with the heavy booklet – both in English and Japanese, at a level that shows the Shout Productions folks stepping into Numero territory. A wonderfully deep compilation – filled with great cuts that include "You & Me", and "Goin Home" by Faye Marshall, "Making New Friends" and "Trippin On The Sounds" by Jeanie Tracy, "Cain't Get Anuff" by Bill Bell, "I Can't Go Without You (parts 1 & 2)" by Doroth Morrison, "Love Yo Love" and "Confess Your Love" by John Turk & The 3rd Street Annex, and the tracks "Kwame", "You Better Keep Her (7" version)", "Find Yourself (parts 1 & 2)", "Gimme Some Tonight (parts 1 & 2)", "Feel So Good (inst)", "You Girl", "Tell The Truth", and "Kimani Mdogo" by Marvin Holmes & Justice. CD

Possible matches60
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VariousGet Your Lie Straight – A Galaxy Of Funky Soul ... CD
BGP (UK), Late 60s/Early 70s. New Copy ... $14.99
An absolute funky monster! This set lays out an incredible batch of funk era singles from the vaults of Galaxy Records – and it shakes and burns all the way through, with lost funk bombs Bobby Rush, Rodger Collins, Bill Coday, Bobby Eaton, the Debonairs and others! It's comprised of mostly obscure 45s representing the stone funkiest records ever released by the Oakland-based Galaxy label – which was at this point sort of serving as the farm club for big brother label Fantasy Records. This one's essential, kids – just as worthy of your funk-loving dollar as the legendary rare funk compilations on Jazzman, Soul Fire or Stones Throw! 22 tracks in all: "Foxy Girls In Oakland", "Get Your Lie Straight", "Chicken Heads" by Bobby Rush, "Bring It On Up" by Loleatta Holloway, "I Love Her Too" by Lenny Williams, "People Say" by JJ Malone, "Try The Life" by Everyday People, "Man Power" (previously unreleased) by Ben & Larry, "My Money Is Funny" by the Right Kind, "The Iron Horse" by Merl Saunders & Heavy Turbulence, "I Get What I Want" by the Sequins and lots more! CD

Possible matches61
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VariousI Am The Center – Private Issue New Age In America 1950 to 1990 ... CD
Light In The Attic, 1950s/1960s/1970s/1980s. New Copy 2 CDs Gatefold ... $15.99 18.98
An amazing compilation – and a really groundbreaking attempt to get to the true heart of new age music – that initial moment of meditative sound on records from the American underground – very pure in both spirit and execution before the whole thing got watered down and commercial! The massive set digs way deeper than we might have expected – way past the Bay Area indies who rose the genre to prominence, to a whole host of tiny US labels from the postwar years onward – home to individual players with a very personal sound – on instruments that range from conventional piano to global sources, electronics, and even some items of their own invention. The choice of tracks is perfect – really getting back to the basics of the genre in a great way – and the music is very laidback and meditative, with ethereal qualities that are completely sublime – especially in the context of the great packaging and notes of the whole collection. Many tracks here were never issued on CD – and many were only from rare tapes, too – and the double-length batch of work is one of the most unique musical journeys we've ever taken! Titles include "Lifting Off" by Joanna Brouk, "Arabian Fantasy" by Daniel Emmanuel, "Formentera Sunset Clouds" by Iasos, "Seventh Chakra Keynote B" by Steven Halpern, "Om Mani Padme Hum" by Constance Derby, "Unicorns In Paradise" by Laraaji, "Blue Spirals" by Daniel Kobialka, "As The Earth Kissed The Moon" by Michael Stearns, and "Waterfall Winds" by Alice Damon. CD

Possible matches62
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Crystal WindsFirst Flight ... CD
Cash Ear/BBE (UK), 1982. New Copy ... Around December 8, 2014
A mellow soul classic from Chicago – and one of the last great records to come out of the city's hip 70s soul scene! We know very little about Crystal Winds – save for this excellent record, one of the few titles issued on the short-lived Cash Ear label, a south-side imprint in the tradition of 70s powerhouse labels like Curtom or Chi-Sound. The work's got a wonderfully polished feel – lots of jazzy harmonies on the vocals, and a smooth midtempo groove that reminds us of some of the best work on Fantasy Records, especially those handled by Wayne Henderson and At Home Productions. Includes a great jazzy stepper called "Signs of Winter's Time", plus other great tracks like "So Sad", "Love Ain't Easy", and "It's A Wondrous Thing". CD

Possible matches63
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Joe Newman/Zoot SimsLocking Horns (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Roulette/Warner (Japan), Late 50s. New Copy ... Around September 17, 2014 (delayed)
A wonderful session from Roulette – a laidback set with Newman and Sims acting as co-leaders, playing with a trio that includes Oscar Pettiford, Adrian Acea, and Osie Johson, all coming together nicely with the feel of a late 50s session for Prestige. Newman's horn has an especially gutbuckety quality to it, and Sims follows suit with some deeply soulful work on his solos. Titles include "Corky", "Mambo For Joe", "Midnite Fantasy", "Tater Pie", "Oh Joe", and "Oh Shaye". CD

Possible matches64
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Gene PageLovelock ... CD
Atlantic (Japan), 1976. New Copy ... Around December 10, 2014
Kind of an all-star session put together by arranger Gene Page – one that features work by hip studio instrumentalists Joe Sample, David T. Walker, Tom Scott, and George Bohannon, plus guest vocalists like Merry Clayton, Edna Wright, and, Jim Gilstrap. Tracks have kind of a smooth studio feel – similar to the work of Quincy Jones' R&B 70s sides, which Page might have been trying to emulate here. Titles include "Wild Cherry", "Fantasy Woman", "Straw In the Wind", and "Together – Whatever". CD

Possible matches65
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WatersWatercolors (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Arista/Big Break (UK), 1980. New Copy ... Just Sold Out!
A nicely grooving set to start the 80s by The Waters – an underappreciated 2-man, 2-woman LA vocal group who did a considerable amount of backup vocals in the studio scene of the late 70s – and this is easily their best record! It's got some of the best arrangements the group ever received – and it's also got a smooth modern soul style that's similar to some of Wayne Henderson's work on Fantasy Records, mixed with some of the smooth jazz funk that was coming out on Arista at the time. An overlooked gem! Titles include "I Can Make You Smile", "Throw A Little Bit Of Love My Way", "Come To Me", "Dance With Me", "Heart Lead The Way", "Let Him Prove It", and "Party People". This Big Break CD version includes a couple of bonus tracks: "Dance With Me (Single Version)" and "Heart Lead The Way (Single Version)". CD

Possible matches66
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New Frank HunterWhite Goddess ... CD
Kapp/Captain High (Germany), 1959. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
An exotica classic from the great Frank Hunter – an arranger who worked in many other formats in the 50s and 60s – but who's really left his mark with this haunting little record! The instrumentation is quite unique – as Hunter blends electric sounds from an ondionline with core acoustic elements from chromatic log drums, chromatic bongos, alto flute, and other percussion – plus the unique bazimba, which is a cross between a marimba and xylophone! There's also some moody female vocals – ala Yma Sumac or Bas Sheba –- which drift in and out of the mix to evoke the white goddess in the title. Tracks include "Strange Echoes", "Poinciana", "White Goddess", "Temple Bells", "Ritual Of The Torch", "Jungle Fantasy", and "Mist Of Gorongoza". CD

Possible matches67
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New King YorubaSunlightsquare ... CD
Sunlightsquare (UK), 2014. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Way more than just the usual Afro Funk sounds – as King Yoruba mix together a trans-Atlantic blend of styles that includes Latin elements, jazzy bits, and even some 70s soundtrack elements – all wrapped up in a tapestry of grooves that are heavy on acoustic percussion and electric keyboards, given a lot of spontaneous energy by jazzy horns! The set was recorded in both Havana and London, and really has that feel – almost like some of the best Gilles Peterson/Brownswood projects from Cuba – but maybe even jazzier. Titles include "Orula", "Ochosi", "Never Go Die-O", "Ogguere", "Breakin Down", and "Fantasy". CD

Possible matches68
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New Duke PearsonIt Could Only Happen With You ... CD
Blue Note (Japan), 1970. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Pivotal work from Duke Pearson – a brilliant set that perfectly sums up all the criss-crossing of styles he was working on in the late 60s – and comes up with a wonderful blend of electric jazz, Brazilian rhythms, and just a touch of 70s soul! Pearson plays some sweet Fender Rhodes on the set, in addition to acoustic piano – and there's some other wonderful instrumentation in the mix too – including flute and guitar from Hermeto Pascoal, making a rare Blue Note appearance – plus sweet flutes from Jerry Dodgion and Lew Tabackin, both blowing in kind of a CTI-ish way – as well as tenor from Frank Foster, trumpets from Collins/Shepley, and wonderful drums from Mickey Roker – whose inventive rhythms here really helps set fire to Duke's new ideas. Flora Purim sings on a few tracks – pre-Fantasy Records, and turning in some of her greatest vocals ever – and titles include a wonderful version of "Stormy", plus "Book's Bossa", "Gira, Girou", "Hermeto", "Emily", and "It Could Only Happen With You". CD

Possible matches69
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New VariousJazz Club – Bossa Nova USA ... CD
Universal (Germany), 1960s. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
The American take on the sound of bossa nova – a mode that started almost as soon as the first sounds headed north from Rio, and which grew to become a very important contribution to the music in the 60s! We love the originals by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Luis Bonfa, Joao Gilberto, and others – but we also totally dig these American reinterpretations by musicians on Verve, Fantasy, and other hip labels of the 60s – players who really got into the sound of Brazilian rhythms, and used the new groove to unlock some great power in their own solo playing as well! The package mostly features 60s recordings, with a few gems from later years – and titles include "Temanco No Samba" by Cal Tjader, "Samba De Orfeu" by Bob Brookmeyer, "O Morro" by Wes Montgemery, "Samba With Some Barbecue" by Paul Desmond, "Desafinado" by Charlie Byrd, "Um Abraco No Bonfa" by Coleman Hawkins, "Jazz Bossa Nova" by Milt Jackson, "Nana" by Kenny Burrell, "O Grande Amor" by Stan Getz, and "Mas Que Nada" by Hank Jones & Oliver Nelson. CD

Possible matches70
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New VariousSpiritual Swingers – Presented By Nicola Conte – Deep Afrocentric Modal Jazz ... CD
Universal (Germany), Late 50s/1960s/Early 70s. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Spirit, swing, and a whole lot more – a mighty collection of music all hand-picked by the legendary Nicola Conte! There's a deeply soulful groove to the whole thing – and a touch of the exotic as well – and the package really reminds us a lot of the great Gilles Peterson Universal collections that were out a few years back – full of deep tones and rich colors, and proof that when you've got the right guy at the helm, a collection of older jazz tracks can be way more than just the sum of its parts! In addition to Universal label work – originally issued on Decca, Emarcy, and other labels – the package features some Fantasy/Prestige tracks too – including some great gems we might have missed otherwise. Almost 75 minutes of music – with titles that include "Taboo" by Dorothy Ashby, "New Delhi" by James Clay, "Big P" by New Jazz Orchestra, "Juan-Les-Pins" by Staffan Abeleen, "Subo" by Klaus Weiss, "Spanish Castles" by George Gruntz, "Modette" by Roy Haynes, "My Favorite Things" by Sound Of Feeling, "Jungle Fantasy" by Yusef Lateef, "Feeling Good" by Pat Bowie, "The Hooter" by Ernie Wilkins, "Afro Blue" by Abbey Lincoln, "Bogota" by Ahmad Jamal, and "Baltimore Oriole" by Lorez Alexandria. CD

Possible matches71
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New Paulinho Da CostaAgora ... CD
OJC, 1977. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A tasty session of west coast Brazilian grooves – cut by the great percussionist Paulinho Da Costa, with a group that includes Claudio Slon, Larry Williams, and Lee Ritenour. The record's got a very nice breezy feel – with a sound that's similar to some of the Fantasy Brazilian LPs of the time, which mixed tight Brazilian playing with a soulful sense of California production. With the cuts "Simbora", "Toledo Bagel", "Ritmo Number One", and "Berimbau Variations". CD

Possible matches72
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New Maynard FergusonPrimal Scream/New Vintage/Carnival ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), 1976/1977/1978. New Copy 2CD ... Out Of Stock
A trio of heavy-hitters from hornman Maynard Ferguson – all served up in one sweet set! Primal Scream is one of the funkiest records ever from Ferguson – the climax of a great run of bigger group grooves in the 70s! The record's a tight batch of groovers, with production and keyboards by Bob James – and the whole thing's a mixture of big band funk and electronics that's simply out of this world! Side one kicks off with two massive numbers – the Arp-heavy "Cheshire Cat Walk", and the Kool & The Gang-ish "Primal Scream" – and both cuts are quite long, with loads of cool instrumental effects. Side two is a bit softer, but it does include a long keyboard groover called "Swamp". On New Vintage, Maynard really grooves it – playing with a group that's even larger than some of his early 70s funk sessions, in a style that's got traces of disco and R&B-styled fusion! The set was arranged, conducted, and produced by Jay Chataway – who's going for a nice smooth mode on most of the cuts, almost in the slick manner of some late 70s cop show soundtrack. Tracks are a bit longer than usual, with more room for the groove, and titles include the originals "Oasis" and "El Vuelvo", a surprisingly nice disco take on "Maria", and the cuts "Airegin" and "Star Wars". Carnival is a cool cooker from Maynard Ferguson – and a set that has all the upbeat tones you'd expect from the title, but lots of funky currents underneath! The set really sparkles right from the start – and has that sweet vibe that Maynard was really getting perfect on these late 70s records for Columbia – jazzy fusion that's tight, but never too uptight – with lots of room for sweet solos from the leader himself, plus Bill Hannon on moog, John Qdini on guitar, Eric Traub on tenor, and Mike Migliore on alto. Titles include a famous working of Earth Wind & Fier's "Fantasy" – plus "Battlestar Galactica", "MF Carnival", "Baker Street", "Birdland", "How Ya Doin Baby", and "Stella By Starlight". CD

Possible matches73
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New Five StairstepsFirst Family Of Soul – Best Of The Five Stairsteps ... CD
Buddah, Late 60s/Early 70s. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Killer work by this fab Chicago soul group – a bunch of young kids, ala The Jackson Five, with sweet soul sound that actually predates the work of Jermaine and Michael and Tito, and which paved the way for countless 70s groups to come! The Five Stairsteps were first discovered by Curtis Mayfield – who wrote and produced a number of tracks on the set – but they had a strength of their own (thanks in part to a young Keni Burke, who was in the group), and continued to grow over the years, changing their sound to fit their expanding ages, and the changing material they needed to cope with the growth in soul in the early 70s. The set's filled with classics – including the super-huge hit "Ooh Child", plus "The Girl I Love", "Behind Curtains", "Come Back", "World Of Fantasy", "You Waited Too Long", "We Must Be in Love", "Oooh, Baby Baby", "Don't Waste Your Time", "Something's Missing", and the break-heavy "Don't Change Your Love". CD

Possible matches74
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New Mr PresidentHips Shaking (with bonus track) ... CD
Favorite (France), 2014. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
The coolest work we've heard so far from this Patchworks side project – a record that fuses together equal parts 70s jazz, funk, and soul – with just the right smattering of global influences as well! There's a tightness to the set that we really love – careful instrumentation and production that make the whole thing feel like a Fantasy Records jazz funk project that might have happened down in Rio or Lagos – with slight Afro or Brazilian elements sifting in next to a core groove that comes from really classic basslines, keyboards, and drums! There's some vocals on a few tracks – mostly chorus-type that flow along with the grooves – and tracks include "City Rocking", "Candyman", "Hips Shaking", "Gimme All What You Got", "South Street Walk", "I Get So Crazy", and a surprisingly great cover of "I Can't Go For That". CD includes the bonus track "Give My Love". CD
Also available Hips Shaking ... LP 24.99

Possible matches75
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New Jaco PastoriusJaco Pastorius Anthology – The Warner Brothers Years ... CD
Warner/Rhino, Early 80s. New Copy 2CD ... Out Of Stock
Stunning work from bassist Jaco Pastorius – a player who'd already wowed audiences with his seminal 70s sides with Weather Report, and on his own – but an artist who really finds a way to grow even more on these early 80s sessions for Warner Brothers! Pastorious continues to push the electric bass into so many different spaces – from fast rhythmic riffs, almost like a drum – to spare, ethereal lines that have a very evocative quality – to meloic pulses that make Jaco as important to his generation as Jimmy Blanton was to a previous era. Many numbers here feature largeish lineups – with musicians who include Michael Brecker, Wayne Shorter, and Bob Mintzer on tenor; Hubert Laws on flute, Peter Erskine on drums, Don Alias on percussion, Toots Thielemans on percussion, and Randy Brecker on trumpet – and titles include a previously unreleased version of "Donna Lee" – plus songs recorded with other artists – "Nativity" with Airto, and "Mood Swings" with Mike Stern – as well as Jaco material from the albums Word Of Mouth, Birthday Concert, and Word Of Mouth Big Band Live in Japan. Titles include "Okonkole Y Trompa", "Sophisticated Lady", "Fannie Mae", "Amerika", "Reza", "Punk Jazz", "Domingo", "Invitation", and "Chromatic Fantasy". CD

Possible matches76
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New Dieter ReithDie Kette ... CD
MPS/Show Up (Germany), 1978. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Really rare work from Dieter Reith – the 70s keyboard giant who was such a big part of the electric scene at the MPS label in Germany – stepping out here in an obscure soundtrack done for TV! Reith plays Fender Rhodes, Arp, and lots of other keyboards too – and works with his Tender Aggression group, who'd cut some club singles at the time – but who have a much more fleshed-out vibe here! The music is heavy on keyboard lines and funky undercurrents – a bit like some of Henry Mancini's best Rhodes soundtracks of the time – and a few cuts bring in some slight disco elements, although usually in subtle ways – and more in a funky fusion style, as you'd hear on MPS or Kudu Records. Some tracks are quite long – especially for a soundtrack – and the group also features the great Wilton Bogey Gaynair on flute and Ack Van Rooyen on flugelhorn. Titles include the sweet sample cut "Uschi", plus "Love & Fantasy", "Beams", "Transmitter", "Pace Maker", and "Lift Off". CD
Also available Die Kette (with download) ... LP 17.99

Possible matches77
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New Eric RobersonB-Sides, Features, & Heartaches ... CD
Blue Erro Soul, 2014. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A range of special projects, guest appearances, and b-sides from Eric Roberson – and music that's mostly still better than the top-shelf recordings from most other artists! Eric's a singer we've loved for years, no matter what the setting – and he's got a richly collaborative spirit that's had him working with lots of the best of the underground for the past decade or so – lending his sublime vocals, songwriting skills, and even production talents to a range of really wonderful projects. This overdue collection pulls together all the best of those moments, and throws in a few special Roberson recordings too – all to make for one hell of a great record that's bursting with some of the best ideas going in contemporary soul. Titles include "Touch" with Collette, "Butterfly Girl" with DJ Spinna, "Let Me Know" with Angela Johnson, "Games" with M-Swift, "This Could Be The Night" with Zo, "She Was Fly" by Full Crate & Mar, "Far Away Girl" by Aaron Camper, "Fortune Teller" by DJ Kemit, "Deja Vous" with Les Nubians, and "Postcards From The Edge" with Wes Felton – plus the tracks "Fantasy" and "Anymore". CD

Possible matches78
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New Sonia SpenceSonia Spence Sings Love (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Disques Dessinee (Japan), 1981. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Equal parts lovers rock and modern soul – a sweet-stepping album recorded in early 80s Kingston and Miami – with a laidback vibe that's mighty nice! Sonya's style is different than the usual female singer of her scene – a bit more pointed as she glides over the stepping grooves of the set – which also feature some great piano lines from Ansel Collins! Production is relatively clean and clear – never too dubby, and often more on the soul tip, despite the reggae rhythms – and titles include "Sweet Is Your Love", "Fantasy", "Sweetness Of Your Love", "Talk Love", "Let Love Flow On", and "Where Is The Love". CD

Possible matches79
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New Bernard WrightNard/Funky Beat ... CD
Arista/GRP/Robinsongs (UK), 1981/1983. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Early 80s greatness from Bernard Wright – the benchmark Nard from '81 and his Funky Beat from '83 – in a single set! Nard is a masterpiece of smooth jazzy funk – and super-hip session headed up by the young keyboardist! Wright's working here with an insider crowd of jazz funk players that includes Bobby Broom, Dave Grusin, Marcus Miller, and Don Blackman, whose funky style is very similar to Wright's. The record sort of picks up the groove where some of the Fantasy Records sessions of the 70s left off – mixing together jazz and soul into a captivating blend that's made even better by Dave Grusin's tight production. Includes Don Blackman's sample classic "Haboglabotribin", a nice version of Weldon Irvine's "Music Is The Key", and the cuts"Just Chillin' Out", "Master Rocker", and "Bread Sandwiches". Funky Beat is his second album – an 80s groove electro classic that's quite different than his first LP! It takes Bernard firmly into a b-boy jazz mode – working keyboards, bass, and drum programs into a groove that's farther reaching and more soulful than anything that Herbie Hancock was doing at the time. And as with his first album, Bernard's got plenty of great help on this one – as the record features work by Weldon Irvine, Lenny White, Dave Grusin, and others. The album includes some great Weldon Irvine compositions – like a remake of "Mr Clean", and the sweet vocal numbers "Won't You Let Me Love You" and "Keep On Doing That Right Thing", both of them warm wonderful tunes that stand with the best work on the album! Also includes a straight jazz version of "Joy Spring", and the breakin' tracks "Funky Beat", "Get Your Lover Back", "Video Generation", and "Move Your Body". CD

Possible matches80
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New VariousAmericana Rock Your Soul Vol 2 – More Blue Eyed Soul & AOR Sounds From The Land Of The Free ... CD
BBE (UK), Late 70s. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Really soulful sounds from a set of unlikely sources – American grooves from the late 70s that weren't necessarily recorded as soul records – but which really fit in well with the best work of the time! The music here is from a host of obscure indie records – some funk, some jazz, some even rock – but always with a warmly soulful groove that's mighty darn nice – and which sparkles along with some of the best work of the time from much bigger names! If we were to go for a comparison, we might reach for the Fantasy Records/Bay Area scene of the time – especially its way of blending together different styles with a warmer mode and a jazzy finish – something that all the artists here really share. The set's a wonderful discovery – even nicer than the first volume – and we'd honestly never heard most of these cuts before. Titles include "Make Me Believe" by Archie James Cavanaugh, "Night Time Stars" by Joseph Nicoletti, "Hollywood" by Ray Camacho Band, "Hot Ice" by TR's Hot Ice, "Vaya Mulata" by Luc Cousineau, "There's A New Group In Town" by Breakaway, "A Million Stars" by Macky Feary Band, "Without You" by Steve Eaton, and "Here Is Where Your Love Belongs" by Jaye P Morgan. CD

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New BlackbyrdsAction/Better Days ... CD
BGP (UK), Late 70s. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Two of the later Blackbyrds LPs on one CD! Action's one of their great ones, and it's got a cool mellow vibe that's different than their earlier funkier stuff. It also includes the great cut "Mysterious Vibes", which was sampled by someone not too long ago. Also with the cuts "Supernatural Feeling", "Soft and Easy", and "Street Games". Better Days has a bit of a modern soul feel, with more of the later Fantasy production style, and the tracks "Do It Girl", "What's On Your Mind", and "Love Don't Strike Twice". CD

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New Ray Camacho BandReach Out ... CD
Creole Stream (Japan), Early 80s. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Brilliant brown-eyed soul from Ray Camacho – an artist who was previously known for more border-styled work with his Teardrops band, but who steps out here with a surprisingly great blend of electric jazz and boogie! The approach is wonderful – a real re-direction of Ray's earlier groove into even more soulful territory – handled with that unique fusion that was happening in just a few of the best Texas spots, like the scene in Austin at the time. The album's equal parts soul and funk, but still has a few Latin roots too – and had this gem come out on Fantasy Records at the time, it would have pushed Ray and group into much headier territory. But we're also happy the set's been undiscovered for so many years (consider it our little secret) – and titles include "Reach Out", "Diggin Deep", "Shake What You Got", "Nobody But You", "Nothing But A Party", and "What A Day". CD

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New Courtial with Errol KnowlesDon't You Think It's Time (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Pipeline/Shout (Japan), 1976. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A rare bit of Cali soul – and a lot groovier than you'd guess from the cover! The music is rich in jazzy inflections – funky fusion used behind the lead vocals of Errol Knowles, in a blend that's quite similar to the best Bay Area funk of the time – particularly some of the grooves coming from the Fantasy Records scene! Guitars are great – played by Bill Courtial with lots of snakey, angular lines that really emphasize the groove – and other instrumentation includes keyboards and some mighty sweet percussion. Titles include "Losing You", "Love Nevermore", "Corn On The Cob/Time", "Don't You Think It's Time", "Time To Explain", and "Poem For Helen". CD

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New Father's ChildrenFather's Children (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Mercury/Vocalion (UK), 1979. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A lost classic from Father's Children – the group's only album ever, but an impeccably produced set – thanks to the efforts of Wayne Henderson's At Home Productions team! The groove here is similar to that forged by Henderson over at Fantasy – soul, but inflected with plenty of jazzy fusion touches – instrumentation that steps out riffing with a really great edge, and fleshes out the sound with a lot more creativity and imagination than mainstream soul at the time. The best grooves here have a midtempo boogie flavor – with plenty of righteous jazzy touches alongside the richer harmonies that flow out warmly on the lyrics! Titles include their landmark track "Hollywood Dreaming", plus other nice ones like "Got To Get Away", "Gone Bad", "You Can Get It", "Music For Your Mind", "Wild Woman" and "Shine On". 2 bonus tracks on this CD version: 7-inch edits of "Hollywood Dreaming" and "Shine On". CD

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New Bobby MontezJungle Fantastique ... CD
CuBop/Ubiquity, 1958. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
An incredible record – one of the best sides of Latin jazz you could ever hope to find! West coast vibist Bobby Montez had a fantastic sound during the 50s – one that mixed together Latin rhythms in a way that few other players were using. He kind of fixed on a changing modal groove, the sort that would later be used more heavily by Dave Pike or Bobby Vince Paunetto – and he worked his combo like a shifting plate of rhythms, swirling around the grooves on piano, bass, and percussion in a weirdly complicated way, yet never failing to swing, or to hit that right groove for the dancefloor. This 1958 album is a rare gem – the sort that changes hands for hundreds of dollars in the original, and for good reason. It's been lovingly remastered here – and we're pleased as punch that it's finally back out again at a good price! The whole thing's brilliant – with loads of great tracks like "African Fantasy", "Jungle Sunset", "Chango", "Swinging At The M", and "Cha Cha Cha Por Neuva York". CD

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New Sun RaOn Jupiter ... CD
Saturn/Art Yard (UK), 1979. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Righteous Ra from the end of the 70s – one of the most soulful albums ever by the Sun Ra Arkestra, and a lost treasure that's got some nice funky moments! The vibe here is very much in the Lanquidity/Disco 3000 mode – an extrapolation of styles best known from the Space Is The Place era, tightened up into more of a groove at some points, but also relaxed and more reflective at others. Our favorite track on the set is "UFO", a snapping bit of funk that comes as a real surprise from Sun Ra – and a tune that's got some nicely noisy guitar jamming alongside straighter electric rhythms – all topped off by vocals from the group and some really strong horn work! The tune's a great party funk number that shows the Arkestra at its most joyous – and other tracks include "On Jupiter", which has a great blend of light vocals, spacey moog, and snakey sax – plus the side-long "Seductive Fantasy", a laidback number that unfolds with a really gentle grace. CD

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New VariousLatin Jazz Dance Classics Vol 1 ... CD
CuBop/Ubiquity, Early 70s. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A tremendous little set – one that digs through all the great Latin-inspired grooves in the vaults of Fantasy Records – which also includes plenty of rare jazz gems from labels like Prestige and Riverside too! The package follows strongly in the main Jazz Dance Classics series from Ubiquity – and some cuts start in a soul jazz vibe, but then really take off with some Latin rhythms – mixing great jazz solos with some mighty fierce percussion – while other tracks have a straighter Latin jazz approach – in a very classic mode! Tracks include "Mambero" by Cal Tjader, "Descara La Moderna" by Ray Barretto, "Guanco Lament" by Eddie Lockjaw Davis, "Solo Tu" by Pete & Sheila Escovedo, "Jackie's Mambo" by Latin Jazz Quintet, "Este Mambo" by Mongo Santmaria, "Sentido En Seis" by Louie Bellson, and "Swing Thing" by Pucho & The Latin Soul Brothers. CD also features three bonus tracks – "I Showed Them" by Cal Tjader, "Kick Those Feet" by Terry Gibbs, and "Bacoso" by Mongo Santmaria. CD

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New VariousSoft Sounds For Gentle People Vol 5 ... CD
Pet Records, Late 60s. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Far out harmonies and psyche pop from the mid-to-late 60s – and another groovy batch of obscurites from the Cali scene and beyond in the Soft Sounds For Gentle People series from Pet Records! The series has only gotten deeper and groovier since the first one came out – many singles from groups that were recording for the major labels at the time, but the majority of whom are fresh discoveries to us – and if labels like Columbia, Warner Bros and Capital provided the opportunity for richer sounds and production, it's used to shoot the grooves even further out, without comprising the catchy grooves and sweetly soaring male and female harmonies. Possibly the best entry yet! 21 tracks in all: Titles include "Take A Bus" by Stix & Stonz, "Nothing Sacred" by The Johnnys, "Look At The Sun" by Mouse, "Hello" by Things To Come, "Kill The Cobra" by Bentley Road, "It's A Groovy World" by The Lollipop Fantasy, "Looking Down" by 1st Century, "Wispy Paisley Skies" by Fraternity Of Man and more. CD

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New Paco De LuciaFantasia Flamenca De Paco De Lucia ... CD
Philips (Spain), 1969. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A flamenco fantasy from the legendary Paco De Lucia – one served up with a sound that's a lot more revolutionary than you might guess from the title and cover! Sure, the style is rooted in older Spanish modes – but Paco's approach here is really freewheeling and personal – strongly informed by acoustic guitar changes in the US scene in the 60s, as well as a sense of jazz – then brought back to traditional sounds to really set the whole thing on fire! Paco's dexterity on the guitar is amazing – as is his sense of rhythm – which changes brilliantly throughout the course of each tune, to always keep things on edge amidst his cascades of acoustic notes. Titles include "Celosa", "Lamento Minera", "Aires De Linares", "Mi Inspiracion", "Guajiras De Lucia", and "El Tempul". CD

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New George DukeGuardian Of The Light (Japanese paper sleeve edition – with bonus track) ... CD
Epic (Japan), 1983. New Copy Gatefold ... Out Of Stock
A funky concept album from George Duke – and one that's filled with some mighty nice grooves! Guardians Of The Light is a full-on "musical fantasy" – with the story line laid out in the liner notes, yet still a bit difficult to follow – but we can't fault him for that when it's done in his masterful R&B-fusion-funk approach! George sings on all cuts, but he also gets some stellar vocal assistance from Jeffrey Osborne, Portia Griffin, and Patti Austin. The record also has some surprisingly sweet mellow moments that bring a deeper level of spacey soul to the out-there concept – those laidback lines that George could always do better than anyone else! Titles include "Born To Love You", "You Are The Light", "Reach Out", "Give Me Your Love", "Stand", "Soon", and "Fly Away". Also includes a bonus track – "Reach Out (12" single)". CD
(Blu Spec CD2.)

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New OrgoneKillion Floor ... CD
Ubiquity, 2007. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A monstrous debut from one of the heaviest acts we've heard in years – LA's Orgone, easily one of the most up-and-coming funky combos around! Although Orgone share a bit with some of the leaner deep funk groups who've cropped up in the past decade or so, they've also got a sound that's a bit more advanced overall – sort of that second-generation approach to funk that hit the scene by the mid 70s, as some of the bigger funk acts like Black Heat or War moved out of the indie scene and really started to hit a wider audience! That doesn't mean that Orgone's commercial at all – because they've got a sound that's still as sharp-edged as any smaller group – but with a lineup that's quite large, they're able to encompass a very wide range of soulful styles – gritty 45 riffing, slinky Chicano-styled grooves, Afro Funk, tighter soul tracks, and lots lots more – all carried off with perfection throughout. The album feels like some lost masterpiece on Fantasy, or possibly some overlooked early 70s major label funk set on WEA or United Artists – and titles include "Who Knows Who", "I Get Lifted", "Funky Nassau", "Lone Ranger", "Prism Break", "Crabby Ali", "Duck & Cover", "Dialed Up", "Said & Done", "Hambone", "It's What You Do", "Do Your Thing", and "Sophisticated Honky". CD

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New Otis & ShuggWe Can Do Whatever ... CD
Expansion (UK), 1996. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
The long-overdue release of an album that should have been a Neo Soul classic! The team of Otis Cooper and Shugg David recorded this gem of a set back in the mid 90s along with help from longtime friend and producer Raphael Saadiq – but due to shifting priorities at the major label, the set was shelved and is only now finally seeing the light of day! Despite the wait, though, the album bristles with electricity and has a totally fresh sound – bubbling over with the warmth and soul of the best Saadiq production work of the time, and hitting a vibe that's almost in the same mode as his own recent Ray Ray recordings. But even more charming are the talents of Otis & Shugg – two down-to-earth vocalists who work in a style that's nicely free of cliche, and which really shows them setting a tone that would be followed by many other make singers in the Neo Soul years to come. Titles include "Right On Track", "Fantasy", "If You Want It", "My First Mistake", "Round & Round", "Indiana", "This Is My Phone Call", and "Something Inside Of Me". CD

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New Patrice RushenShout It Out (with bonus track) ... CD
Prestige/Soul Brother (UK), 1976. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A pivotal record for Patrice Rushen – a set that has her really tightening up the groove from previous albums on Prestige – heading much more towards the focused soul-drenched grooves of her Elektra Records years! The set's a stunner – still very much with the hip, west coast funky fusion vibe of Rushen's roots – but even groovier overall, with loads of massive cuts that hold up beautifully over the years – and which still show a side of Patrice that's much different than her later hits. Titles include the classic cuts "The Hump", "Stepping Stones", and "Shout It Out" – all perfect jazz funk gems in the best Prestige/Fantasy mode of the mid 70s – and other tracks include "Roll With The Punches", "Let There Be Funk", "Let Your Heart Be Free", "Yolon", and "Sojourn". This Soul Brother UK edition includes a bonus single verion of "Let Your Heart Be Free". CD

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New VariousGet Down Boogie Sound – The Hidden Sound Of Black America ... CD
BGP (UK), Early 80s. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Great grooves from the post-disco years – music from the time when the sound of the clubs went back to the underground after the failure of the mainstream – and produced a lot of great music in the process! Most of the work here is in a mode that's come to be called boogie over the years – upbeat and funky soul, done with a style that's tighter than disco, and a lot less excessive too – with plenty of great basslines and simple rhythms at the bottom, sweet keyboards in the middle, and some mighty soaring vocals over the top! The package brings together obscure singles from the Fantasy, Posse, and Vanguard labels – and features some of the lesser-known acts who were recording for the companies at the time – turning out cuts that still sound mighty darn fresh all these years later. Titles include "Dance So Fine" by Nijel, "Get Up An Dance" by Mynk, "That's A Lady" by Shock, "Sweet Thing" by Convertion, "I Love Music" by JT, "Give It Up (extended mix)" by Sylvester, "Body Moves" by Rare Essence, "Project Funk" by Eazy, "Eletrophonic Phunk" by Shock, "Pastel" by Marlon McClain, and "Sureyoureright" by Steptoe. CD
 
 
 



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