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Special Ed

 

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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Ed MottaAOR (English version with bonus tracks) ... CD
Dwitza/Tummy Touch, 2013. New Copy ... $11.99 12.99
Tremendous work from Ed Motta – a record that not only lives up to all the promise we've found in his music over the years – but which also goes way way beyond, and really knocks it out of the park! The title here is no lie, as Ed's a huge fan of AOR modes from the 70s – especially those magical sounds from the west coast that perfectly blended jazz, soul, and pop with sweet studio perfection – an approach he goes for wonderfully here, with results that are even better than we expected! Motta's always had soul music at his core, but has professed a strong love for Steely Dan over the years – and this set's a sublime balance of both modes – especially on this English version, where Ed's lyrics are able to reach American ears that have never been able to fully appreciate his genius. Everything about the album is totally right, and totally great – an instant classic set that should get Motta's music out to generations of fans for generations to come. The set features guest work from David T Walker and Bluey of Icognito – and titles include "Playthings Of Luv", "Simple Guy", "Lost In The Night", "Smile", "1978", "AOR", "Dried Flowers", and "Dondi". Includes two special US bonus tracks – "Marta (alt piano solo)" and "Mais Do Que Eu Sei". CD
(Autographed by Ed Motta!)

Possible matches2
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New Teddy CharlesSalute To Hamp ... CD
Bethlehem/Solid (Japan), 1958. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A salute to Lionel Hampton, but one that goes way past the usual – thanks to a very hip group led by vibist Teddy Charles! Teddy made lots of great records in the 50s, and this is definitely one of them – a batch of tunes associated with Hamp, but played here by a modernist hardbop lineup that includes Art Farmer on trumpet, Zoot Sims on tenor, and Bob Brookmeyer on trombone – all players who really help add their voices to the music in wonderful ways, with some especially rich tonal colors that sound great next to Teddy's vibes. The rhythm section is mighty sweet too – with Addison Farmer on bass and Ed Thigpen on drums – keeping the grooves past another Hamp rehash – and titles include "Midnight Sun", "He's Gone Again", "Stardust", "Blue Hamp", "Moonglow", and "Air Mail Special". CD
 
Partial matches: 201
Partial matches3
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Barry AltschulFor Stu ... CD
Soul Note (Italy), 1979. New Copy ... $8.99 16.99
An album dedicated to the late drummer Stu Martin – and a set that features some very dynamic drum work from longtime friend Barry Altschul! The album has Altschul really hitting some new notes in his music – stepping off with a bit more dynamic energy than some of his other 70s recordings, working with a group that has a nicely elastic feel – able to change sounds and shapes at the drop of a hat! Other quartet members include Anthony Davis on piano, Ray Anderson on trombone, and Rick Rozie on bass – and the trombone of Anderson is especially great here, adding in a sense of warmth, and almost playfulness at points. Titles include "Drum Role", "Sleepwalker", "For Stu", and a version of the Mingus classic "Orange Was The Color Of Her Dress Then Silk Blues". CD
(Official pressing of the CD, with full artwork – not the CDr pressing found at other online retailers.)

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Fred Anderson, Hamid Drake, K Jordan & W Parker2 Days In April ... CD
Eremite, 1994. New Copy 2 CDs ... $24.99 29.99
Two great days in April – each featuring some very free improvisation from a group that includes Fred Anderson and Kidd Jordan on tenors, William Parker on bass, and Hamid Drake on drums – a quartet with boundless energy, and a really rich sense of each other's place within the sound! The first day features a performance from Amherst, and a relatively fiery one at that – with these unbridled sounds from all players, and some especially tremendous saxophone lines from Anderson and Jordan – often soaring out together, but with a very individual sense of space. The second day is slightly more measured – a Cambridge performance that has some nice solo spots for each player. Both dates are very well-recorded – and packaged in the usual high Eremite standard! CD

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Marisa AndersonMercury ... CD
Mississippi/Important Records, 2013. New Copy ... $14.99
Lovely instrumental work from Marisa Anderson – guitar sounds both acoustic and electric, played in a style that's certainly folksy – but often a bit less traditional than you might expect! There's these cool darker tones around the edges here – a quality that maybe starts with John Fahey, but also echoes some of the more simply expressive solo guitar work of the post-punk generation – especially on the electrified numbers that let the fuzz ring out around the edges, and really help the tunes take shape. The album's quite unique, and very different than most of the contemporary guitar underground – and titles include "The New Country", "Sinks & Rises", "Galax", "Red Sky", "Embudo", "Trinity", "Mojave", and "Furnace Creek". CD

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New Steve ArringtonSteve Arrington – Way Out 80 to 84 ... CD
Atlantic/Tummy Touch, Early 80s. New Copy 2CD ... $16.99 18.99
Fantastic funky soul from Steve Arrington – the drummer who got his start in Slave, then really exploded on his own with a host of great records in the 80s! This batch of tracks is from those key initial solo years – and the set not only features all the key cuts that Steve recorded for Atlantic, but also includes a number of never-heard jams that are from the same vintage, and issued here for the first time ever! Arrington's music has been out on the reissue market before, but never in a format that's as well-chosen, well-packed, and well-thought out as this one. Previously unreleased tracks include "Funk & Roll Junky", "Why", and "Mysterious Woman" – and other tracks include "Way Out", "Weak At The Knees", "Positive Power", "What Do You Want From Me", "Beddie Biey", "Hump To The Bump", "Without Your Love", "Tribute To John Coltrane", "Sugar Mama Baby", "Special FX From Mars", and "Summertime Lovin". CD

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ArtisticsLook Out ... CD
Brunswick/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... $21.99
Heavenly group soul from The Artistics – a quartet who already sounded great on the Chicago scene of the 60s – but who really opened up into something special with records like this! The group's harmonies were well forged on early upbeat groovers – which means that here, when they're kicking back a bit more they really take off – mixing voices and leads in this way that easily rivals the best east coast groups of the period – and which gets some massive kick at the bottom from the team of Sonny Sanders and Willie Henderson – both of whom bring in a gentle funk to some of the best numbers. Titles include their seminal "I Want You To Make My Life Over" – a cut that we never tire of hearing – plus "Being In Love", "If You Had A Change Of Mind", "Don't You Know That I Love You", "She's Heaven", "Look Out I'm Gonna Get You", and "This Love Is Mine". CD

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New Dorothy AshbyDorothy's Harp ... CD
Cadet (Japan), 1969. New Copy ... $13.99
One of the grooviest Dorothy Ashby albums of the 60s – a set that has her already-great jazz work on harp backed by Chicago soul arrangements from Richard Evans – all in a blend that's somewhere in the territory of the Soulful Strings, but even groovier! And as an added bonus, Odell Brown even plays a bit of Fender Rhodes on the record – which sounds especially great! Both Ashby and Evans are at the height of their powers here – mixing together bits of jazz, soul, and trippier elements in a sublime late 60s Cadet Records blend – one that's carried off perfectly on the original tunes "Truth Spoken Here", "Tornado", "Cause I Need It", and "Just Had To Tell Somebody" – but which also sounds great on some of the album's cool covers too! Other titles include Brazilian numbers "Reza" and "Canto De Ossanha" – both of which are transformed in Dorothy's hands – plus "This Girl's In Love", "By the Time I Get to Phoenix", and "Windmills of Your Mind"! CD

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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

Partial matches10
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AztecaAzteca (plus bonus tracks) ... CD
Columbia/Big Break (UK), 1972. New Copy ... $14.99
A crowning moment for the west coast Latin scene in the 70s – a wonderful Bay Area set that brings together some of the best talents working on that scene at the time! The set's got a great blend of modes – Latin soul, touches of funk, and plenty of the jazzy inflections you'd expect from a lineup that includes Coke Escovedo on timbales, Paul Jackson on bass, Lenny White on drums, George Muribus on Fender Rhodes, Tom Harrell on trumpet, and Victor Pantoja on congas! Vocals are by Pete Escovedo – who brings in a heady soulful sound to the set – and the vibe is a bit like work by Malo or El Chicano, but even more jazz-based overall! Titles include "Peace Everybody", "Empty Prophet", "Can't Take The Funk Out Of Me", "Azteca", "Ah! Ah!", and "Mamita Linda". CD features two bonus tracks – single versions of "Mamita Linda" and "Ain't Got No Special Woman". CD

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AztecaPyramid Of The Moon (with bonus track) ... CD
Columbia/Big Break (UK), 1973. New Copy ... $14.99
A really special record from a really special group – one of two sublime 70s gems from Azteca – a wicked blend of jazz, funk, Latin, and soul – all put together by a young Coke Escovedo! Coke's ostensibly the leader of the group, but there's also a richly collaborative feel going on – a style that brings together jazz players like Tom Harrell on trumpet, Mel Martin on saxes, George Muribus on Fender Rhodes, and Flip Nunez on organ – and Latin players like Victor Pantoja on congas, Coke Escovedo on timbales, and Pete Escovedo on added percussion. In fact, the set's a key early example of the strength of the Escovedo family – and like their best later efforts, the set really stretches out and pushes the boundaries of conventional genres. There's also some great guest work from Lenny White on drums, Mike Nock on keyboards, and Neal Schon on guitars – and vocals are by a range of singers who really keep things fresh. Titles include "Red Onions", "Mazatlan", "Whatcha Gonna Do", "Mexicana, Mexicana", and "Love Is A Stranger". CD also features a bonus single mix of "Whatcha Gonna Do". CD

Partial matches12
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Paulo BaguncaPaulo Bagunca E A Tropa Maldita ... CD
Continental/Discos Mariposa (Argentina), 1973. New Copy ... $9.99
A Brazilian underground classic from the early 70s – mindblowing work that mixes heavy percussion with lots of guitar – in a style that's samba soul one minute, but heavier rock the next! There's a bit of a Jorge Ben influence going on at times – particularly in the way the record uses quickly-strummed acoustic guitar next to the earthy rhythms – but the overall sound is also a bit more fragile at times, and rougher around the edges, especially at its most expressive moments. But that quality only serves to make the album more striking – an instantly captivating set that needs no previous cultural knowledge at all! Really tremendous stuff – the kind of lost treasure that will have you scratching your head, but loving it at the same time! Titles include "Apelo", "Grinfa Louca", "A Mente", "Tramba", "Madalena", "Mensageiro", "Cristina", "Olhar Animal", and "Microfones Metalicos". CD

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BalojiKinshasa Succursale ... CD
Crammed (Belgium), 2011. New Copy ... $7.99 13.98
One of the most compelling combinations of global styles we've heard in awhile – a great second set from Belgian-Congolese artist Baloji! The set's got an unusual approach that's rooted in African instrumentation, run through European filters, and imbued with a bit of hip hop energy – particularly in Baloji's sharply-spoken lyrics – which are more bold messages than straight hip hop rhymes – especially set amidst some of the warmer, more flowing musical passages. The set features guest work from a wide range of talents – including Konono No.1, soukous stars Zaiko Langa Langa, American soul maverick Amp Fiddler, brass band Fanfare La Confiance, and the choir Choeur La Grace – all of whom leave their unique imprint on the set – creating a great sense of change as the music flows along. Titles include "Tshena Ndekela", "De L'Autre Cote De La Mere", "Genese 89", "Kesho", "Tout Ceci Ne Vous Rendra Pas Le Congo", "Nazongi Ndako", and "Karibu Ya Bintou". CD

Partial matches14
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Harrison BankheadMorning Sun Harvest Moon ... CD
Engine, 2011. New Copy Gatefold ... $14.99 15.99
The debut as a leader from bassist Harrison Bankhead – long an important figure on the Chicago jazz scene as a sideman, really stepping forth here with a bold new vision of his own! The album's got a very free, open sort of vibe – definitely in the spirit of the AACM, but with some 70s spiritual touches too – especially once things get going, and some of the more rhythmic tracks take hold! The group features the great Ed Wilkerson on tenor, clarinet, and didgeridoo – sounding great, and returning a favor to Bankhead after the bassist's years in Wilkerson's groups. Other players include Mars Williams on saxes, James Sanders on violin, Avreeayl Ra on drums and percussion, and Ernie Adams on more percussion – a lineup that's equally well-suited to free improv numbers, and some of the more groove-oriented tracks. Titles include "Over Under Inside Out", "Chicago Senorita", "East Village", "Morning Sun/Harvest Moon", and "Flying Through Your Dreams". CD
(In a beautiful hand-pressed cover, too!)

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Ron BanksTruly Bad ... CD
Columbia/FTG, 1983. New Copy ... $13.99
One of the original Dramatics, singer Ron Banks strikes out here on his own – a slept on gem from the early 80s! The set's in a similar modern soul mode to LJ Reynolds, who also worked with him in the group, and was having a bit of a solo career of his own at the time. It's got sort of a D-Train feel to it – with classic male soul vocals over instrumentation that includes some slight electro touches, especially on keyboards and drum programs. Banks keeps the whole thing nice and soulful, thanks to some great vocal work, which you'll hear on the smooth mellow track "Let Love Flow", which has a beautiful down-tempo groove, and a nice two-step beat – plus the other mellow tracks like "Make It Easy On Yourself" and "You and Me". Uptempo club cuts include "Truly Bad", "Zap", and "She's So Good to Me". CD

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Ray BarrettoEye Of The Beholder/Can You Feel It ... CD
Atlantic/Expansion (UK), 1977/1978. New Copy ... $16.99
Two massive records from Ray Barretto – both from a time when he was really opening up his groove! Eye Of The Beholder is a really wonderful album from Barretto – more jazz fusion than his usual 70s salsa – but in a way that we really really love! The album's a crossover gem that has Ray working with Stix Hooper, Joe Sample, and Wilton Felder of The Crusaders – a trio who produced the record, and add in some of their instrumental help as well – which helps Ray find this bouncy, sometimes funky sort of groove – a sublime blend of LA fusion and New York Latin! There's still loads of great percussion from Barretto – but the set also has some wicked keyboards, guitar, and lots of jazzy inflections too. Titles include the killer cut "Here We Go Again" – a great midtempo number with a perfect steppers groove – plus the cuts "Tumbao Africano", "Leti", and "Expresso". Can You Feel It offers sweet sounds from the days when Fania Records was one of the greatest things going on the New York scene – and some of its key artists got a chance to work for other labels! This set's one of the best examples of that moment – as Ray Barretto steps out here in some sweet soulful territory for Atlantic Records – on an album that mixes his Latin roots with warmer soul backings that have the same sort of full, rich sound of the best Atlantic R&B of the time. Ray's conga is still part of the sound – especially on the funkier cuts – but the album's also got some strong soul vocals, too – sung by Prince Phillip Mitchell on one of the album's best cuts, and by Cissy Houston and Googie Coppola on a few others. Tracks include "Sting Ray", "Can You Feel It", "What Part Of Heaven Do You Come From", "Stargazer", and "Confrontation". CD

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Keith BarrowPhysical Attraction (with bonus tracks) ... CD
CBS/FTG, 1978. New Copy ... $15.99 16.98
A great secular set from Keith Barrow – a singer who started in gospel, but who's always been best-remembered for this modern soul gem from the 70s! Keith's got a great range to his vocals – one you can hear right from the start, as he dips and soars effortlessly with a quality that's clearly inspired by the spirit – but set here to some wicked smooth soul arrangements from Johnny Allen. The album's got a mix of clubby moments and some even better laidback cuts – and the set also features a few tunes penned by Ronn Matlock, an under-credited master of modern soul. Titles include "Turn Me Up", "Physical Attraction", "You Know You Want To Be Loved", "If It's Love That You're Looking For", "Garden Of Love", and "Free To Be Me". CD features bonus tracks – "Turn Me Up (special disco version)", "Turn Me Up (inst)", "Physical Attraction (12" mix)", and "You Know You Want To Be Loved (7" mix)". CD
Also available Physical Attraction ... LP 6.99

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Claudja BarrySweet Dynamite (plus bonus tracks) ... CD
Salsoul/Octave (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $21.99
An early hit for Salsoul Records – a set of extended European disco tracks, all building in a nice slow, layered sort of way – then remixed by Tom Moulton for the US dancefloor! The tunes have this instrumental structure that almost doesn't even need the vocals of Claudja Barry – especially the title track, which has this sweet-stepping keyboard line that's really beautiful – more of the hook of the tune than the lyrics themselves. Strings swirl stronger as the album moves on – and Claudja more than redeems herself on the cut "Dance Dance Dance", which is a nice bit of dancefloor funk that really stands out! The other cuts include "Live A Little Bit", "Sweet Dynamite", and "Love For The Sake Of Love". CD features bonus tracks – "It Takes Two", a duet with Ronnie Jones – plus single mixes of "Sweet Dynamite" and "This Taste Of Love". CD

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Robbie BashoZarthus ... CD
Vanguard (UK), 1974. New Copy ... $14.99
One of the trippiest records ever from Robbie Basho – in case you couldn't guess from the striking cover image! The set's a blend of Basho's sublime work on guitar – very much in the John Fahey side of the spectrum – and more Eastern-styled elements from Ramnad V Raghavan, who plays mrdangam on all tracks – creating these captivating rhythmic pulses alongside Basho's guitar! Basho also sings and plays a bit of piano – both very eerie, and very unusual – especially on the last track on the record, which takes up almost all of side two, and has an almost Gurdjieff sort of vibe. Titles include "Zarthus", "Khalil Gibran", "Bride Divine", "Rhapsody In Druz", and "Mehera". CD

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Les BaxterHouse Of Usher ... CD
Intrada, 1960. New Copy ... $19.99
A surprisingly complex score from the great Les Baxter – written for Roger Corman's famous film version of The Fall Of The House Of Usher! The music is quite lush at times – more orchestral than some of the Baxter exotica from the same period, but still filled with lots of great little twists and turns – especially as the narrative moves on – that ear for odd sounds and unusual tunings that made Les one of the real standouts of his generation! There's lots of weird watery passages, moody reed tones, and offbeat string sounds – and this great reissue features remastered sound and a full booklet of notes. Titles include "Madeline Usher", "Roderick Usher", "Buried Alive", "Catalepsy", "Pallbearers", and "The Ancestors". CD

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Beginning Of The EndBeginning Of The End (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Alston/Creole Stream (Japan), 1976. New Copy ... $24.99
One of the rarest funky records of all time – the hard-to-find second album by Beginning Of The End! This West Indian combo hit it big with their first album on Alston, but this second set, for some strange reason, never really got distributed – which is a damn shame, because it's every bit as funky as their first! The uniquely choppy rhythms of the group's first album are every bit as great here as on the first set – and if anything, the band's instrumentation is even better, especially on the guitar, which is wickedly tight, and played with a super-dope flanged-out approach on the solos. Vocals are great too, maybe even more soulful than before, especially on the album's few midtempo cuts – and the album's a must-have for any fan of the group's funky sound! Titles include "That's What I Get", "Super Woman", "Bluestrain", "Jump In The Water", "Falling Apart At The Seams", and "Trip To Nowhere". CD
Also available Beginning Of The End ... LP 9.99

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Madeline Bell/Themes International Rhythm SectionVoice Of Soul/Sound Of Soul ... CD
Themes/Vocalion (UK), 1976. New Copy ... $16.99
Two wonderfully soulful albums from the Themes International sound library label – back to back on a single CD! The Voice Of Soul is a rare date from singer Madeline Bell – a vocalist who cut some key commercial work in the late 60s and 70s UK scene, but who shines beautifully on this rare set for the sound library! The tunes are all vocal, with Madeline in the lead – and the overall feel is a bit like Bell's This Is The One Girl set from the mid 70s – but with a leaner feel overall, thanks to the relatively small combo backing up the vocals. And although the record was never issued publicly at the time, it's a killer batch of mellow soul from the 70s – great vocals sliding along with the keyboards, and quite possibly Bell's finest moment on wax. Titles include "Your Smile", "You're A Winner", "Love Doctor", "Soul Slap", "Flying High", "Mr Smooth Man", and "Love Is All". The Sound Of Soul is all instrumental – classic set of soulful sound library tracks – lots of sweet keyboards, guitar, basslines, and other nice bits – one of the best of the titles on the Themes library label during the 70s, and with loads of great tracks by Alan Parker! The overall style is especially in the cop show mode – with tight production, but lots of hard riffing funk – and titles include "Move & Shake Your Body", "Love Doctor", "Soul Slap", "Crumpet", "Flying High", "Mr Smooth Man", and "Love Is All". CD

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New William BellDuets ... CD
Stax, Late 60s/Early 70s. New Copy ... $5.99 11.98
William Bell was one of Stax's first great male singers, prefacing Otis Redding by a few years with his initial recordings for the label. However, what's not as well known is the fact that Bell also recorded some excellent duets for Stax – all of which were only ever issued as singles, until this tasty CD set, which compiles 10 of those duets, plus 3 more solo sides. Bell's sophisticated vocals were perfect for the format – as he was sort of the Marvin Gaye to Stax's Motown-esque lineup of girls that included Judy Clay, Mavis Staples, and Carla Thomas. Titles include the sublime "Private Number", plus "Love-Eye-Tis", "All I Have To Do Is Dream", "My Baby Specializes", "Left Over Love", "I Can't Stop", and "Lonely Soldier". CD

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David BerkmanLive At Smalls ... CD
Smalls Live, 2014. New Copy ... $11.99 15.99
A great live date in the excellent Smalls series – and a wonderful group outing not just for pianist David Berkman, but for trumpeter Tom Harrell as well! Tom gets a lot of room to really open up and solo beautifully on the record – in ways that are quite different than his own studio work in recent years, and which really take us back to the qualities in Harrell's music we first fell in love with years ago! Berkman's got an inventive touch on the piano – sometimes angular but tight, sometimes more spacious – and the group also features Ed Howard on bass and Jonathan Blake on drums. All tracks are nice and long, and the Berkman originals are especially great for both his piano and Harrell's trumpet – titles that include "Ghost Wife", "Small Wooden Housekeeper", and "For Kenny" – nestled alongside versions of "Body & Soul" and "Sweet & Lovely". CD

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Bebo Best & Super Lounge OrchestraSaronno On The Rocks ... CD
Chin Chin (Italy), 2011. New Copy ... $8.99 15.98
One of the tightest records to date from Bebo Best – a set that's still awash in cool 60s influences from lounge, bossa, and soundtracks – but which also comes across with an even more spontaneous spirit! There's still a fair bit of programs in the rhythms, and lots of cool sound samples too – but at points, you almost get the feel that the group's jamming live, especially on some of the more Latin-styled numbers. Titles give a good idea of the flavor of the set – and include "Havana Jazz Dance", "Chill Radio Bossa", "Dakiri Bossa Dance", "Jazz Carnival", "Saronno On The Rocks", and "Mambo & Cola". CD

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New Maria BethaniaLove Letter (aka Carta De Amor) ... CD
Biscoito Fino/DRG, 2013. New Copy ... $15.99 17.98
Right from the start, Maria Bethania showed herself as an artist who could almost shine better in a live setting than a studio one – from her early records, to famous albums that helped define the sound of MPB, to recent gems like this one – which has the singer still very much at the height of her powers! Maria's got this commanding presence that makes us hang upon each and every word – yet she also finds a way to never push things too far, or ever sound like she's forcing her emotion – a quality that may well come from the album's backings from Wagner Tiso, who gives Bethania the same sort of quiet drama he brought to Milton Nascimento's music back in the 70s. The passage of years have done nothing to hold back Maria's tremendous vocals! Special 2CD set features both of the single volumes from Brazil – and titles include "Cancoes E Momentos", "Sangrando", "Salmo", "Na Primeira Manha", "Maria Maria", "Cais", "Calunia", "A Dona Do Raio E Do Vento", "Fera Ferida", "Festa", "Lua Branca", "Viola Meu Bem", "Carta De Amor", "Minha Senhora", "Mensagem", and "Quixabeira Reconvexo". CD

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Bio RitmoPuerta Del Sur ... CD
Vampi Soul (Spain), 2014. New Copy Gatefold ... $16.99
One of the coolest contemporary combos in the Latin scene – a group who bristle with all the fire of a classic New York or Puerto Rican ensemble – and one who really keep the salsa dura flag flying high! Almost every cut here is a winner – just the kind of heavy-hitting gems that you'd only find here and there on a classic Fania album – packed together on this release to make this record one hell of a cooker all the way through! Instrumentation is relatively classic – in a trumpet/trombone 70s salsa style – but there's some unusual touches from time to time, the kind of compelling inflections the group's using to make the music their own – especially as they get more confident over the years. Titles include "Pajaro Pio Pio", "Codeina", "Se Les Olvido", "La Via", "Picaresca", and "Motocilengua". CD
Also available Puerta Del Sur ... CD 11.99

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Jane BirkinLolita Go Home ... CD
Fontana (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... $13.99
Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin take Jane's ever-growing trash rock aesthetic into the Euro club world of the 70s – and the result is an insane batch of tracks that are among Birkin's craziest work of the decade! She sings with an incredibly deadpan style – as you'll hear especially on the English-language versions of "What Is This Thing Called Love" and "Where Or When" – and the arrangements by J-P Sabar have a spare electric quality that work perfectly with Jane's flat voice. A real oddity, but the kind of oddity that kept Birkin a compelling artist throughout her career – and proof that style goes a lot farther than substance in the world of Euro pop! Tunes are almost all originals written by Serge Gainsbourg – and titles include "French Graffiti", "Just Me & You", "La Fille Aux Claquettes", and "Rien Pour Rien". CD

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Walter Bishop, Jr.Keeper Of My Soul ... CD
Black Jazz/Snow Dog (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... $13.99 18.99
One of Walter Bishop's greatest records – an amazing session that's as funky as it is spiritual – and quite different than most of Bishop's other work! The vibe here is wonderful – as Bish plays a host of keyboards, not just piano – and works in the company of other players who include Ronnie Laws on reeds, Gerald Brown on bass, Woody Murray on vibes, and Shakur M Abdulla on percussion – a beautiful mix of cats who help Walter carry off some of his hippest recordings of the time! The use of vibes is especially nice alongside the electric piano – and titles include a great take on Bishop's classic "Soul Village", done here in a nice funky version – plus a version of "Summertime" with Bishop on organ, and the titles "Sweet Rosa", "Those Who Chant", and "N'Dugu's Prayer". CD

Partial matches30
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Jo BissoLove Somebody ... CD
Marlin/Henry Stone, 1977. New Copy ... $6.99 12.99
Disco grooves, but with a definite difference – given that Jo Bisso had previously worked on the Parisian club scene, and brings a special flourish to this American album from the late 70s! Jo sings lead vocals on the side-long "Love Somebody" – a tune that builds strongly as Bisso gets answered by a trio of lovely ladies who really brighten up the sound – and who then seem to take over even more on the flipside working with singer Claudia Ferrari. This second side is even better than the first – as things get a bit more spare and stripped-down – snaking out on the smooth stepper "Your Love", getting some funky moogy touches on the P&P-like "Let's Keep It Together", and warming up on the mellow disco number "Thank You Baby". Special bonus – CD features a fifth track – not titled or credited at all! CD

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Black HeatNo Time To Burn ... CD
Atlantic (UK), 1974. New Copy ... $16.99
A stone classic from Black Heat – the group's second album, and even tighter than their first! The group's size has dropped a bit between albums – but that only helps them cook even more – dropping a bit of the horn section from before, which allows even more emphasis on their razor-sharp rhythms! There's a slight hint of Afro Funk in some of the rhythms – and the keyboards cook with lots of sweet clavinet lines – mixed with a production style that features some bubbling electronic elements that remind us a lot of that crazy "magic bag" that was used by the Lafayette Afro-Rock Band. That group might be a good point of comparison, but the band also shares a lot of Kool & The Gang's ensemble funk style – especially on their cover of "Love The Life You Live" – which they burn here beautifully! Other tracks include "Super Cool", "M&M's", "Rapid Fire", "You Should Have Listened", "Times Have Changed", and "Check It All Out". CD

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Black SheepWolf In Sheep's Clothing ... CD
Mercury, 1991. New Copy ... $4.99 5.98
A Native Tongues classic from 1991 – one that sounded great way back when, and has held up beautifully over the years – and rightly considered amongst the greatest hip hop albums ever! Wolf In Sheep's Clothing is playful rap at it's best, with funky and and funny cuts galore – but the title is apt, as the wit is pretty sharply barbed – especially when they're skewering hardcore and gangsta cliches. It's as brilliant as ever. Includes the massive "Flavor Of The Month", "Similak Child", "Pass The 40", "To Whom It May Concern", "Butt In The Meantime", "Strobelite Honey", "Are You Mad?", "Blunted", "For Doz That Slept" and more. CD
Also available Wolf In Sheep's Clothing (2LP pressing) ... LP 22.99

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Ran BlakeRan Blake Plays Solo Piano ... CD
ESP, 1965. New Copy ... $10.99 12.99
Really amazing early work from pianist Ran Blake – an artist who's continued to blow our minds in more recent years, but who sounds especially outstanding hear in an early session for the ESP label! The album's quite different from some of the freer, bolder music you'd normally associate with ESP – as Ran plays solo here, with a style that's very poetic – although still quite open-ended and free, with a fair bit of improvisation as well. The shift of tones alone is mindblowing – almost beyond anything you might expect to come from the piano, yet without any of the heavier-handed modes of a player like Cecil Taylor. Original material is mixed with very vivid re-workings of jazz standards – and titles include "Vanguard", "Sister Tee", "Eric", "Stratusphunk", "On Green Dolphin Street", and "Lonely Woman". CD

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Bobby Blue BlandTwo Steps From The Blues (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Duke, 1961. New Copy ... $4.99 9.98
An incredible record from Bobby Blue Bland – and quite possibly the greatest one he ever made! The set's got an amazing something special that's unlike most other material of the time – a bit blues, but a lot of soul too – still with some echoes of R&B in the jazzier charts used for the backdrop, but presented with a rock-solid style that definitely points the way towards many sounds and styles to come in the 60s. And although Bland recorded many of these tracks as separate singles, there's a way they're put together here that makes the whole thing sound completely marvelous together – a really well-conceived track list that shows that Bobby's an even greater artist in the space of a full record. The arrangements are perfect, and Bobby's rough soulful voice is blended in this amazing way with killer horn arrangements that are far more sophisticated than most stuff that ever came after this, and which never get in the way, but only back up his deep emotion. The album's a motherlode of classics by the man, with gems that include "Two Steps From The Blues", "Cry Cry Cry", "I Don't Want No Woman", "I'm Not Ashamed", "Don't Cry No More", "Lead Me On", and "I Pity The Fool". And hell, even his version of "St James Infirmary" is pretty wonderful – something we never thought we'd say about that song. CD
Also available Two Steps From The Blues ... LP 9.99

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Blaze25 Years Later ... CD
Motown (Japan), 1990. New Copy ... $13.99
A fantastic bit of soul and house that was woefully overlooked at the time of its release – and one of our favorite albums of the past 25 years! The Blaze production team had been hitting the underground club scene hard for a few years with their raw New Jersey house singles – then Motown grabbed them in the studio, and had them cut this classic album of soul tracks that pays homage to a set of greats that runs from Leroy Hutson, to Donnie Hathaway, to Norman Harris, and a host of others – all with a sense of soulfulness and depth that goes way past their standard work for the clubs! The dancefloor tracks are great, but the album's also got some wonderfully mellow moments too – with tracks that include "So Special", "We All Must Live Together", "Missing You", and "Get Up". The CD version has the added bonus of being a bit of a "mini-opera" – with spoken bits that have a narrative quality, linking the tracks together in a way that didn't occur with the LP. CD

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Blue NotesBefore The Wind Changes ... CD
Ogun (UK), 1979. New Copy ... $14.99
A lost treasure – never-issued material from the legendary Blue Notes combo – and a set that really helps fill some space in their all-too-small recorded catalog! The set captures the group at the end of the 70s, working in their most openly-creative mode – a style that partly shows their strong roots in the South African jazz scene of the 60s, but which also really opens up with some of the freer modes of the following decade – hitting a mix of modes that's not unlike some of the AACM at their best, although often with a lot more intensity, too! The group at this point is a quartet – with Chris McGregor on piano, Johnny Dyani on bass, Louis Moholo on drums, and Dudu Pukwana on some especially amazing alto sax – blown with such righteous force, we might well say that his instrument is center stage on the record – were it not for the wonderfully complex rhythms from the other three group members too! Tracks are long, and filled with righteous soul – and titles inlcude "Ithi Gui", "Mange", "Lonta Uyagula", "Lakutshonga Ilanga", "The Bride", and "Funk Dem Dudu". CD

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Blue BeatsBeatle Beat ... CD
Rock Beat, Mid 60s. New Copy ... $11.99 12.98
Not The Beatles, but a group who are trying to cash in on their fame – by showing a monstrous Beatle wig on the cover of the album, covering a horde of dancers – and by playing a whole host of instrumentals with a nod to the Brit Invasion! We're guessing the Blue Beats were some American studio combo – as the overall project doesn't have a real UK sound – and they've definitely got their chops, especially on the guitar lines – which are recorded with a nice dose of echo and a good deal of twang, and mixed in with stomping rhythms and the occasional keyboard line. Titles include "The Chocolate Pudding Slop", "The Swingin Spiders' Bo Diddley", "The Fat Kings' Twist", "The Broken Egg Frug", "The Cold Mashed Potato", and "The Big Shoe Twist". CD
Also available Beatle Beat ... LP 18.99

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Francy BolandFrancy Boland Playing With The Trio ... CD
Rearward (Italy), 1967. New Copy ... $14.99
One of the few small group recordings ever cut by pianist Francy Boland – and a set that cooks every bit as much as his work with the larger Clarke Boland Big Band on MPS! The reason for the cooking is clear – Francy's got key rhythmic help from group members Jimmy Woode on bass and Kenny Clarke on drums – players who are way more than just partners with Boland on the session – more musical soulmates, especially from a rhythmic perspective – and able to work at that unique Clarke Boland level that's both lyrical and swinging, soulful and modern! The tunes are played in this way that really shows off Boland's skills on the keys – but never in a style that's flashy, just fresh and filled with surprising tones and twists – backed superbly by Woode and Clarke. Titles include "The Girl & The Turk", "Gamal Sady'N'Em", "Night Lady", "Myriam Doll", "I'm All Smiles", "Lonely Girl", and "Nights In Warsaw". CD

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BombersBombers (with bonus tracks) ... CD
West End/Octave (Japan), 1978. New Copy ... $22.99
One of the more guitar-driven groups on the West End label at the end of the 70s – an outfit with a really great approach to cutting longer dancefloor grooves! Tracks on the album have a nice tight feel that's echoed strongly by the guitar and keyboard work on the tracks – not as spacey as you might think from the sci-fi cover of the record, but still with a strong cosmic groove nonetheless! The album includes the legendary break cut "The Mexican", served up here in a full version that's nearly 12 minutes long, and which has lots of nice congas and guitars! Other titles include "Main Man", "Don't Stop The Music", and "Super Max". CD features some nice bonus tracks – including "The Mexican (Paul Poulos 12" special disco rmx)", "Dance Dance Dance (Paul Poulos 12" special disco rmx)", and "Don't Stop The Music (original single)". CD
Also available Bombers ... LP 9.99

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BossacucanovaOur Kind Of Bossa ... CD
Six Degrees, 2014. New Copy ... $13.99 14.98
Bossacucanova serve up the kind of bossa they do best – a sweet mix of classic instrumentation and contemporary touches – but they also work here with some great help from a rich array of guest artists, all of whom really help the trio to deepen their sound! The vocalists are especially important – a mix of older and modern singers that includes Wilson Simoninha, Marial Rita, Elza Soares, Emilio Santiago, Cris Delanno, Moska, and Teresa Cristina – working alongside guest instrumentation from Oscar Castro Neves on guitar, David Feldman on piano, and Roberto Menescal on guitar – all players who are really respected by the group, and given plenty of room to shape the tunes. It's been awhile since we've heard from the trio, and the time has really helped them sharpen their sound – and continue to find a way to persist, where so many of their contemporaries have fallen away. Titles include "Adeus America", "Segure Tudo", "Ficar", "Deixa Pra La", "Rio De Inspiracao", "To Voltando", and "Waldomiro Pena". CD

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David BowieSound & Vision (4CD set) ... CD
Parlophone, Late 60s/1970s/1980s. New Copy 4CD ... $35.99 39.99
A sweet sweet collection of work from David Bowie – and a package that's heavy on rarities too – many of which only previously saw the light of day on bootlegs! The set's put together as an overview of Bowie's best years – but it's really more geared towards rabid fans like us – because although it includes some hits, and some 80s material, the best part of the set is the more obscure material – which makes it a must-have if you're looking to get past the well-known albums, especially if you don't have the early CD reissues, which included some of these tracks as bonus cuts. Great to see all this material back on the market again – and the set features 70 titles that include "Space Oddity (demo)", "Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud (b-side)", "London Bye Ta Ta (stereo)", "Round & Round (alt vocal)", "White Light White Heat (live)", "John I'm Only Dancing (sax version)", "The Bewlay Brothers", "Anyway Anyhow Anywhere", "Sorrow", "Don't Bring Me Down", "Rock N Roll Suicide (live)", "1984/Dodo", "Rebel Rebel (US single)", "It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City", "After Today", "Helden", "Goodbye Mr Ed", "Amalpura", "Pasllas Athena (gone midnight rmx)", "Cat People (album version)", "The Drowned Girl", "Baals' Hymn", "Breaking Glass (live 78)", "Station To Station (live)", "Suffragette City (live 74)", and "Cracked Actor (live 74)". CD

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David Boykin ExpanseLive At The Velvet Lounge ... CD
Sonic Healing Ministries, 2005. New Copy ... $6.99
"Expanse" is a mighty big name for the group that David Boykin uses on this record – especially given that the combo's only a quintet – but that's ok with us, because the sound here is more than large enough to warrant the name! Boykin's working with a great batch of players from the Chicago scene here – including frequent musical partner Nicole Mitchell on flute, sliding wonderfully alongside David's saxophones – plus Jim Baker on piano, Josh Abrams on bass, and Mike Reed on drums. The album features two longish tracks, both composed by Boykin with a vision that's freely expressive, yet never too free – a perfect balance that reigns things in wonderfully, and which shows him to be one of the key current heirs to a Chicago tradition that runs back to the early AACM and Sun Ra! Titles include "Nuance" and "47th Street Ghost". CD

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Bobby BradfordLove's Dream (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Emanem (UK), 1973. New Copy ... $16.99 19.99
Seminal sounds from cornet player Bobby Bradford – a date recorded in the UK in the early 70s, but with all the free-thinking and imaginative energy as his best sessions in LA! The group pits Bobby's horn against three young modernists – Trevor Watts on alto and soprano sax, Kent Carter on bass, and John Stevens on drums – all working in these long-flowing, very rhythmic numbers that lie somewhere between Bradford's work with John Carter, and the early 60s sound of Ornette Coleman. The alto/cornet interplay is especially nice – very mesmerizing over the course of the album's very long tracks – and Watts turns out to be a great musical partner for Bobby. Titles include "Love's Dream", "Coming On", and "Roswita's Dance". CD features bonus tracks ""She", "HM Louis 1", and an alternate take of "Coming On". CD

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BreakawayBreakaway/Right On To The Top ... CD
Breakaway/BBE (UK), Late 70s. New Copy Gatefold ... $19.99
A pair of completely rare albums from Breakaway – a St Louis combo from the late 70s – with a groove that's equal part jazzy club and blue-eyed soul! Breakaway is the group's debut – recorded in 1977 with a surprisingly tight sound – especially given that the group were essentially a local club act who got the chance to record a bit in a local studio! The feel is very much in the best LA mode of the time, but maybe a bit looser too – with emphasis on some funky riffing from the male members of the group, plus sweet lead vocals from singer Kathy Newbry-Taylor – an artist who might have been pop, had she worked on the coasts – but who stretches her style nicely here. The album's been made famous by both On Track and Americana comps on BBE – and titles include "There's A New Group In Town", "Who Was It This Time", "Love My Eyes", "Understudy DJ", "Everything's Been Said About You", and "My Symphony". Right On To The Top is the second set from Breakaway – and the album already shows a great deal of growth – especially in the territory of rhythm! Breakaway have definitely dug some of the best club modes from the New York scene – and work here in a jazzy disco style that's filled with sweet keyboard lines alongside the female lead vocals – all with a vibe that's nicely stripped-down, and still lives up to the indie spirit of the group. The set features some guest work on horns, which nicely expands the sound – and titles include "Straight On To The Top", "You Are Love", "Back & Forth", "There's A New Tree In The Forest", "Work With The Music", and "Breakaway". CD
Also available Breakaway (with bonus CD) ... LP 22.99

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Peter BrendlerOutside The Line ... CD
Posi tone, 2014. New Copy ... $11.99 16.99
Bassist Peter Brendler is at the helm of the set, but we're especially enamored of the trumpet work here – played by Peter Evans on both standard and piccolo trumpet – the latter of which has this wonderfully personal sound! Almost all tunes are originals from Brendler, who turns out to be a pretty great writer – and sets up these strong showcases for Evans' trumpet lines, which seem to leap right out front even before his solos – when he's still sharing the lead with tenorist Rich Perry. Perry's pretty great, too – but there's a freshness to Evans' phrasing that's really great – bold at some minutes, with lots of offbeat twists and turns – and more fragile and honest on the piccolo trumpet tunes. Drummer Vinnie Sperrazza completes the group – and titles include "Blackout Reunion", "Drop The Mittens", "The Darkness", "Blanket Statement", "Lawn Darts", and a surprisingly nice cover of "Walk On The Wild Side". CD

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Miquel BrownManpower/Close To Perfection – Disco Recharge ... CD
TSR/Harmless (UK), 1983/1985. New Copy 2CD ... $16.99
A pair of albums from Miquel Brown – plus lots of bonus tracks too! First up is plenty of Manpower from Miquel Brown– the Canadian club singer who scored big with the classic "So Many Man So Little Time" club cut in the early 80s – then followed it up with this full album of late disco grooves! Brown's vocal approach is in the higher side of the spectrum – and the cuts take off on the style of some of the Canadian disco modes for divas from a few years before – but feature some instrumentation that's a bit more 80s, especially in the keyboards and beats. There's a few older soul touches at times – and the album's produced by Ian Levine and arranged by co-producer Fiachra Trench – usually in a mode that's somewhat poppy and hook-heavy. Titles include "So Many Men So Little Time", "Manpower", "Beeline", "Sunny Day", "He's A Saint He's A Sinner", and "Maybe He Forgot". CD also features "So Many Men So Little Time (hot tracks Rob Kimble rmx)", "Beeline (Mike Mayberry 12" rmx)", and "So Many Men So Little Time (2009 metropolitan soul rmx)". Close To Perfection has Miquel Brown hitting more of an 80s groove than before – but still holding onto a few of her best disco elements – in the hands of the same production team as previous singles, but maybe also trying to reach for more contemporary club modes as well. Titles include "One Hundred Percent", "Learn The Lines Of Love", "White Lace", "The Easy Way Out", "Blind Date", and "Black Leather". CD also features "Black Leather (12" mix)", "Close To Perfection (M&M rmx)", and "Love Reputation (12" ext dance)". CD

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Sheree BrownMessages From The Heart – An Extention Of Love ... CD
Expansion (UK), 2013. New Copy ... $16.99
A positive, powerful set from the always-great Sheree Brown – a new recording, but one that sparkles just as much as her rare classics for Capitol Records at the start of the 80s! Like those gems, there's a blend of jazz and soul here that's really wonderful – a special sound that puts Sheree in the rare company of artists like Minnie Riperton or Patrice Rushen – able to embrace so many ideas at once, and turn them into a rich new groove of her own! Rushen actually helps out a bit on the record, as does Leon Ware – although the main production credits go to Brown herself, who only seems to have stepped up her game in these recent years. Great proof that the great ones still keep on keepin on, if given the chance – with titles that include "Messages From The Heart", "Time For The Party", "Just A Simple Love", "I Think I'm Gonna Pray", "Getting Started", "We Can Chance The World", and a bonus version of Minnie Riperton's "Inside My Love". CD

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Ray BryantAlone With The Blues ... CD
New Jazz/Prestige (Japan), 1958. New Copy ... $15.99
A very striking album – one of Ray Bryant's most noteworthy of the time! The album features Ray playing solo piano – quite unusual for the period, as most piano jazz records, especially his, were at least cut in a trio format – with additional bass and drums. Yet the approach works wonderfully for Bryant, and unlocks a surprisingly sensitive side of his music – quite different than some of his more soul jazz-styled work of the period. Ray's wonderfully unfettered here – hitting grooves with a level of expression and sophistication that far surpasses most of his other records. The intimate time on the keys never gets hokey or overindulgent – but it does let Ray open up and show a side that we've rarely heard on wax. Titles include "Stocking Feet", "Blues #3", "Joy", "Me & The Blues", and "My Blues". CD
(SHMCD pressing.)

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New Ann BurtonAnn Burton Sings For Lovers & Other Strangers ... CD
Columbia (Japan), 1971. New Copy ... $13.99
One of the coolest, moodiest albums ever recorded by Dutch singer Ann Burton – a set that features some of the more creative arrangements she ever received on record – put together by guitarist Wim Overgaauw, and featuring organ work from both Rob Madna and Rob Franken! Burton's always great, but here she hits some of the more compelling European styles that singers like Karin Krog and Monica Zetterlund were working through in the late 60s – maybe not as openly avant at times, but quite far from the usual singer-with-trio sort of records that she previously cuts. Burton's phrasing is especially great – slow, careful, and with a kind of inventiveness that reminds us of Morgana King at her hippest – and titles include "For No One", "Sweet William", "Got To Get You Into My Life", "For All We Know", "Little Man You've Had A Busy Day", and "Business Goes On As Usual". CD

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BwanaBwana ... CD
Acid Symposium, 1972. New Copy ... $8.99
An insanely wonderful bit of Latin funk! The groove is super heavy, and falls somewhere in between NuYorican soul and Chicano Power rock – with a sound that's pretty close to Black Sugar, but a little bit more psychedelic, due to the heavy guitars and keyboards in the grooves. Hard congas take the lead on most of the tracks – especially the cut "Chapumbambe", which starts with a nice break! Other tracks include "Tema De Bwana", "Motemba", "La Patada", and the massive Latin soul cut "Lolita". CD
Also available Bwana ... LP 9.99

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Donald ByrdCreeper (Japanese pressing) ... CD
Blue Note (Japan), 1967/1981. New Copy ... $15.99
A rock-solid set from Donald Byrd and a great group of players – a record that's got the same sharp edges and dark undercurrents of late 60s classics like Black Jack, Mustang, and Slow Drag! As with those gems, this album's got Donald really experimenting a bit more – especially with the rhythms – which are put forth by a hip trio that features Chick Corea on piano, Miroslav Vitous on bass, and Mickey Roker on drums! But almost even better is the frontline – with Sonny Red making one of his sublime appearances with Byrd, blowing alto with an edge that's amazing – and frequent partner Pepper Adams, adding plenty of baritone on the deep end. The whole thing's great – oddly unreleased until the start of the 80s – and titles include "Samba Yanta", "I Will Wait For You", "Blues Medium Rare", "The Creeper", "Chico-San", "Early Sunday Morning", and "Blues Well Done". CD

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Guy CabayLi Tins Les-Otes Et On Po D'Mi (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Disques Dessinee (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... $14.99
Really cool work from Guy Cabay – a singer who's a bit hard to describe accurately in words, but who definitely ranks right up there with some of the hippest French talents of the 70s! Cabay's got a breathy style of singing that's kind of post-Serge Gainsbourg, and a bit in the Saravah Records mode – especially as the small combo backings often feature some tenor or alto sax elements behind the vocals – a slight jazzy touches that helps underscore the hip singer/songwriter approach of Guy's music. There's a lyricality to his approach that comes through strongly – even if you don't understand French – and titlles include "Tot Reguede", "Julia L'Ote", "Julia Onk", "Li Harlake Et L'Djone Feye", "Li Nuleye E M'Payis", and "Camamele Et Cataplame". CD

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Bobby CaldwellCat In The Hat (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Clouds/JVC (Japan), 1980. New Copy ... $15.99
One of the greatest moments ever from Bobby Caldwell – a special little album that occupies it's own place between genres – a touch of soul, the warmth of jazz, and a delivery that really helped Caldwell reach out to some big new audiences at the time! There's a cool, compressed feel to the record – but a quality that's still quite personal and never too slick – that rare balance that only a few of Bobby's contemporaries could ever match – and which is really hammered home here by the production and great songwriting. Instrumentation uses a warm blend of acoustic and electric elements that offset the vocals nicely – and titles include "Coming Down From Love", "Wrong Or Right", "You Promised Me", "I Don't Want To Lose Your Love", and "Open Your Eyes". CD
(HQ – Hi Quality CD pressing!)

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Cameo12 Inch Collection & More ... CD
Mercury, Late 70s/Early 80s. New Copy ... $4.99 9.98
The only thing better than Cameo is more Cameo – especially when the group's best tunes are stretched out a little! This tasty set features 10 tight little jammers – some of the group's greatest dancefloor groovers, served up in extended 12" mixes – one of which is previously unreleased! The grooves range from the group's stellar late 70s years into some of their more heavy-handed 80s funk – and titles include "Rigor Mortis (12" mix)", "Single Life (12" UK mix)", "Candy (12" UK mix)", "Shake Your Pants (12" club)", "Word Up (12" club)", "I Just Want To Be (12" ext)", "She's Strange (12" club)", "Room 123 (12" rap)", "Attack Me With Your Love (12" club)", and "Back & Forth (12" Larry Blackmon mix)". CD

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Ana CaramSunflower Time ... CD
Universal (Brazil), 1996. New Copy ... $13.99
A great introduction to the music of Ana Caram – an early session recorded both in London and Brazil – with all the great mix of modes that might imply! The album's breathy and bossa in some spots, but full and jazzy in others – and Ana's equally at home in both settings! Some tracks feature just vocals and guitar, while others bring in a bit of light acoustic instrumentation – while others expand with a soulful vibe that's mighty nice, especially on three of the album's tracks produced by Bluey from Incognito. Titles include "Agua De Beber", "Mas Que Nada", "Overjoyed", "Odara", "Port Of Call", "Wave", and "Filhos De Gandi". CD

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New Carl CarltonCarl Carlton (with bonus tracks) ... CD
MCA/Big Break (UK), 1981. New Copy ... $14.99
An excellent album of smooth soul from Carl Carlton – a richly talented singer who began his career as a kid in the 60s, but who's working here in a sophisticated adult mode with production by Leon Haywood. The album kind of takes Haywood's best styles of the mid 70s and updates them to match Carlton's great voice. Haywood wrote all the best material on the album, and it's actually surprising that he didn't save some of the cuts for himself – especially when you consider that the record features the classic groover "She's A Bad Mama Jama", which was a pivotal dancefloor track in the post-disco years, plus the excellent stepper "This Feeling's Rated X-Tra". Other tracks include "I Think It's Gonna Be Alright", "Sexy Lady", "Don't You Wanna Make Love", and "Fighting In The Name Of Love". Great vocals, great production, and a perfect blend of all the right elements make the album a modern soul treat! CD features the bonus tracks "She's A Bad Mama Jama (single)" and "This Feeling's Rated X-Tra (12" mix)". CD

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Vikki CarrFirst Time Ever I Saw Your Face (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Columbia/Real Gone, 1972. New Copy ... $15.99 16.98
A bit 70s album for Vikki Carr – and one that really shows a newer, sexier style for the singer! The backings are lush, but never sleepy – wrapped up with the kind of ornate sensuality of the cover image – which Vikki matches perfectly with notes that are well-formed, and understatedly mature – amidst a set of songs that really sum up the new "adult" modes of the time. Backings are mostly by All Capps – who's even more impressive here than usual – especially in his blend of acoustic and electric elements – and titles include "Without You", "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", "The Summer Knows", "Speak Softly Love", "Song Sung Blue", "Help Me Make It Through The Night", "Brian's Song", and "The Way Of Love". CD features 9 bonus tracks – including "I Don't Want A Sometimes Man", "Reflections", "Let The Band Play On", "The Big Hurt", and "Call My Heart Your Home". CD

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John Carter & Bobby BradfordTandem – Vols 1 & 2 (LP sleeve edition) ... CD
Emanem (UK), 1979/1982. New Copy 2 CDs ... $24.99
Previously unreleased material from the duo of Bobby Bradford and John Carter – two players who created ferocious energy together in their famous LA quartet of the late 60s and early 70s, but who here get at a completely different sound of their talents! In a way, the record really represents the growth that Carter had as a musician by this time – his wonderfully lyrical, evocative work on clarinet – which carries some echoes of Jimmy Giuffre's freeness on the instrument, but a more deeply personal quality as well – quite earthy and organic at times, with these really beautiful tones! Bradford's cornet really seems to follow suit strongly – beautifully blown, but at a level that's more intimate than we've heard from Bobby before – really wonderful phrasing that's free, but still always quite tuneful too. The set features a few tracks with solo clarinet, and one solo cornet – and this special 2CD package is an improved version of the previous releases of the music, with even better sound than before. Titles include "Tandem", "Petals", "Angles", "Circle", "Sweet Sunset", "Swiss Account", "And She Speaks", "Les Masses Jigaboo", "She", and "Echoes From Rudolph's". CD

Partial matches59
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Ron CarterAll Blues (remastered edition) ... CD
CTI, 1973. New Copy Gatefold ... $9.99 10.98
One of Ron Carter's best from the 70s – a hip and subtle effort recorded for CTI, with a small group that includes Joe Henderson on tenor, Roland Hanna on piano, and Billy Cobham on drums! Henderson's tenor work dominates the album, and the long tracks really let him snake around mightily – blowing with that dark edge that we totally love, and taking the record in much different directions than some of Carter's other albums. Richard Tee also plays electric piano on the title "117 Special" – and other tunes include "A Feeling", "All Blues", "Rufus", and "Will You Still Be Mine". This CTI 40th Anniversary edition was remastered using the original analog tapes. CD
Also available All Blues ... LP 16.99

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Michael CarvinFlash Forward ... CD
Motema, 2014. New Copy ... $11.99 15.98
Michael Carvin flashes backwards here – using a quartet of young talent to make magic with a host of older jazz standards – but all at a level that really reflects the freshness of his music in recent years! Carvin's been a favorite of ours for decades, but it seems as if his recent larger recognition has brought about a whole new fire in his music – similar to the rise Roy Haynes experienced in the 90s, with a similar sense of renewed purpose and direction! Here, Michael works with Keith Loftis on tenor, Yayoi Ikawa on piano, and Jansen Cinco on bass – on work by Horace Silver, Bobby Hutcherson, Dizzy Gillespie, and others – tracks that take an especially great cue from the tenor lines in the lead. Tracks include "Sayonara Blues", "In Walked Bud", "Same Shame", "You Go To My Head", and "So What". CD

Partial matches61
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Frank CatalanoLove Supreme Collective ... CD
Ropeadope, 2014. New Copy ... $6.99 7.98
Frank Catalano really lets loose on this album – in a searing take on John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" that showcases a whole new era for the reedman! The notes describe a life-altering accident that Catalano was lucky to survive in 2011 – and during his recovery process, he rediscovered the music of Coltrane – and used that inspiration to unlock much harder, rawer sounds on his tenor than he'd been expressing in the past! The shift is stunning – especially if you only know Frank as more of an old school soul jazz saxophonist – and we're wonderfully surprised at the direction he's taking here – with a group that also features Adam Benjamin on electric piano, Chris Poland on guitar, Jimmy Chamberlin on drums, and Percy Jones on bass. Titles include "Acknowledgement Of Truth", "Resolution Of Purpose", "Pursuance & Persistence", and "Psalm For John". CD

Partial matches62
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Chicago Trio (Dawkins/Bankhead/Drake)Velvet Songs – To Baba Fred Anderson ... CD
Rogue Art (France), 2011. New Copy 2CDs ... $22.99
A great performance by the Chicago trio of Ernest Dawkins on reeds, Harrison Bankhead on bass, and Hamid Drake on drums and percussion – dedicated to their late scene-mate Fred Anderson, and played with an open, exploratory sound that Anderson would have loved! At times, there's a very unstructured quality to the recording – the most unfettered approach forged by the AACM – with Dawkins especially stretching out, on soprano, alto, or tenor sax. At other points, though, Bankhead's wonderful basslines pull things in, and give them a soulful solidity that underscores the spiritual elements of the music – that element in his sound we always appreciate, and which seems to bring Drake's percussion strongly into focus too – creating a groove that's almost like the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble at times. Titles include "One For Fred", "Waltz Of Passion", "Jah Music", "Down N The Delta", "The Rumble", "Sweet 22nd Street", and "Woman Of Darfur". CD
Also available Velvet Songs – To Baba Fred Anderson ... CD 16.99

Partial matches63
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Stelvio CiprianiAgguato Sul Bosforo ... CD
GDM (Italy), 1969. New Copy ... $26.99
An early Italian soundtrack from the great Stelvio Cipriani – much more in a spy/crime mode than any of his later work! There's some mighty nice keyboards on the set – Hammond organ at some points, and what sounds like electric harpsichord at others – often mixed with a nicely stepping electric bassline, to create a syncopated groove, even at mellower moments! A few tunes feature this dreamy female vocal, not in the usual spy theme mode, but almost more as an instrument – and a few cuts get a bit more dramatic as the action heats up. One number has an especially nice bossa feel – and the CD features 14 tracks from the film tapes, fully remastered! CD

Partial matches64
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CoalitionBirth (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Kenya/Shout (Japan), 1978. New Copy ... $19.99
A very hip group from the 70s Philly scene – a jazz combo who've got a soulful swing and a wonderfully lyrical feel! The record has a bit of vocals, but really just added in as flavoring for the quartet's excellent instrumental interplay – a blend of tenor and flute with piano, bass, and drums that steps out wonderfully – often with a bit of a Strata East sort of vibe, especially on the longer, more searching tracks! The groove is way deeper than you might guess from the cover, or the monotone look of the set – and the set's one of those rare 70s nuggets from a small label that has more surprise and imagination than most big label jazz sets of the time. Titles include "Marionette", "Bill's Samba", "Kenya's Horizon", and the excellent "The Downer". CD
(Part of the Deep Jazz Reality series!)
Also available Birth ... LP 42.99

Partial matches65
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Cola & Jimmu (Nicole Willis & Jimi Tenor)I Give To You My Love & Devotion ... CD
Herakles (Finland), 2014. New Copy ... $16.99
Jimi Tenor is a man of many talents – able to work in modes from spacey to jazzy to funky, and everything in between – as is singer Nicole Willis, who most folks know from her deep funk recordings, but who reemerges here as a house vocalist in the team of Cola & Jimmu! The look of the cover really sums up the sound of the record – a great old school vibe that reflects the best underground club releases of the late 80s – especially that deeper-than-deep house scene that never even came close to the mainstream! There's lots of spiritual elements in the lyrics – similar to the vibe of Jimi's recent Kabu Kabu records – but Nicole's delivery is very different, often parsed in short lyrical bursts amidst the keyboards and grooves. Titles include "Immortal Champion", "Earthly Delights", "Open Up Your Chakra", "Fantabulous", "Meet You At The Crossroads", and "No More Wars". CD
Also available I Give To You My Love & Devotion ... LP 22.99

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Natalie ColeThankful/I Love You So/Don't Look Back ... CD
Capitol/BGO (UK), 1977/1979/1980. New Copy 2CD ... $19.99
Classic early work from Natalie Cole – packaged here in a sweet 2CD set! First up is the album Thankful – the third record in a tremendous early creative and commerical winning streak for Natalie! Thankful has her sweet, soulful voice out from of prodcution by Chuck Jackson and Marvin Yancy of the Independents, and they give her a nice jazzy sound that made the record one of her best of the 70s. Richard Evans and Gene Barge arranged, which probably had something to do with that, too – but Natalie truly deserves most of the credit of the strength of this set. It includes the standout groovers "La Costa" and"Annie Mae", but the whole record is really sweet – with "Lovers", "Our Love", "Be Thankful", "Just Can't Stay Away" and "Keeping A Light". I Love You So is a Capitol killer from Natalie Cole – a really great record from the time when she really seemed to be starting out her career with a bang! As with other gems on Capitol, the record features some great production work from Marvin Yancy and Chuck Jackson, getting a bit of help here from Gene Barge too – all wrapped up with a strong, sophisticated sound that shows plenty of Chi-soul touches in the music – a great approach for Natalie's maturing vocals. The sound is wonderfully balanced, and really stays away from easy hit modes – leaving the lady in a space that's all her own, on tracks that include "The Winner", "I Love You So", "Oh Daddy", "Sorry", "Stand By", and "Who Will Carry On". Don't Look Back is an overlooked gem from Natalie Cole – a set that still has her working strongly with songwriter Marvin Yancy, who really helped her find her sound and style during the early years of her career! Natalie actually helped with writing a fair bit on the record herself – sometimes with Yancy, sometimes alone – and the result is a surprisingly personal batch of tunes that really show a deepening of spirit in the singer, especially in the mellower moments. Gene Barge handles the arrangements – still bringing a bit of Chicago soul roots to the record – that mix of deep and sophisticated modes that always brought out the best in Natalie. Titles include "Don't Look Back", "I'm Getting In To You", "Paradise", "Hold ON", "Danger UP A head", and "Someone That I Used To Love". CD

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Mitty CollierShades Of Mitty Collier – The Chess Singles 1961 to 1968 ... CD
Chess/Kent (UK), 1960s. New Copy ... $14.99
A mighty helping of music from the overlooked Mitty Collier – a 60s soul singer on Chess Records, and one who was every bit as great as bigger label stars like Etta James or Fontella Bass! Like both of those singers, Mitty's got a voice that grabs you right from the get-go – a deeply soulful approach to her music that's really fresh and without cliche – especially considering she got her start belting out tunes years before some of the bigger names in 60s female soul, and managed to keep things mighty real all the years she was working at Chess. Production and arrangements here are all top shelf – handled by Phil Wright, Riley Hampton, and others – and the CD offers up 24 gems from Mitty's years at Chess – the a-sides of all 15 singles cut for the label, plus 9 more great tunes from the flips! Titles include "Everybody Makes A Mistake Sometimes", "Gotta Get Away From It All", "I've Got Love", "I Had A Talk With My Man", "Walk Away", "My Party", "Sharing You", "That'll Be Good Enough For Me", "Git Out", "Watching & Waiting", "Like Only Yesterday", "No Faith No Love", "I'm Your Part Time Love", and "Miss Loneliness". CD

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Lyn CollinsCheck Me Out If You Don't Know Me By Now ... CD
Polydor (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... $13.99
The mellower of Lyn Collins' two albums for the People label – but still pretty darn fantastic! At some level, it seems like Lyn's taking on the rest of the soul industry – showing them that she can kick some major booty on her interpretations of hits like "Backstabbers", "If You Don't Know Me By Now", "Try A Little Tenderness", and "Mr Big Stuff", which is one of her best funky tracks ever, and better than Jean Knight's original! She also shines extremely well on the original cuts, though – especially the funky classic "Rock Me Again & Again & Again", plus the often-overlooked mellow soul groovers "To Each His Own", "Put It On The Line", and "How Long Can I Keep It Up". Production by James Brown, of course! CD
Also available Check Me Out If You Don't Know Me By Now ... LP 9.99

Partial matches69
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CommodoresMidnight Magic ... CD
Motown (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... $13.99
Lots of Midnight Magic from The Commdores – still nice and funky at the start of the evening, but also chilling out in the wee hours too – really finding a great way to follow the trajectory of the night with the tracks in this set! The album sparkles with strong arrangements and production from James Carmichael – who furthers the vibe perfected on Natural High, yet continues to avoid most of the cliches that would slow down the group in later years. Lionel Richie's given room to step forth on the ballads "Still" and "Sail On" – but the group feel is still nicely maintained on the rest of the record – which also features the tracks "Getting It", "You're Special", "Wonderland", "Sexy Lady", and "Might Magic". CD

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Junior CookJunior's Cookin' ... CD
Jazzland/OJC, 1961. New Copy ... $6.99 11.98
Junior's definitely cooking on this session – working with trumpeter Blue Mitchell at a time when both players were members of the Horace Silver Quintet – but in a groove that's somewhat different than the Silver sound overall! Junior Cook's tenor really is tremendous on the record – played with a sharp, raspy tone that's almost deeper than his work with Horace Silver – a cutting quality that almost reminds us of Clifford Jordan at his best. Mitchell's great too – really spurred on by this sound, and finding some new notes in the setting – and other players on the date include Gene Taylor on bass and Roy Brooks on drums, both from the Silver group – plus piano from either Ronnie Matthews or Dolo Coker, each of whom handle half of the set. Matthews is especially great – a real treat at this early point in his career – and titles on the set include the sublime "Mzar", plus "Blue Farouq", "Sweet Cakes", "Turbo Village", "Field Day", and "Pleasure Bent". CD
(CD case has a cutout hole.)

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Mike CooperPlaces I Know/The Machine Gun Co ... CD
Dawn/Paradise Of Bachelors, 1971/1972. New Copy Gatefold ... $14.99 15.99
A pair of wonderful albums from British folkie Mike Cooper – both recorded for the Dawn Records label, in a really genre-breaking style! Places I Know blends Cooper's acoustic guitar and rootsy vocals with some very compelling arrangements from Mike Gibbs – the British jazz talent who was already known for his larger ensemble creations at the time, but who works here in these really subtle ways – to inflect Cooper's core inspirations with just some slight instrumental colors, tones, and phrases on most numbers – while Cooper brings in the core Machine Gun Co group on a few more. The result is a record that's way more than familiar folk – and arguably a lot hipper than most of the British acid folk of the time, too – on titles that include "Night Journey", "Paper & Smoke", "Country Water", "Time To Time", "Goodbye Blues Goodbye", and "Places I Know". The Machine Gun Co album is a partner record to Places I Know – recorded in the same sessions, but with tracks that are longer, and even more openly expressive – all with backings from the sweet Machine Gun Co quartet, a group with some especially nice electric piano from Alan Cook! Heavy use of that instrument really works against some of the folksier elements in Cooper's music – with these blocks of warm sound and color that really illuminate the tunes, and almost unlock a new level in the vocals. Cooper plays a bit of electric guitar at times – and titles include "So Glad That I Found You", "Lady Anne", "Midnight Words", and "Song For Abigail". CD
Also available Places I Know/The Machine Gun Co (with download) ... LP 26.99

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CortexCortex Live! ... CD
Clean Feed (Portugal), 2014. New Copy Gatefold ... $14.99
A beautiful group with a really bold feel – not the famous electric Cortez of the 70s – but a contemporary Norwegian ensemble with a wonderful sense of interplay! The quartet features Thomas Johansson on cornet, Kristoffer Alberts on reeds, Ola Hoyer on bass, and Gard Nilssen on drums – and they work together in this very fluid, well-hewn sort of style – expressively rich in sort of a post-Ornette Coleman sort of mode, but with especially strong individual moments from both Johansson and Alberts! The music builds wonderfully – moving with these confident shapes that take form quickly – at a level that's far from the mainstream, but also hardly free improvisation either. The four musicians really know each other perfectly – and have a richness of vision that's instantly apparent – on tracks that include "Cerebrum", "Endorphin", "Gray Matter", "Interlude", and "Crossing". CD

Partial matches73
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New Dave Baby CortezDave Baby Cortez In Orbit ... CD
Roulette/Warner (Japan), 1966. New Copy ... $13.99
Smoking Hammond work from the young Dave Cortez – sounding grittier here than on some of his other albums of the time – less pop, and almost with a soul jazz vibe overall – especially given some of his snakey solos! The record may be the closest that Cortez ever came to sounding like Jimmy McGriff – and the backings are tight and soulful, very similar to McGriff at Sue Records – handled by Henry Grover, who also produced. There's an uncredited tenor player on the record who's mighty nice – and a few cuts feature cool female backing vocals – and titles include "Belly Rub (parts 1 & 2)", "In Orbit", "Countdown (parts 1 & 2)", "Sticks & Stones", and "Peg Leg". CD

Partial matches74
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Larry Coryell with The Wide Hive PlayersLarry Coryell With The Wide Hive Players ... CD
Wide Hive, 2011. New Copy ... $9.99 15.99
A really old school jam from guitarist Larry Coryell – one that takes us back to some of the most tripped-out sounds of his early years! Given the cover, you can definitely expect a psychedelic influence to the music – and the group here really helps Larry get back to his roots – finding a sound that's still plenty jazz, but which mixes in some funky and progressive elements too – that genre-stepping quality that really helped Coryell break down a lot of barriers back in the day. Coryell plays both acoustic and electric on the date, and the lineup features some especially nice Fender Rhodes – plus trombone, saxes, bass, and plenty of percussion. Titles include "Torchlight", "Cobalt", "Terco", "The Last Drop", "Return Of Shirtless", "December Blues", "Honey Dijon", and "Dream Scene". CD

Partial matches75
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Country Joe & The FishI Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die (mono & stereo versions) ... CD
Vanguard (UK), 1967. New Copy 2CD ... $13.99
Maybe the greatest moment ever from Country Joe & The Fish – an insane blend of politics, psychedelia, rock roots, and more – all wrapped up in a nice of carnival-esque style that really lives up to the group's name! Many folks later copied the group – and others, like The Fugs, worked in somewhat similar territory – yet there's a really special sound to the group on this early set, a balance that brings more focus to otherwise trippy moments, more sense to their political agenda, and these sharp instrumental inflections that really send the whole thing home. Blues historian Samuel Charters produced, giving the record another influential quality – and titles include "The Fish Cheer & I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die-Rag", "Who Am I", "Pat's Song", "Magoo", "Jam", "Eastern Song", and "Colors For Susan". 2CD set features the full album in both mono and stereo, plus bonus tracks "Janis" and an alternate take of "I Feel Like I'm Fixin To Die Rag". Great notes too! CD

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Pee Wee CraytonTexas Blues Jumpin In Los Angeles – The Modern Music Sessions 1948 to 1951 ... CD
Ace (UK), Late 40s/Early 50s. New Copy ... $14.99
A tremendous guitarist, with a really mindblowing sound – easily one of the most powerful players on the electric guitar of the time! Pee Wee Crayton's got this full, rich tone that reminds us a lot of T Bone Walker – especially when he hits lots of raspy edges – and like Walker, the music here is more of a mix of jazz, jump, and R&B than the straighter blues you'd associate with Chicago electric guitarists a few years later – such as the musicians who recorded for Chess. The work's a rich illustration of the key criss-crossing of scenes and styles that happened in 40s LA – as musicians like Crayton moved from Texas, and picked up lots of hipper, modern elements on the coast! This package features 28 gems from the Modern Records vaults – all of them on CD for the first time ever, and most of them issued here for the first time ever too. Titles include "Texas Hop", "Old Fashioned Baby", "Huckle Boogie", "The Bop Hop", "Blues For My Baby", "Brand New Woman", "Central Avenue Blues", "Long After Hours", "I Love You So", "Tired Of Travelin", "Poppa Stoppa", and "Answer To Blues After Hours". CD

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Franco De GeminiListen To My Harmonica ... CD
Beat (Italy), Early 70s. New Copy ... $16.99
Classic soundtrack selections from the Italian scene – all of which feature the harmonica of Franco De Gemini in the lead! Franco's the harmonica player you've heard on countless famous film scores from Italy – especially westerns – and this set brings together some great overlooked moments from his most glorious years on the instrument – including material composed by Alesandro Alessandroni, Narholz Candler, and Gemini himself! There's a number of tracks here we'd never heard before – and titles include "City Walk", "Walking In The Rain", "Weekend Love", "Harmonica Waltz", "Smiling Face", "Shuffle Baby", "String Of Diamonds", and "Black Widow". CD

Partial matches78
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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

Partial matches79
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Dida with Roy HargroveDida Plays & Sings ... CD
Red (Italy), 2011. New Copy ... $15.99 18.99
A sweet little set from Dida – a singer who also plays a mighty nice jazz guitar – a cool combination, especially for a female artist – stepping out wonderfully here in a well-recorded set! Trumpeter Roy Hargrove guests on a few tracks, and Fabio Morgera joins on a few more – but we're more than compelled enough by the core sounds of Dida's trio, which has this timeless feel in its construction of guitar, bass, and drums – almost a late 40s sort of vocal jazz cool – but somehow coming across with a very contemporary vibe that belies the Brooklyn recording location for the album. Titles include "Fried Pies", "Our Love Is Here To Stay", "Calcutta Cutie", "Ir Atzuva It's A Sad City", "Can't Take My Eyes Off You", and "That's All". CD

Partial matches80
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New Diddys featuring Paige DouglasAgony & Extasy (Japanese paper sleeve edition – with bonus tracks) ... CD
Bam-Boo/Shout (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... $19.99
A very cool, really rare soul album from the Philly scene – one that was written, produced, and arranged by Hammond organist Charles Earland – but which is a sweet soul album with a really great feel! There's definitely a touch of Earland's keyboard work on the set – especially some of those non-organ lines he brought to his records for Mercury – and there's a jazzy groove that really sets The Diddys apart from other east coast groups of the time – a more complex approach to rhythm and instrumentation that almost makes some of the tunes feel as if they came from the James Mason side of the spectrum! The whole thing's wonderful – as unique as it is rare – and titles include "Intergalactic Love Song", "Strange Love", "Your Love Is Like A See Saw Baby", "How Long Have You Loved Him", and "My Special Love". CD features lots of bonus tracks – alternate takes of nearly every number on the record! CD

Partial matches81
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Pierre Dorge & New Jungle OrchestraTjak Tjaka Tchicai ... CD
Steeplechase (Denmark), 2014. New Copy ... $15.99 18.99
Pierre Dorge pays tribute to the late reedman John Tchicai – a frequent musical partner over the years, and a player who's shaped the sound of countless others on both sides of the Atlantic! Tchicai got his start with Archie Shepp on the New York scene of the 60s, but moved over to Denmark by the end of that decade – and ended up having a good deal of interaction with guitarist Pierre Dorge in years to come, including performances on some of the best sessions by the New Jungle Orchestra! This album really recalls those great ones – as Dorge chooses tunes that seem to have an especially spiritual flavor, and evoke Tchicai in ways that most of the group's recent work might not have – using especially strong passages from reed players who include Jakob Mygind on tenor and soprano, Anders Banke on tenor and bass clarinet, and Morten Carlson on tenor and taragot. Titles include "Mozombo", "A Rufous Mot Mot", "Jungle Sketches", "Autobahn Tchicai Zwei", "Lucianus In Congo", and "Tjak Tjaka Tchicai". CD

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Dezron DouglasLive At Smalls ... CD
Smalls Live, 2013. New Copy Gatefold ... $11.99 14.99
Bassist Dezron Douglas can be one hell of a leader – especially when he's working with a group and setting as great as this! The album's got that solid punch we love in the Smalls Live series – a way of allowing players to really open up and be themselves, yet also find a cohesiveness as a group that you don't often get in studio sessions – that brilliant magic that can make live jazz performance so wonderful, when it's captured this well – a great document of a musical moment and local expression that might have been missed otherwise. Dezron's bass is very upfront in the performance – and the quintet also features tight trumpet from Josh Evans, bold tenor from Stacy Dillard, sharp piano from David Bryant, and smoking drums from Willie Jones III. Titles include "Nita", "Let's Ride", "The Puppet", "Bish Bash Bop", and "Power Of One". CD
Also available Live At Smalls ... CD 8.99

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New Gene DunlapIt's Just The Way I Feel/Party In Me ... CD
Capitol/Expansion (UK), 1981. New Copy ... $16.99
Two Capitol classics from the great Gene Dunlap – back to back on a single CD! First up is It's Just The Way I Feel – a classic soulful fusion album recorded and released during the crucial years of the "Capitol Rare" sound! Gene Dunlap is a jazz drummer at heart – but he's got a flair for the modern soul song – and in the same style as Norman Connors or Harvey Mason before him, he manages to put together a strong record of grooves and ballads from behind the kit! The strongest point of the record is work by The Ridgeways, a female soul trio who sing on the best tracks, giving them a smooth Jones Girls-ish kind of sound. The album includes two modern soul classics – "Before You Break My Heart" and "It's Just the Way I Feel" – plus "Love Dancin", "Rock Radio", "I Got You", and "Surest Things Can Change". Party In Me is wonderful work from Gene Dunlap – a jazzy soul drummer, and also a maestro with a killer ear for a modern soul groove! The album's got a mix of grooves and sophistication that are a bit like the best early 80s material from Roy Ayers – never chartbound, and never too commercial – but nice and tight, and really well put together! The instrumentation has plenty of jazzy 80s groove touches – especially in the keyboards – and Dunlap does a nice job of balancing up beat tracks with the mellow moments we love so much in his work. Vocals are from a variety of singers – including the great Ethel Beatty, who'd sung with Roy Ayers – plus Phillippe Wynne, Pam Lawson, and Gene himself – and titles include "Something Inside My Head", "Something Special", "Corner Pocket", "There Will Never Be Another (Like You)", "Party In Me", "Jam City", and "This One's On Me". CD

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Durutti ColumnChronicle LX – XL (2CD box) ... CD
Kooky, 2014. New Copy 2 CDs ... $39.99
One of the most beautiful albums we've heard in years from Vini Reilly – and a set that really takes back to the magic we felt when buying the first few Durutti Column albums on factory! Not only is the sound here very much the Durutti approach we first fell in love with – a strange combination of post-punk production and performance filtered through the aesthetic of Erik Satie – but the package also has a very special look – like one of those cool cassette boxes for Factory that were originally designed by Peter Saville! This set's got way more to offer than those, though – two CDs' of music (plus inserts and even sandpaper) – originally written by Reilly to accompany an exhibition of his portraits, and expanded here to include an even greater range of personal sounds. Vini is in the lead on most numbers on his wonderfully atmospheric guitar – and plays piano, an instrument that's also handled by Poppy Morgan on some tracks – with longtime partner Bruce Mitchell on drums. Vocals are done by Reilly, as well as Jilly Taylor, Billy Rance, and Caoilfhionn – but are definitely secondary to the instrumental sounds on the set. Titles include "Poppy & Pancho", "Nine Years", "The Party", "Embattled Heart & Rattling", "Fanfare", "Electrostatic", "Free From All The Chaos", "Hotel Calderon", and "Sharrock's Tune". CD

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Thomas DybdahlWhat's Left Is Forever ... CD
Manhattan, 2014. New Copy ... $10.99 11.98
Quite a set from Norwegian singer Thomas Dybdahl – at one level a blue-eyed soulster with a flair for weaving his vocals with electronics, at another level a more personal singer-songwriter with a captivating approach to a tune! The music maybe feels a bit like some of the more tuneful records on Norway's Jazzland in the past decade or so – vocals in English, and a quality that could cross Thomas over to many different camps – especially with this album's wider distribution in the US. Some of our favorite moments bubble with keys next to Dybdahl's mix of lightness and rasp – and titles include "City Lights", "The Sculptor", "So Long", "Man On A Wire", "But We Did", and "Soulster". CD

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Charles EarlandGreat Pyramid (plus bonus track) ... CD
Mercury/Solaris, 1976. New Copy ... $12.99 15.99
One of the most spiritual, soulful albums ever from the great Charles Earland – a set that's almost his answer to the keyboard styles of Lonnie Liston Smith in the 70s – and done with a very spiritual vibe! We love Earland on Hammond – but here he also plays Fender Rhodes, clavinet, moog, and Arp – never to excess – blended with the sort of full, soaring arrangements you might get from someone like Larry Mizell or Skip Scarbrough at the time! Many numbers feature vocals in the mix, but also showcase lots of keyboard solos too – again like Smith – and the album's got a sense of style, power, and ambition that really make us respect Earland even more – especially given that he handled most of the writing, arranging, and production. Titles include "Upper Atlantis", "In The Land Of Mu", "Drifting", "Mona Lisa", and "The Great Pyramid". CD features the bonus track "Drifting (12" promo rmx)". CD

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Berndt EgerbladhWhen I Started To Play (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Nashville/Jazzhus Disk (Japan), 1966. New Copy ... $24.99
Amazing sounds from the Swedish scene of the 60s – a record that's archly modern, yet soaringly soulful too – a really wonderful combination of modes in the hands of pianist Berndt Egerbladh! The title's a bit strange – as Berndt's hardly the kind of guy that would make us laugh, and he definitely has our ears right away from the very first notes on the record – a brilliant blend of his own piano, plus alto from Lars Goran Ulander, bass from Lars Gunnar Gunnarsson, and drums from Sten Oberg! The alto is especially nice – very sharp-edged and soulful on the tracks in which it figures – and helping to give the record and even deeper feel than some of Egerbladh's other albums – even though we like those a lot too. Tracks are all originals – beautiful compositions that make the album sparkle with a freshness you'll appreciate instantly – titles that include "Kiki", "Sunday Morning", "Free Hands", "This World Of Ours", "Corny Waltz", and "Estremadura". CD

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New EggCivil Surface ... CD
Virgin/Esoteric (UK), 1974. New Copy ... $16.99
The third album recorded by British jazz rockers Egg – a set done only after the group had reformed for Virgin Records, and easily their most complicated work to date! By the time of this recording, the members of the core trio – especially keyboardist Dave Stewart – had really honed their skills, and were able to work in a range of jamming, jazzy modes. Much of the focus here is on the instrumentation – especially Stewart's work on organ – and the session adds in extra oboe, bassoon, clarinet, and "germophone" – plus a trio of voices on one number. The sound is progressive without being overindulgent – and titles include "Germ Patrol", "Pielude", "Wind Quartet 1", "Wring Out The Ground Loosely Won", and "Enneagram". CD

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Duke EllingtonMy People ... CD
Contact/Boplicity (UK), 1963. New Copy ... $11.99
A great high-concept composition from Duke Ellington – one that rivals the earlier brilliance of his Liberian Suite! Like that one, vocals are a key part of this long-form work – a special performance done for the Century Of Negro Progress Exposition in Chicago in 1963 – with an all-star cast that includes Jimmy Jones both at the piano and conductor's stand; Joya Sherrill on vocals with the Irving Bunton Singers, Jimmy Grissom, Jimmy McPhail, and Lil Greenwood; Billy Strayhorn on celeste, Juan Amalbert on conga, and other familiar Ellingtonians in the larger group! The tunes have a mix of gospel and folk roots, turned towards more modern Ellington compositional modes – and almost all numbers feature vocals, including one with narration by Ellington himself. Titles include "Will You Be There", "Come Sunday", "David Danced", "Montage", "My Mother My Father", "My People", "The Blues Ain't", and "What Color Is Virtue". CD
Also available My People (Contact pressing) ... LP 2.99

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EmotionsFlowers (with bonus track) ... CD
Columbia/Gold Legion, 1976. New Copy ... $11.99 14.99
A soaring classic from The Emotions – thanks to some supreme help from the Earth Wind & Fire side of the soul spectrum! This set has the trio really sounding great – with Kalimba Productions by Maurice White and Charles Stepney – and a good deal of EWF help on the instrumentation as well! The girls break out of the rootsier style used on their earlier Stax recordings, and manage to fit perfectly with the jazzy tinges of the new grooves – and, along with Ramsey Lewis and EWF, the Emotions were part of a hugely successful trinity during the late 70s – one that took the indie soul roots of the Chicago scene and turned it into landmark big business for Columbia Records. The album's got a new approach to female group soul that would go onto shape R&B for years to come – and titles include "Flowers", "I Don't Wanna Lose Your Love", "We Go Through Changes", "Special Part", and "You've Got The Right To Know". CD features a bonus single version of "Flowers". CD

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EnchantmentEnchantment (with bonus tracks) ... CD
United Artists/Big Break (UK), 1976. New Copy ... $14.99
Soaring grooves and mellow moments – a perfect blend of 70s soul styles, summed up here beautifully by Enchantment! The album's one of the group's greatest – and certainly one that's been very well-remembered around these parts – thanks to some rock-solid arrangements from Johnny Allen, who almost brings an indie soul vibe to the whole set – while still putting the whole thing together at a totally top-shelf level too! The harmonies are wonderful – especially on the ballads, like "Gloria" and "Sunshine" – and other tracks include "Sexy Lady", "Come On & Ride", "Thank You Girl For Loving Me", and "Dance To The Music". CD features 6 bonus tracks – "Come On & Ride (single)", "Hold On (single)", "Gloria (single)", "Dance To The Music (single)", "Sunshine (single)", and "Hold On (12" disco)". CD
Also available Enchantment ... LP 4.99

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Ensemble NovoBlue Night ... CD
Frosty Cordial, 2013. New Copy ... $6.99
A new ensemble, but one with a strong influence from older Brazilian modes – especially the best bossa jazz styles of the 60s! The group's got a sweet approach that mixes vibes in with bossa grooves – a really nice change from the usual, and backed up by more classic elements on acoustic guitar and tenor sax! The sound's wonderfully stripped-down, and recorded in a very basic style – so that there's none of the too-smooth feelings you'd get from other contemporary bossa outings – which leaves a really nice sense of personality and expression from the instruments. Behn Gillece plays vibes and Tom Moon plays tenor – and titles include "Andorinha", "Tristeza", "Wind", "Berimbau", "Grace Engine No 1", "O Sol Nascera", and "Boranda". CD

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Kellylee EvansI Remember When ... CD
Motema, 2014. New Copy ... $11.99 15.99
Singer Kellylee Evans works here with the great Eric Legnini – the European keyboardist whose own records are always a delight, and who brings a sharp sense of funky soul to this vocal outing! Kellylee has a style that's rooted in jazz, but expressed in more contemporary soulful modes – which works perfectly for Legnini's strong sense of rhythm – especially on the original tunes that the pair co-created together! Most numbers feature a small combo, often with a romping vibe that's a nice change from the usual neo soul set – and in addition to the originals "Only You", "I Remember When", "One More Lover", "Built To Fly", and "Jungle" – the set also features remakes of "Amazing", "If I Was Your Woman", and "Lose Yourself". CD

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Express RisingExpress Rising (2nd album) ... CD
Numero, 2013. New Copy ... $8.99 13.00
A warm batch of instrumental beats and atmospherics from Express Rising – and a much-anticipated second project from funk archivist Dante Carfagna! Dante's a name you probably know best from his work writing liner notes or Wax Poetics – and helping out in countless important compilations over the years – but a decade ago, Dante dropped his first mysterious project under the Express Rising name – and finally returns here with a second album! The sound is even more enticing this time around – still drawing a bit from the world of DJ Shadow – a frequent Carfagna collaborator on archive projects – but the sound is also surprisingly warm and lyrical too – bits of beats, layers of older sounds, and these spare keyboard bits all served up together in a style that's really unique – and which avoids any of the cliches of both the downtempo world, and the instrumental hip hop scene The approach is often quite poetic, yet still soulful as well – and the whole thing's got a laidback vibe that's neither sleepy nor muddled – a really sort of special space between the grooves. Titles include "Horse Opera", "Dark Early", "Answering Echo So Near", "Winter The Heart", "A Treasure Smile", "Rooms Between Us", and "Memorabilia". CD
Also available Express Rising (2nd album) ... LP 16.99

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New Shelly FabaresThings We Did Last Summer ... CD
Colpix/Warner (Japan), 1962. New Copy ... $13.99
We love the idea of spending the summer with Shelly Fabares – especially if it would sound as groovy as this rare gem from the 60s! Shelly's not the best singer you'll ever find, and the tunes here are hardly personal tunes from her heart – but the album's production and presentation are flawless – and one of the best examples of great girl pop you'll ever find from the time! Maestro Stu Phillips arranged and produced, and has a very good ear for the right mix of jaunty and weepy sounds that work with Fabares vocal range – at a level that often leans heavy on echo to really resonate some of the best moments in the set. The album's a real pop masterpiece – and titles include "Johnny Loves Me", "Johnny Get Angry", "See You In September", "Palisades Park", "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do", "The Things We Did Last Summer", and "It Keeps Right On A Hurtin". CD

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Georgie Fame & The Blue FlamesRhythm & Blues At The Flamingo ... CD
Polydor (Japan), 1964. New Copy ... $13.99
Blistering early work from a young Georgie Fame – a set that definitely lives up to the Rhythm & Blues in the title! The set was recorded live at London's hip Flamingo club – and Georgie and The Blue Flames are very much in command of the crowd – burning with the intensity of a American small organ combo, especially the early 60s variety that often played equal parts soul jazz and R&B! Georgie's on the Hammond, and also sings with a rough-edged style that's plenty soulful, and incredibly appealing – a mode that oozes charisma, but never sounds fake or forced. Other instrumentation includes tenor, baritone sax, bass, drums, and conga – plus some great guitar from Big Jim Sullivan – and titles include "Do The Dog", "Eso Beso", "Work Song", "Baby Please Don't Go", "Shop Around", "Humpty Dumpty", and "You Can't Sit Down". CD features 10 more bonus tracks – some of them live, some of them studio – with titles that include "Madness", "One Whole Year Baby", "Do Re Mi", "I'm In Love With You", "Bend A Little", "Parker's Mood", and "Money". CD

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Wilton FelderWe All Have A Star/Inherit The Wind ... CD
ABC/Robinsongs (UK), 1978/1980. New Copy ... $13.99
A pair of albums from saxophonist Wilton Felder – back to back on a single CD! We All Have A Star offers up solo sounds from Crusaders reedman Wilton Felder – a really great set that's very much in the best vibe of his larger group at the time – yet one that also offers up a stronger focus on Wilton's sublime solo work on tenor! The album's got plenty of Crusaders help on board – given that Stix Hooper and Joe Sample produced the set along with Wilton – and the vibe's a wonderful blend of electric backings, with especially great keyboard lines, and Felder's well-phrased saxophone lines over the top! A few cuts feature vocals – sung by Angela Bryant or Debbie Demoia Ross – and titles include "We All Have A Star", "I Know Who I Am", "The Cycles Of Time", "Why Believe", "Ride On", and "You & Me & Ecstasy". Inherit The Wind is one of the best Crusaders-related solo projects – a soulful bit of fusion from saxophonist Wilton Felder, co-produced with his fellow Crusaders! The album's got the best sunny finish of the group's late 70s albums – traces of Latin, funk, and soul bubbling through a warm jazzy mix – staying soulful all the way through, and coming up with a sound that's smooth, but never sleepy. The blueprint for a million other records – none of which ever sounded this good! Titles include "Insight", "LA Light", "Until The Morning Comes", "Someday We'll All Be Free", and "Inherit The Wind". CD

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New Nico FidencoBlack Emanuelle Collection – The Full Series (6CD & DVD box set) ... CD
Beat (Italy), Early 70s. New Copy 6 CDs & DVD ... $99.99
Some of the slinkiest, sexiest 70s soundtracks ever recorded – all packaged together here in one box set, along with a bonus DVD as well! The wonderful set brings together six steamy scores by Nico Fidenco – all penned for the softcore Emanuel films, both black and white, and a wonderful collection of Euro erotic grooves, mellower bedroom moments, and some mighty nice themes! Some of these works are now out of print on CD, which makes the box the last place you'll ever find them – and the set recreates all the individual artwork and books of the CD releases – titles that include Black Emanuelle, Emanuelle In America, Black Emanuelle Goes East, Emanuelle Around The World, Emanuelle E Gli Ultimi Cannibali, and La Via Della Prostituzione. Also features the special Music For The Black Queen DVD – which has a documentary, and three interview passages – and comes in a special slipcover case. CD
(Limited edition of 1000 copies. DVD is PAL format, region-free, so it may not play in all players.)

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FlamingosFlamingo Serenade ... CD
End/Warner (Japan), 1959. New Copy ... $13.99
Stunning work from The Flamingos – part of the group's incredible second chapter at End Records, where they really transformed their sound from their years at Chess! The group were already great before, but at End, they found this way of making even more heaven with their harmonies – finding this sublime space that really blew away most of their contemporaries, especially on the ballads – with the lead soaring out, the harmonies gliding alongside, and the production this pillowy, breathy sort of brilliance. The album's one of the best illustrations of this genius at its best – and titles include the sublime hit "I Only Have Eyes For You", plus "Love Walked In", "But Not For Me", and "Time Was". Spooky, heavenly, and totally wonderful! CD

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Darrow FletcherPain Gets A Little Deeper – The Complete Early Years 1965 to 1971 ... CD
Kent (UK), Late 60s/Early 70s. New Copy ... $14.99
Righteous soul from late 60s Chicago – a killer collection of early singles from the great Darrow Fletcher – only a youngster at the time, but already working at a level that's as strong as most of his older contemporaries! Darrow's got this soaring voice that really sends us every time we hear him sing – a style that's possibly a bit like Jackie Wilson, but both deeper and lighter at the same time – very unique, especially in these early years – and perfect for helping Fletcher stand out from the pack! The grooves here are nice and deep – socking hard in the best Chi-town styles of the time, with the sort of punch you'd get on the best One-Der-Ful/Mar-V-Lus recordings – with arrangements by Mike Terry, Phil Wright, Tom Tom, and others. Tracks were originally issued on a variety of labels – Groovy, Jacklyn, Uni, Congress, and Genna – and titles include "The Pain Gets A Little Deeper", "Now Is The Time For Love (parts 1 & 2)", "What Have I Got Now", "What Is This", "Gotta Draw The Line", "My Young Misery", "Infatuation", "When Love Calls", "My Judgement Day", "Sitting There That Night", "Changing By The Minute", "What Good Am I Without You", "We Can't Go On This Way", and "That Certain Little Something". CD
 
 
 



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