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Jazzy Jeff

 

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Possible matches: 3
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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

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Jeff LorberIt's A Fact ... CD
BMG/Wounded Bird, 1981. New Copy ... $10.99 11.98
Jeff Lorber shows his equal talents for jazz and soul on this one – working in a tight blend of keyboard and guitar electric funk – one that's perfect for the occasional vocal part! The core sound is fusion, but done in a way that works nicely off of the R&B-tinged experiments of the 70s – taking lessons learned from Donald Byrd, Herbie Hancock, and The Crusaders – in order to come up with a jazzy groove that's also pretty appealing to fans of modern soul! Vocals are from a hip trio of talents – Sylvia St James, Greg Walker, and Arnold McCuller – and titles include "Full Moon", "Tierra Verde", "Your Love Has Got Me", "Always There", "Delevans", and "The Magicians". CD

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New VariousWithout Limits Presented By The Modern Soul Collective ... CD
Outta Sight (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Massive modern soul – hand-picked by the UK's Modern Soul Collective with a sweet selection of classics and some especially nice overlooked gems! The groove here is smooth, but never sleepy – upbeat, but not really disco – and instead that great blend of modes that really characterized the modern soul sound of the late 70s and early 80s! The package is designed as a follow-up to the previous No Boundaries collection, but we honestly dig it even more than that one – and the CD features a few more recent cuts mixed in with the older classics too. Titles include "You're Messing Up A Good Thing" by Heywood Cash, "Looks Like Rain" by Main Ingredient, "We Need Love" by Directions Band, "The Magic That You Do" by The Realistics, "Too Many People (Blacksmith dancehall mix)" by Pauline Henry, "Can You Feel My Love" by Khemistry, "I'll Be True" by Cookie Woodson, "Under Construction" by Al Supersonic & The Teenagers, "In The City" by Jesse Gomez & SWB, "Rough Out Here" by The Modulations, "Strip Me Naked" by Love Peace & Happiness, and "Make It Last" by DJ Jazzy Jeff with Ayah. CD
 
Partial matches: 2
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New Oscar Brown Jr.Sin & Soul (And Then Some) ... CD
Columbia/Legacy, 1960. New Copy ... $5.99 6.99
Trend-setting vocal work from Oscar Brown Jr – one of the hippest singers of his generation, and a vocalist who really took things to the next level in the 60s! Brown's got a sound that's partially influenced by the vocalese of Eddie Jefferson, Jon Hendricks, and other singers of the 50s – but his groove here is also a bit more fluid and lyrical too – thanks to some great lyrics penned by Oscar, some of which went on to become classics over the years. Like his predecessors, many of the tunes chosen by Brown got their start as jazz instrumentals, but sparkle anew here with fresh lyrics that really liven them up a lot – tales of sin and soul and a lot more, often delivered with a good sense of wit. Titles include great vocal versions of "Dat Dere", "Work Song", and "Afro-Blue", plus some of his great original compositions, like "Brown Baby", "But I Was Cool", and "Rags and Old Iron". The arrangements are great, with a nice jazzy sound – and the group includes the excellent Floyd Morris on piano! CD features 5 bonus tracks that include "Straighten Up & Fly Right", "Forbidden Fruit", "World Of Grey", "Mr Kicks", and "Hazel's Hips". CD

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Al JarreauMy Old Friend – Celebrating George Duke ... CD
Concord, 2014. New Copy ... $16.99 18.98
Al Jarreau pays tribute to the great George Duke – on a set that's got the same sort of collaborative vibe as some of Duke's classics from the 70s and 80s! Al's lead vocals are superb – and they're given some great jazzy touches with production by Stanley Clarke, Boney James, Marcus Miller, and John Burk – a warm gentle glide that not only has that old Jarreau magic hitting perfectly, just like the old days – but which also allows plenty of space for guest work from Gerald Albright, Dianne Reeves, Marcus Miller, Lalah Hathaway, Jeffrey Osborne, Kelly Price, Dr John, and Boney James! Duke himself also makes an appearance on one track – and most tracks are classics by George himself, but given a really fresh update here. Titles include "Someday", "My Old Friend", "Bring Me You", "You Touch My bRain", "Sombossa", "Sweet Baby", "Every Reason To Smile/Wings Of Love", and "Brazilian Love Afair/Up From The Sea It Arose & Ate Rio In One Swift Bite". CD
 
 
 
 



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