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Special Ed

 

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Possible matches: 2
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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

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
 
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New Dee AlexanderSongs My Mother Loves ... CD
Blujazz, 2014. New Copy ... $9.99 15.99
An instant classic from Chicago vocalist Dee Alexander – one of the greatest jazz singers working today – and an artist we'd easily rank right up there with old school talents like Shirley Horn or Lorez Alexandria! Dee can sometimes be far-reaching in her style, but here she steps back to an older generation of jazz – reworking numbers in a hip sort of 60s way, especially the more sophisticated end of the soul jazz spectrum, ala Horn and Alexandria's albums for ABC/Impulse. Backing is by a wonderfully fluid small group – with the piano of Miguel Delacerna, bass of Harrison Bankhead, and drums of Ernie Adams – plus guest work from Ari Brown on tenor, Oliver Lake on alto, and Corey Wilkes on trumpet. The album's a dedication to Alexander's mother – and the strong guidance she gave her growing up on the west side of Chicago – and tunes include "Soul Serenade", "As Long As You're Living", "Guess Who I Saw Today", "Nature Boy", "Lonesome Lover", "Letter From Home",a nd "Softly As In A Morning Sunrise". CD

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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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Franco AmbrosettiHeart Bop ... CD
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1981. New Copy ... $13.99
That's "heart bop", not "hardbop" – a title that really gets at the warm feeling and sense of soul on this overlooked date! The album's an early 80s gem from Enja – cut at a time when the label was really finding its own, and doing an especially great job of giving musicians just the right sort of outlet to move forward – in this case not just trumpeter Franco Ambrosetti, but also altoist Phil Woods and pianist Hal Galper – all of whom are great! There's an angular formation to most of the tunes at the start, but they flow with a warm, lyrical energy right from the start as well – supported by the drums of Billy Hart and bass of Mike Richmond – on titles that include "A Flat Miner", "Fairy Boat To Go", "Heart Bop", and "Triple Play". 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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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
Also available Steve Arrington – Way Out 80 to 84 ... LP 16.99

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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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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 matches10
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Dao BandonKon Kee Lang Kwai (Man Or Water Buffalo) – Essential Dao Brandon ... CD
EM/Paradise Bangkok (Japan), Mid 70s. New Copy ... $20.99
With a singer this obscure, you might take the word "essential" in the title a bit loosely – but the set is a stunning batch of work from this popular Thai vocalist of the 70s! Dao Bandon's voice is amazing right from the start, even if you can't understand the language (although there is a bit of translation on the package) – this kind of eerie, otherworldly sound that steps rhythmically over these exotic backings that are both instantly timeless, and also show some slight electric elements borrowed from the Southeast Asian wave of psych from the late 60s. Most tracks move at a relatively slow pace, but that only makes Bandon's vocals an even more prominent part of the mix – especially when he criss-crosses in these really complicated patterns – and the folks at Paradise Bankok did this set with EM, so it's a great one if you dig their other reissues too. Titles include "Bong Ja Bong", "Lam Plearn Jaroen Jai", "Sanya Na Nao", "Ya Sading", "Ya Ting King", "Nat Wan Kin Yaa Dong", and "Num Lam Nam Chi". CD
Also available Kon Kee Lang Kwai (Man Or Water Buffalo) – Essential Dao Brandon ... LP 23.99

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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
Also available Truly Bad ... CD 6.99

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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

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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

Partial matches14
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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

Partial matches20
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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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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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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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New Art BlakeyWitch Doctor (plus bonus track) ... CD
Blue Note (Japan), 1961. New Copy ... $18.99
One of our favorite albums ever from Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers – but a set that was unreleased by Blue Note for quite a few years! The set's one of two gems the group recorded in 1961, but which were held back until the end of the 60s – and it features a stellar version of the group with Wayne Shorter on tenor, Lee Morgan on trumpet, and Bobby Timmons on piano – all wonderful players who were really coming into their own at the time, and starting to bring a richness to the Messengers sound that would leave its mark in jazz for many years to come! The group is razor-sharp on the rhythms, but also really able to take new chances with their phrasing and timing – on a host of wonderful tracks that include "Those Who Sit & Wait", "The Witch Doctor", and "A Little Busy" – all real classics from this special group. Features a bonus alternate take of "The Witch Doctor" too. CD
(SHM CD pressing!)
Also available Witch Doctor ... CD 13.99

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Mary J BligeMary Christmas ... CD
Verve, 2013. New Copy ... $13.99 14.98
A sparkling Christmas set from Mary J Blige – one that takes full advantage of those wonderful vocals, and lets them loose on a whole host of Holiday tunes! The album's on Verve, and has a feel that's a lot more classic than some of Mary's other work – a vibe that's somewhere between contemporary R&B and the older vocal jazz you'd hear on Christmas favorites from years past – an approach that comes through strongly in Mary's choice of tunes. Most of the numbers are favorite standards from the Holiday season, given a special Blige twist – arranged by David Foster, and titles include "Little Drummer Boy", "My Favorite Things", "This Christmas", "The Christmas Song", "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer", "Do You Hear What I Hear", "The First Noel", and "Petit Papa Noel". 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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BohannonKeep On Dancin' (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Dakar/Solid (Japan), 1972. New Copy ... $22.99
Massive grooves from the mighty Hamilton Bohannon – the kind of skittish, nervous rhythms that made his funk unlike any other artist of the 70s! There's a sense of rhythmic progression here that's super-tight, but often quite subtle in its inflections – a mode that went onto have a huge influence on many generations after the disco era – especially house from Chicago and Detroit! Yet heard here in its original form, the approach is almost even more mindblowing – played live, with a hypnotic feel that's completely compelling – as the grooves shift slowly with subtle phases that often move independently of the vocals – which themselves are often just added to the mix as an afterthought. Bohannon wrote, arranged, and produced – and the record's a sublime blend of guitar, bass, and drums used in mighty fresh ways! Tracks include "Have A Good Day", "Dance With Your Parno", "South African Man", "The Fat Man", "Red Bone", "Truck Stop", and "Rap On Mr. DJ". CD

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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 6.99

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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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New David BowieNothing Has Changed (2CD version) ... CD
Sony, Late 60s/1970s/1980s/1990s/2000s/2014. New Copy 2CD ... $15.99 16.98
Some of the greatest moments from David Bowie, mixed with some rare tracks, collaborations, 45 mixes, and more – as well as the single "Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime)" – which is one of Bowie's best singles in years! The package is available in a number of varieties, with a number of covers – and each different iteration offers a special sort of focus on Bowie's varied creative career – reminding us in more different ways how much we've continued to love his music over the years! This 2CD version features the track "Sue" – plus 38 more tracks that include "All The Young Dudes", "Dancing In The Streets" with Mick Jagger, "Blue Jean", "This Is Not America" with Pat Metheny, "Oh You Pretty Things", "Moonage Daydream", "Drive In Saturday", "Sorrow", "Fame", "Boys Keep Swinging", "Fashion (single)", "Ashes To Ashes (single)", "Love Is Lost (DFA hello Steve Reich mix)", "New Iller Star (radio)", "I'm Afraid Of Americans (V1 radio edit)", "Jump They Say (radio)", "Let's Dance", "Life On Mars", "Hello Spaceboy (PSB rmx)" with Pet Shop Boys, "Under Pressure" with Queen, "Sound & Vision", "Golden Years (single)", "Absolute Beginners (single)", "Starman (single)", "Rebel Rebel", "Jean Genie (orig single version)", "Changes", "Where Are We Now", "China Girl (single)", and "Heroes (single)". CD

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New David BowieNothing Has Changed (3CD version) ... CD
Sony, Late 60s/1970s/1980s/1990s/2000s/2014. New Copy 3CD ... $21.99
Some of the greatest moments from David Bowie, mixed with some rare tracks, collaborations, 45 mixes, and more – as well as the single "Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime)" – which is one of Bowie's best singles in years! The package is available in a number of varieties, with a number of covers – and each different iteration offers a special sort of focus on Bowie's varied creative career – reminding us in more different ways how much we've continued to love his music over the years! This 3CD version features the track "Sue" – plus 58 more tracks that include"All The Young Dudes", "Dancing In The Streets" with Mick Jagger, "Silly Boy Blue", "Can't Help Thinking About Me", "Liza Jane", "You've Got A Habit Of Leaving", "Wild Is The Wind (2010 Harry Maslin mix)", "Buddha Of Subburbia", "Your Turn To Drive", "The Stars Are Out Tonight", "Blue Jean", "This Is Not America" with Pat Metheny, "Oh You Pretty Things", "Moonage Daydream", "Drive In Saturday", "Sorrow", "Fame", "Boys Keep Swinging", "Fashion (single)", "Ashes To Ashes (single)", "Love Is Lost (DFA hello Steve Reich mix)", "New Iller Star (radio)", "I'm Afraid Of Americans (V1 radio edit)", "Jump They Say (radio)", "Let's Dance", "Life On Mars", "Hello Spaceboy (PSB rmx)" with Pet Shop Boys, "Under Pressure" with Queen, "Sound & Vision", "Golden Years (single)", "Absolute Beginners (single)", "Starman (single)", "Rebel Rebel", "Jean Genie (orig single version)", "Changes", "Where Are We Now", "China Girl (single)", and "Heroes (single)". CD

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New 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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New Anthony BraxtonEight (+1) Tristano Compositions 1989 – For Warne Marsh ... CD
Hat Hut (Switzerland), 1989. New Copy ... $19.99
One of those great records that really reminds us that Anthony Braxton's roots in jazz run plenty plenty deep – despite his longstanding reputation as an individual! This set of Lennie Tristano compositions offers up some great old school blowing from Braxton – alto that's as sharp and fresh as Lee Konitz back in the day, but rearranged with even more intensity in some special arrangements for this set – and served up in a group that also features Jon Raskin on baritone sax, Dred Scot on piano, Cecil McBee on bass, and Andrew Cyrille on drums! The approach is wonderful – still filled with the brand new quality of 50s modern jazz – yet also a bit more vibrant than some other albums that have Braxton working in an old school mode. Titles include "Lennie Bird", "Two Not One", "Dreams", "Lennie's Pennies", "Victory Ball", and "April". CD
Also available Eight (+1) Tristano Compositions 1989 – For Warne Marsh ... CD 14.99

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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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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

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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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Donald Byrd & Pepper AdamsMotor City Scene (remastered edition) ... CD
Bethlehem, 1960. New Copy ... $11.99 12.99
One of the most hard-hitting sessions ever recorded for the Bethlehem label – and a rare date for the imprint by the team of trumpeter Donald Byrd and saxophonist Pepper Adams! The style here is similar to work the pair recorded for Riverside and Blue Note at the same time – razor-sharp hardbop, played with a strong sense of imagination, and plenty of room for drawn-out, creatively-blown solos. Adams is especially great – playing the baritone here with the leanness of a tenor sax – but Byrd is wonderful too, and really starts to break out of some of the more staid modes of his work from a few years back. The group's a sextet that includes guitarist Kenny Burrell, pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer "Hey" Lewis (another name for Louis Hayes?) – on titles that include "Trio", "Philson", "Libeccio", and "Bitty Ditty". CD
Also available Motor City Scene (remastered edition) ... LP 17.99

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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!)
Also available Cat In The Hat ... LP 5.99

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CandidoDancin' & Prancin' (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Salsoul/Big Break (UK), 1979. New Copy ... $8.99
A key chapter in the rich long legacy of Candido on record – a set that pushes the percussion maestro strongly into the disco generation – with wonderful results that are still massively strong all these many years later! Candido had always been one of the funkiest conga players around – especially as his music moved into the 70s – but here, he really takes off with some sublime disco arrangements – full clubby grooves that are some of the best Salsoul sounds of the time, yet which still leave plenty of room for Candi's congas! The congas participate in the rhythms at every level – and often take on a nice solo spotlight too – and all tracks are nice and long, with killers that include a club remake of "Thousand Finger Man", plus "Dancin & Prancin", "Jingo", and "Rock & Shuffle". CD features a massive amount of bonus tracks – more than on the album – with gems from singles that include "Jingo (original 12" version)", "Thousand Finger Man (12" ext version)", "Jingo (Shep Pettibone mix)", "Thousand Finger Man (single)", "Jingo (single)", and "Jingo (inst)". CD

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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

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New 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 13.99

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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

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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

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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

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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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Buddy ColletteJazz Loves Paris (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Specialty/OJC, 1958. New Copy ... $3.99 11.98
A hip little album from Buddy Collette – one that's ostensibly based around the then-popular idea of a set of Paris-inspired tunes – but which comes off with a sound that's a lot deeper than you might expect! David Axelrod produced the set – it was one of his early projects for Specialty Records – and Buddy Collette plays alto, tenor, and flute – in a group with Frank Rosolino on trombone, Howard Roberts on guitar, Red Mitchell on bass, and Bill Richmond or Bill Douglass on drums. Red Callender joins in on some tracks, and his deep tones mixed with Rosolino's trombone, really help offset the lighter sounds of Collette's reeds in a nice way. Titles include "Domino", "Mam'Selle", "Pigalle", "I Love Paris", "La Vie En Rose", and "Under Paris Skies". CD features 4 bonus alternate takes, too! 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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New 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

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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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New CookersTime & Time Again ... CD
Motema, 2014. New Copy ... $11.99 15.98
One of the greatest groups going in recent years – a strong revival of key soulful jazz talents from previous years, all working under the leadership of trumpeter David Weiss – who's really helped them come together and find a whole new sort of energy! The lineup features tremendous tenor from Billy Harper – sounding at his classic best with The Cookers – especially when the rhythms spin out majestically from George Cables on piano, Cecil McBee on bass, and Billy Hart on drums – often with these dark undercurrents that make the music wonderfully powerful! And in addition to Weiss on trumpet, the frontline also includes Eddie Henderson's trumpet as well, plus the alto of Donald Harrison – and the horns have a great way of folding together and interweaving, before breaking out in these very personal solos. Titles include tracks by almost all members of the group – and tunes include "Slippin & Slidin", "Renada", "Sir Galahad", "Time & Time Again", "Dance Of The Invisible Nymph", "Dance Eternal Spirits Dance", and "Three Fall". CD

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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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Mike CooperTrout Steel ... CD
Dawn/Paradise Of Bachelors, 1970. New Copy ... $12.99 13.99
A beautiful set from the British scene at the start of the 70s – a record that's got a fairly folksy tone, but lots of jazzy currents as well! The set was issued on the seminal Dawn Records label – and really shows that imprint's commitment to the left side of the spectrum – as Mike Cooper's vocals and acoustic guitar come into play with more guitar from Stefan Grossman – plus alto sax from Mike Osborne, tenor and soprano from Alan Skidmore, piano from John Taylor, and bass from the late Harry Miller – all key players on the UK avant jazz scene of the time! The mix of these players with Cooper's core inspiration is not unlike some of the most progressive material coming from Island Records – or, even better, the special jazzy moments on records by Tim Buckley or Tim Hardin – company that Cooper could very easily keep, given the strength of his songwriting. Titles include "Don't Talk Too Fast", "On My Way", "Hope You See", "Weeping Rose", "Trout Steel", "I've Got Mine", "That's How", and "Pharoah's March". CD
Also available Trout Steel (with download) ... LP 20.99

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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

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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
Also available Larry Coryell With The Wide Hive Players ... LP 9.99

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New Gal Costa & Gilberto GilLive In London 1971 ... CD
Discobertas (Brazil), 1971. New Copy 2CD ... $32.99
Really stunning stuff – a never-heard live performance from early 70s London – one that features Gilberto Gil in exile, working alongside the great Gal Costa! The album's got a lean, stripped-down feel – similar acoustic instrumentation to both Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso's London recordings – a mode that's an especially great change from some of Costa's more produced albums of the period – at a level that really lets us hear how warmly collaborative and high spirited she could be! Both Gal and Gilberto play guitar – and backing is by a group of bass, percussion, and drums – the last of which are played by Tutty Moreno – and the performance has the singers working solo and in duet – the latter of which is especially great! The set includes a few English language numbers – "Brand New Dream" and "One O'Clock Last Morning 20th April 1970" – plus versions of "Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" and "Up From The Skies". And other titles include "Sai Do Sereno", "Coracao Vagabundo", "Procissao", "Acaua", "Chuva Suor E Cerveja", "Viramundo", "Como Dois E Dois", and "Maria Bethania/Bota A Mao Nas Cadeiras". CD

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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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New Kenny CoxClap Clap – The Joyful Noise ... CD
Strata/180 Proof, 1974. New Copy ... $12.99
Amazing lost sounds from Detroit – a previously unissued album from pianist Kenny Cox – best known for his late 60s albums on Blue Note, but working here in a really righteous style, and using a fair bit of Fender Rhodes as well! The album's a lost gem from the Strata label – home to Lyman Woodard's Saturday Night Special album – and there's definitely a side to this record that's shared with that one – a bit more laidback, definitely, but equally soulful, and mixed with spiritual jazz elements that echo the style of Kenny's Tribe Records contemporaries on the Detroit scene. Other players include Charles Moore on flugelhorn, Buzz Jones on soprano sax and flute, Ron English on bass, and Skeets Curry on electric guitar – and in addition to Fender Rhodes, Cox also plays clavinet, mellotron, and Arp as well! The set's got a bit of vocals – from Fito Foster and Nengue Hernandez – but the main focus is instrumental, and the long tracks really have the group spinning out beautifully. Titles include "Clap Clap The Joyful Noise", "Samba De Romance", "Island Song", "Lost My Love", and "Beyond The Dream". CD

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Randy CrawfordNightline/Abstract Emotions (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Warner/Edsel (UK), 1983/1986. New Copy 2 CDs ... $19.99
Two 80s gems from Randy Crawford – with bonus tracks too! Niteline is a great crossover moment for Randy Crawford – a set that's filled with catchy little numbers that really helped to break her big to a larger audience, yet still with all the jazzy class of her earlier records too! Linda and Cecil Womack contributed a number of excellent songs to the set, and these balance out the soul component nicely – rounding things out alongside a few of the more crossover tracks. Backings are polished, but still never too clunky or commercial – leaving lots of room for those classic Crawford vocals – and titles include "Nightline", "Living On The Outside", "The Bottom Line", "In Real Life", "Happy Feet", "Lift Me Up", and "Ain't No Foolin". Also features bonus cuts – "Nightline (special version)" and "Nightline (inst dub)". On Abstract Emotions, Randy Crawford's working with arrangements and production from Reggie Lucas – all very much in that sweet 80s style he was bringing to work with other artists at the time! There's plenty of beats, guitars, and keyboards in the instrumentation – pushing an overall sound that's more electric than some of Randy's jazzier sides from the early days. But Ms Crawford's vocals come out strongly on top of it all – with a poised presence that's clearly the main focus of the set. Lucas plays guitar, and also wrote a few of the tracks – and titles include "Can't Stand The Pain", "Actual Emotional Love", "World Of Fools", "Betcha", "Desire", "Getting Away With Murder", and "Almaz". CD features bonus tracks – "Getting Away With Murder (ext)", "Desire (edit)", "Desire (Victor Flores rmx)", "Desire (Victor Flores ext)", and "Desire (acappella)". 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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New Stanton Davis' Ghetto MysticismBrighter Days ... CD
Outrageous/Cultures Of Soul, 1977. New Copy ... $11.99
Sublime sounds from the legendary Stanton Davis – a rare 70s gem that's been a favorite of groovehounds for years! The set's got a really unique feel – part spiritual jazz, part soaring club – a blend that's similar to the sound you'd get on James Mason's legendary album too – a unique hybrid of American undergrounds that comes off beautifully throughout! Production is perfect – a Mizell-like blend of acoustic and electric jazz elements, layered with a bit of vocals – and Davis plays soulful trumpet lines, in a group that has some especially nice keyboards! Titles include "Space A Nova (parts 1 & 2)", "Play Sleep", "Brighter Days/Brighter Daze", "Nida", "High Jazz", and "Things Cannot Stop Forever". CD
Also available Brighter Days ... LP 16.99

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New Doris DayComplete Christmas Collection ... CD
Columbia/Real Gone, Mid 60s. New Copy ... $15.99 16.98
A full album's worth of Christmas cheer from Doris Day – with a whole lot of bonus tracks too! The core of the set is the 1964 Doris Day Christmas Album – the only full length Christmas album from Doris, and a real standout in the Columbia holiday offerings of the 60s! Doris has a well-developed vocal approach that really brings a lot to the familiar tunes in the set – and her years of on-screen presentation really helps illuminate the songs with a nicely personal feel – never overplayed, but the kind of readings that always used to make tunes like these really sparkle on the TV screen in December. Arrangements are by Pete King, Dick Hazard, and Frank Comstock – and titles include "Let It Snow", "Christmas Present", "White Christmas", "Silver Bells", "Snowfall", "Be A Child At Christmas Time", and "The Christmas Song". CD then includes a whopping 10 more bonus tracks from previous singles and collections – titles that include "I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm", "Deck The Halls", "Silent Night", "Let No Walls Divide", "Here Comes Santa Claus", and a special "Christmas Greeting From Doris Day". 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

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Jackie De ShannonFor You (plus bonus tracks) ... CD
Imperial/RPM (UK), 1967. New Copy ... $8.99
Jackie DeShannon serves up some wonderful renditions of popular tunes from the 50s and 60s – stepping aside from her usual role as songwriter, and singing sweetly to some great arrangements from George Tipton! The style is somewhere between 60s pop and more sophisticated vocals – often sharing the best elements of both at the time, and offering a side of Jackie's talents that isn't often captured this way on record. The song choices are especially nice – making the record way more than just a "filler" set – and titles include "If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody", "Are We Dancing", "Everything Under The Sun", "Merry Go Round In The Rain", "No Easy Way Down", "Dream", "Don't Dream Of Anybody But Me", and "It's All In The Game". CD adds 9 more tracks from the album New Image – a similar set of standards and covers with arrangements by Marty Paich – and a set of titles that includes "A Proper Girl", "Sunday Kind Of Love", "The Carnival Is Closed Today", "I'll Be Seeing You", "That's The Name Of The Game", and "Poor Someone". CD

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New 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

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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

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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

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DirectionsDirections ... CD
Brunswick/Solid (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... $19.99
One of the rarest soul records on Brunswick! This one was cut during the mid 70s – when the label was really having some rough times financially, but also was cutting some of its most groundbreaking soul work. The Directions are a tight harmony quintet – equipped, it appears, with their own band (The Directions Band) who give the group a nice rough soul sound. The vocal cuts on the record have sort of a Philly harmony style – with many uptempo numbers that are sort of a rougher version of work by Blue Magic or The Spinners. The instrumental tracks are smooth funk – with lots of tight keyboard work over heavy riffing and vamping, mostly in an uptempo vein. Titles include "Too Many Secrets", "Soup Line", "I Want To Be Your Special Man", "If You Ever", "We Need Love", and "I Love You So". CD

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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

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George DukeBrazilian Fusion ... CD
Wounded Bird, Late 70s/Early 80s. New Copy ... $10.99 11.98
A dream of a set – at least to our Brazilian-loving ears – a special package that brings together all the best Brazilian-flavored cuts from George Duke's late 70s run on Epic Records! The package is filled with wonderfully sunny grooves throughout – tunes that sparkle and soar with mighty nice rhythms – topped with loads of keyboards from George, and vocals that often have a scatting, breezy style that's plenty sweet – American soul influenced by Brazilian grooves, in a sound that's a bit like the feel of Earth Wind & Fire's "Brazilian Rhyme". It's wonderful to have these cuts all together, and the set feels like a dream album we would have compiled ourselves – with titles that include "Omi", "The Future", "The Way I Feel", "Sunrise", "Festival", "A Melody", "Ipanema Lady", "Corine", "Positive Energy", "Let Your Love Shine", "Thinking Of You", "Your Life", and "Yeah We Going". CD

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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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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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New 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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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 1.99

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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

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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
Also available I Remember When ... CD 7.99

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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

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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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Art FarmerModern Art ... CD
United Artists/Universal (Japan), 1958. New Copy ... $13.99
A seminal session as a leader by the young Art Farmer – recorded for United Artists, and a great set of tight lyrical tunes, played by Farmer in his sparkling style – in a group along with Benny Golson on tenor and Bill Evans on piano. Evans is a special treat here, as the 1958 session was recorded at a time when he was making a fair bit of appearances in various rhythm sections for horn players (like Miles Davis) – and although this role in Evans' career was a short one, it yielded some amazingly beautiful moments, as you'll hear on this album. Art's brother Addison plays bass, and Dave Bailey rounds out the group on drums. Tracks include "Cold Breeze", "Mox Nix", "Jubilation", and "Fair Weather". CD
Also available Modern Art ... LP 11.99

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New Joe FarnsworthMy Heroes ... CD
Venus (Japan), 2014. New Copy ... $32.99
Drummer Joe Farnsworth pays tribute to the greats of the 50s and 60s – Elvin Jones, Roy Haynes, Art Blakey, Max Roach, and others – in a smoking set that features his longtime musical companions Eric Alexander on tenor, Harold Mabern on piano, and Nat Reeves on bass! There's a vibe here that's different than other recent dates from this well-matched team – as the players are definitely trying to skew their sounds differently with each number dedicated to a different drummer – especially Alexander and Mabern, who really match Farnsworth's energy as he changes things up. Titles include "Syeeda's Song Flute", "Two Bass Hit", "Reflection", "George's Dilemma", and "Cute". CD
Also available My Heroes (180 gram pressing) ... LP 52.99

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New Bryan FerryAvonmore ... CD
BMG, 2014. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
Bryan Ferry, still going strong after all these years – and finding a new sort of sweet space that really seems to make the most of his aging vocal approach! Ferry's still very much in the best modes of his excellent solo records – especially the gems of the late 70s and early 80s – and working here with producer Rhett Davies, he hits very familiar territory that really seems to fit him well from a musical perspective. Yet there's also a different quality in his life – more of a sense of aged wisdom that makes the lyrics resonate even more than before, even when still silky smooth – kind of that detached observer that Ferry always did so well, but with a lot more life behind him to back up his vision. Titles include "Midnight Train", "Soldier Of Fortune", "Driving Me Wild", "Avonmore", "Loop De Li", and "Lost" – plus a surprising version of "Send In The Clowns", done in a nice spacey mood – and help from Todd Terje on a wicked remake of Robert Palmer's "Johnny & Mary" – which may well be the best track on the record! CD

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New Manfredo FestManifestations ... CD
Tabu (UK), 1979. New Copy ... $16.99
An incredible batch of Brazilian fusion – cut by keyboardist Manfredo Fest, and one of the few records he ever waxed in the US during the 70s! The record mixes Fest's soaring Brazilian groove with a tight soulful set of arrangements by Jerry Peters – a bit club-oriented, with a similar sound to some of the other records on the Tabu label at the time, but always sensitive to Fest's playing and writing – especially his Brazilian roots! The record features wonderful vocals by Roberta Davis – a very soulful singer who had a hip wordless style that was similar to Tania Maria's at the time – breezy, scatting, and very nice. Her work really makes the record sparkle, working perfectly with Fest's jazzy electric keyboards in a perfect way! Titles include "Jungle Kitten", "Koko & Leeroe", "Arigo", and "Who Needs It". Sweet reissue – in book-style cover, with new liner notes and an interview with Jerry Peters. CD

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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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New George FreemanFranticdiagnosis (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Bam-Boo/Shout (Japan), 1972. New Copy ... $19.99
A legendary bit of funk – and a killer record from one of the most unique guitarists ever! George Freeman's got a sound and a style unlike any other player we can think of – an approach to funky guitar that's often got a really hard touch on the strings, and which gets nice and noisy at the best funky moments. Freeman's probably best known for the few obscure records he cut with Groove Holmes, but this album's his out and out masterpiece – a rare one-off session cut in the funky Philly scene and supervised by DJ Sonny Hopson – and featuring a rare mix of players that includes Cesar Frazier on organ and Charles Earland on Arp! The mix of organ and Arp is really incredible – especially on the side-long jammer "Franticdiagnosis", which runs for nearly 20 minutes, and is one of the most messed-up funky jazz jams of the 70s! Other players include Von Freeman on tenor sax and Dave Hubbard on alto flute – and the album features the legendary jazz dance track "The Bump", plus the cuts "Free-Man" and "God Bless The Child". CD
Also available Franticdiagnosis ... LP 9.99

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Steve Freund & Gloria HardimanSet Me Free (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Delmark, 1983. New Copy ... $11.99 15.99
An excellent early 80s session from guitarist Steve Freund – recorded on the indie side of the Chicago scene, and a key debut for the vocals of Gloria Hardiman! Gloria's definitely a blues singer, but her phrasing is almost more deep soul at times too – a really rich voice that was finally finding an outlet on the last strong scene in Chicago – but which might have sung for Chess or Brunswick, had she been born a decade or two before! The production is nicely laidback, and Hardiman's special style really helps keep the set away from any cliches – on titles that include "You Got Me", "That's All Right", "The Things I Used To Do", "New Orleans Hop Scop Blues", and "Well I Done Got Over It". CD features four bonus tracks – two unreleased, and two from a rare 45! CD
 
 
 



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