Brownswood (UK), 2022. 2LP Gatefold
A set that's even better than the first album from Str4ta – a great side project from Jean Paul Bluey Maunick of Incognito, and one that takes him back to the British 80s funk world from which he came! Gilles Peterson is Bluey's partner on the project – and he's opened the door to a ... (Neo Soul LP)
Blue Note, 1966. Gatefold (reissue)
Genius work from trumpeter Blue Mitchell – one of his most solid sides as a leader from the 60s, and a well-deserved treasure in the Blue Note catalog! The album's quite different than the straight soul jazz of Blue's early days on Riverside – or the more arranged dates of the late 60s ... (Jazz LP)
Brother/Capitol, 1972. 2CDs
Two great Beach Boys albums from the early 70s – plus the bonus ep of material from Holland, and other bonus tracks too! The Carl & The Passions album is a bit of a shift for The Beach Boys – as you might guess from the Carl & The Passions billing on the cover! The record's ... (Rock CD)
Afrosynth (Netherlands), 2022. 2LP (reissue)
Drummer Ayanda Sikade is a hell of a force on the contemporary jazz scene in South Africa – and here, he steps out with a voice that's all his own – drawing a bit on the older legacy of his nation's jazz, while also bringing in some of the more spiritual currents of the global ... (Jazz LP)
Blue Note (Japan), 1971.
A gem of an Elvin Jones session – quite different than most of his other work from the time! The album's got Elvin working with a larger group of mixed electric and acoustic players – with Chick Corea on piano and electric piano, Yoshiaki Masuo on guitar, Gene Perla on electric and ... (Jazz CD)
TK/Regrooved (Netherlands), 1978. (reissue)
Fantastic funky gospel from the 70s – an album cut by singer Camille Doughty for the Gospel Roots imprint of TK Records – and done with a style that has a great mix of funky backings and deep soul vocals! Some of the work is definitely more conventional gospel, but even those tracks ... (Gospel LP)
Atco/Big Pink (South Korea), 1975.
It must have cost Barrabas plenty to make the heart-shaped manhole on the cover of this album – but given the sound of the grooves, the money was well worth it! The set's a fair bit tighter than their earliest work from Spain – but also a great direction for their styles – one ... (Soul CD)
Materiali Sonori/Spittle (Italy), Early 80s.
Alexander Robotnick may not have been the biggest name on the dancefloors of the 80s – but his early electronic grooves from the Italian scene ended up having a huge impact on Chicago house and early Detroit techno – a link that you'll definitely hear when you drop the needle on this ... (Soul LP)
Dogtown/Aguirre (Belgium), 1972. (reissue)
A rare early session from vibist Khan Jamal – recorded with his Philly-based Creative Arts Ensemble collective! The group follows strongly in the spirit of similar combos from Chicago and St Louis – particularly the latter – and Jamal's group is working here in a mode that's ... (Jazz LP)
Jazzman (UK), Late 50s/Early 60s.
Greasy Mike's been making the global rounds on records like this – serving up an imagined landscape of weird and wonderful sounds, all pulled from rare singles of late 50s/early 60s vintage! We're not sure Mike's efforts will ever win him a harem, but he's done a great job here – ... (Rock LP)
Hobo/Trunk (UK), 1979. (reissue)
A totally great, near-lost record from the electric jazz years of the 70s – one with a vibe that's much more early 70s than you'd expect from the date or the cover – which is probably why this CTI-styled gem has been lost to the shifting sands of time for so many years! The group's ... (Jazz LP)
Impulse, 1970. Gatefold (reissue)
Our favorite-ever album by Alice Coltrane – a masterpiece of spirit and soul, recorded in a wonderfully open-handed style – and with a vibe that's maybe a bit different than some of her other records, especially the ones with larger groups! The album's mostly a spare batch of tracks ... (Jazz LP)
Astigmatic (Poland), 2022.
Beautiful solo piano work from Marek Latarnik Pedziwiatr – a player you might know for his crucial contributions to the groups EABS and Jaubi – sounding very different and a lot more personal here on his own! Latarnik's touch on the piano is often very rhythmic and lyrical at the same ... (Jazz CD)
Astigmatic (Poland), 2022.
Spiritual sounds with a global bent – served up here by a group who mix together sarangi, tablas, cajon, guitar, and a bit of kalimba – plus vocals of their own, which are often buried down in the mix a bit, and help created a larger sonic palette rather than stand as more conventional ... (Jazz LP)
Cinevox/Cinewax (Italy), Early 70s. (reissue)
A really wonderful moment in music from Giorgio Gaslini – the Italian musician who's known to most for his avant jazz piano work, but who also gave the world some pretty great soundtracks too! Some of Gaslini's jazz work involved unique cross-cultural hybrids – and that's definitely ... (Soundtracks LP)
Past Due, Late 70s.
Never-heard music from the great Richie Weeks – an artist you might know for his work in New York dancefloor groups The Jammers and Weeks & Co – but who's heard here on cuts that represent his never-ending efforts to come up with great grooves in the studio! Much of this music was ... (Soul CD)
Mutt & Jeff/P-Vine (Japan), 1969. (reissue)
The back cover of this one says "This Album Should Be Titled MONSTER" – and for once, the back cover is right! The album's the only one we've ever seen by the super-dope LA guitarist Cal Green – a wonderful talent with a hard-edge approach to the strings, one that's a bit ... (Jazz LP)
An issue that gets at exactly the kind of coverage that's made us love Shindig year after year – one that features a killer cover feature on legendary Greek prog/political act Aphrodite's Child – plus a look at Jonny Trunk's new soundtrack release for Children Of The Stones, the post-Ste ... (Magazine)
Jazzego (Portugal), 2022.
A mighty nice selection of tracks from the contemporary underground in Porto – work that's much warmer, acoustic, and jazz-based than you might guess from the image on the cover – and which, together, is so wonderful that we're thinking of booking a trip to Portugal, just to visit this ... (New Grooves LP)
East World/Think (Japan), 1987. (reissue)
Sophisticated fusion from Japanese reedman Toshiyuki Honda – a set that's kind of an extension of the straighter sounds he'd crafted a few years before! The album has almost a soundtrack-like feel at times – and comes off like a suite of tracks that blends core combo instrumentation ... (Jazz LP)
2000 Black (UK), 2022.
Dego is fantastic here, and maybe more strongly in song-based territory than on recent records – thanks to some really strong vocals from Samii on a fair bit of the album's tracks! The singer really helps to give the music some focus – taking the amazing energy of Dego's beats, ... (New Grooves LP)
Trunk (UK), 1971.
Ron Geesin's a British arranger with a host of amazing talents – from early work in the exotica field, to a famous collaboration with Roger Waters – always handled with a mindblowing sense of sound and scope! Here, he delivers a superb score for the film Sunday Bloody Sunday – a ... (Soundtracks LP)
Blue Note, 1963. (reissue)
Landmark material from the farther reaches of jazz in the mid 60s – one of two albums that trombonist Grachan Moncur recorded for Blue Note – and a session that ranks as one of the best examples of the "new thing" moment in 60s jazz! Grachan's leading a sextet here that ... (Jazz LP)
Disques D'Esperance/Comet (France), 1975. (reissue)
A soulful treasure from 70s France – funky fusion at its best, played by drummer Noel McGhie and his legendary Space Spies combo! The group features some sweet electric piano on all the grooves – really skipping out with a light touch that steps around McGhie's tight drum work nicely ... (Jazz LP)
Octopus/Holy Basil (Italy), 1972. (reissue)
A moodier set than usual from the great Alessandro Alessandroni – the kind of sound library album that really lets the composer open up and try some new ideas – of the sort he wouldn't necessarily use in his more famous soundtracks! At points, there's a darkness here that almost feels ... (Sound Library LP)
WinCor/Mad About Records (Portugal), 1983. (reissue)
A classic set of soul jazz from Chicago – a rare indie date recorded in the early 80s, but with a tight and swinging feel that's more 70s jazz funk than you might think! Corky's on Yamaha keyboards, and he's backed by a hip group of Chicago players that includes Curtis Prince on drums, Artee ... (Jazz LP)
Cat/Regrooved (Netherlands), Early 70s. (reissue)
An excellent bit of southern funk – very much in the early mode of Little Beaver, but with a sound that's even harder! James Knight is The Black Knight – leading a tight little combo with a raw funky 45 sound, heavy on the horns for backing, but with James' guitar right up front in the ... (Soul LP)
Radio Martiko (Belgium), Late 80s.
A record that's as groovy as the group looks on the cover – and one that comes across with just the blend of acoustic and electric instrumentation the image might imply! Ansambl Mileta Petrovica are a Serbian group from the 80s who took older songs and reworked them with a cool style that's ... (Global Grooves LP)
Jump World (Japan), 2022.
A really fantastic singer, and one that we're only discovering with this album – an obscure Japanese release that will hopefully put Tea at the front of the line for up and coming young jazz vocalists! The set mixes in plenty of soulful currents with the jazz, thanks in part to the superb ... (Vocalists CD)
Visions (UK), 2022.
Two different slices of sound from keyboardist Sohan Wilson – both of them equally great! Side one of the record features a live jazzy combo working with Sohan – creating these cool jazz funk numbers that are steeped in 70s tradition, but which have a very contemporary cosmic vibe ... (New Grooves LP)
CAM/Sugar (Italy), 1970s.
American film may have invented the genres of crime jazz and blacksploitation funk – but by the mid 70s, the Italian scene was really giving us a run for our money – as they turned out some amazing grooves for their legendary run of cop and crime films at the time! The movies were ... (Soundtracks CD)
Treno (Japan), 2022.
Nao's a singer with an unusual sense of phrasing and a great ear for a song – one that has her putting together a really well-chosen batch of material that gets past the usual while still also staying in familiar jazz territory too! The approach is a bit like some of the best indie jazz ... (Vocalists CD)
International Anthem, 2022.
Maybe the most beautiful record we've ever heard from bassist Dezron Douglas – an artist who hasn't given us many albums as a leader, but who always creates something special when he does! This set not only follows that legacy, but really knocks it out of the park – as there's a rich, ... (Jazz LP)
RCA/Esoteric (UK), 1975.
Really mind-expanding work from British singer Julie Tippetts – an artist who's come a long way from the straighter soul sounds she was doing with Brian Auger in the late 60s! The album shows the same evolution expressed by many of Julie's British jazz rock contemporaries – a ... (Vocalists CD)
Warner/Big Pink (South Korea), 1971.
One of a handful of great, but somewhat obscure albums by Turley Richards – a singer/songwriter who gets some very strong handling in the best Warner tradition of the time – which means that the label really lets Richard open up and do his own thing throughout the set, with just the ... (Rock CD)
Fantasy/Craft, Early 60s.
An amazing record – one with a depth that goes way beyond its simple roots, and which has gone on to become one of the true Christmas classics of the 20th Century! Although a Christmas soundtrack, the album's more of a tapestry of sadness, longing, and loss – the best qualities that ... (Holiday Music CD)
Tramp (Germany), Late 60s/Early 70s.
Your Christmas just got a whole lot funkier – thanks to a wonderful entry in this legendary series – maybe one of the coolest collections ever of hard-to-find Holiday grooves! As with previous volumes, almost all the tracks here are pulled from rare funky 45s – obscure original ... (Holiday Music CD)
Sundazed, Mid 70s.
The fantastic lost legacy of The Harlots Of 42nd Street – a cross-dressing group who were Manhattan contemporaries of the New York Dolls, but who never got their best shot at fame! If anything, the group's lyrics are grittier than the Dolls – more in the streetwise/street scene mode of ... (Rock CD)
Neroli (UK), 2022.
Nathan Haines and Phil Asher deliver some really amazing sounds here – exactly the kind of music that first got us noticing their skills on the London scene many years back! "Journey To The Peak" is a soaring cosmic groover with a long alto solo from Haines – real jazz that ... (New Grooves 12-inch)
Carosello/New Platform (Italy), 1976. (reissue)
The legendary Italian drummer Tullio De Piscopo is at his most dynamic here – effortlessly blending funky jazz, soul, and bits of prog – all at that level that soon made him a legend in the clubs! Tullio's a hell of a drummer at the core – you'll know that if you've ever heard ... (Jazz LP)
Michel Pilz/Peter Kowald/Paul Lovens
FMP/Cien Fuegos (Germany), 1976. (reissue)
A fantastic showcase for the reed work of Michel Pilz – playing bass clarinet here in a killer FMP trio with Peter Kowald on bass and Paul Lovens on drums! Pilz handles the instrument at a level that's unlike anyone else we can think of – especially in the historical run up to the ... (Jazz LP)
Cellar Live, 2022.
Baritone saxophonist Jason Marshall really sounds wonderful here – grabbing not just the rich sounds that his instrument has traditionally had in jazz, but maybe echoing other instrumental modes at times too, given his ability to mix a raw edge with a warmer tone! The set's a great showcase ... (Jazz CD)
Astigmatic (Poland), 2021.
A record that's nicely lean and focused compared to some of the darker, moodier records from this Polish group – almost as if they've shaken out a few layers in the mix, and focused a bit more on some of the acoustic elements in their lineup! There's still plenty of the deep bass guitar ... (Jazz LP)
Corbett vs. Dempsey, 2022.
A solo performance from groundbreaking saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, but one that's got sort of a "phantom" partner in Peter Brotzmann – as Mats works here from the boxed set of musical scores that Brotzmann originally created for his Chicago Tentet! Gustafsson plays selections from ... (Jazz CD)
Trova/Altercat (Germany), 1971. (reissue)
A true masterpiece from the Argentine jazz scene of the early 70s – recorded at a time when tensions in the nation were really running high, and seemed to drive creative talents to a whole new level of expression! That's definitely the case here, as bassist Jorge Lopez Ruiz really knocks ... (Jazz LP)
Gordy/Universal (Japan), 1985.
A lost little gem from the Rick James camp – a bit obscure, despite the fact that Val's a former Bride Of Funkenstein! Val's not as well known as some of the other artists that Rick James worked with back in the 80s – but given her resume, she's got a solidly soulful sound that works ... (Soul CD)
Pye/BMG, 1971. (reissue)
A great set of tracks by the Kinks – originally written as the soundtrack for a film that barely saw the light of day – yet presented here as a classic late 60s album that's up there with the other gems from the same period as Arthur and Village Green! A few tunes are instrumental ... (Rock LP)
Circular Motion, 2022. (pic cover)
Anthony Nicholson works some real magic here with the vocals of Jaidene Veda – giving the singer a soaring, cascading groove that's completely wonderful all the way through – that always-uplifting vibe that we love in Nicholson's music! The "heart of gold" reprise has Jaidene ... (New Grooves 12-inch)
Mericana/Salsoul, 1973. (reissue)
A landmark album from Joe Bataan – so great, that it made the entire record company change its name from their original Mericana to the better-known Salsoul – which would later rule the world with a host of disco classics! The record has Joe really bursting out after his seminal Latin ... (Latin LP)
University Of Central Arkansas, 2022.
A special all-country edition of the Oxford American's annual issue devoted to music of the south – and one that's overflowing with the kind of wonderful writing that's always set the publication apart from the mainstream music press! These aren't simple articles on the histories of big ... (Magazine)
CTI/Music On Vinyl (Netherlands), 1972. Gatefold (reissue)
One of the best CTI albums from the early 70s – and one of Stanley Turrentine's funkiest records as well! The album's got a sharper edge than most other Turrentine albums of the time – a quality that goes beyond Stan's already soulful approach to the tenor, and which brings in some ... (Jazz LP)
Paramount/Esoteric (UK), 1970. 4CD
A massive set of work from Affinity – a group who only gave the world one classic album, but have a heck of a lot more to offer too! The set begins with the self-titled album from Affinity – a British rock combo, but one with a distinctly jazzy feel – one that's often quite funky ... (Rock CD)
Capitol/Elemental (Spain), 1967. (reissue)
A key late 60s country crossover set, but one that also inspired a fair bit of funk as well! The title cut's a well-known gem – one that's been covered instrumentally in some break-heavy versions, but which sounds even more amazing here in Bobbie's original version – one of the ... (Folk/Country LP)
Shika Shika, 2022.
An unusual sort of conservation project – one that features artists from a number of different West African nations, each serving up a song based on an endangered bird from their region! Some of the tracks directly sample the birdsongs, others replicate through instrumentation – and ... (Global Grooves LP)
Capitol (Italy), 2022.
This isn't the first time that Calibro 35 have paid tribute to the music of soundtrack genius Ennio Morricone – but given how much great music Morricone gave us over the decades, this project is still very much the tip of the iceberg! If anything, the group have really deepened their sound a ... (New Grooves CD)
El Palmas (Spain), Mid 70s. (reissue)
A well-done look at the music of Ray Perez – one of the hardest-hitting Latin leaders on the Venezuelan scene in the 70s, and a musician who's finally getting his due on the global scene! Ray's got a groove that's nice and sharp, and at times maybe more tuned towards the small combo sound of ... (Latin LP)
Telarc, 2012. 2LP Gatefold (reissue)
Maybe the greatest record so far from the lovely Esperanza Spalding – a set that has her moving farther from jazz, into a wonderfully warm style of soul music overall! The mix of modes is exquisite – a blend of Spalding's jazz-trained vocals with some beautiful arrangements that ... (Neo Soul LP)
Verve, 1966. Gatefold (reissue)
An open-ended live date from Bill Evans – recorded at the auspicious venue of Town Hall, but recorded with a warmth that matches Evans' smaller club sessions of the 60s! The sound here is possibly a bit more focused and direct than some of the moodier, mellower Evans live records – ... (Jazz LP)
Ace (UK), Late 60s/2000s/2010s.
Few songwriters have had such a lasting impact on modern music as Leonard Cohen – an incredible songsmith when he first emerged in the late 60s, and one who continued to create songs at the top of his game for many years after! And although Cohen's own recordings are the stuff of legend ... (Rock CD)
Verve (Japan), 1964.
Although Gil Evans is probably best remembered for his work behind Miles Davis, the albums he cut on his own are actually even more interesting, and feature a far-reaching conception of modern jazz, executed by Evans, and some of the top players of his day. This great album from 1964 features a ... (Jazz CD)
Blue Note (Japan), 1968.
An incredible trio album – not just for the powerful drums of the great Elvin Jones, but also for amazing work on reeds by a young Joe Farrell! Farrell's in his pre-CTI years here, and really lets loose in the space of the album's open setting – a trio that just features Jones on drums ... (Jazz CD)
Dan/Cinedelic (Italy), 1971. (reissue)
Don't think "African rock", think spiritual jazz – as the set's a brilliant blend of the funky styles of Akira Ishikawa and his Count Buffalos combo with some deeper percussive elements that bring a whole new global sound to his music! Ishikawa was already a tremendous talent ... (Jazz LP)
Workshop Jazz/Verve, 1964. (reissue)
An amazing record – one of the best on Motown's short-lived Workshop Jazz subsidiary! The album is the first to feature Roy Brooks as a leader – and the super-hip drummer from Detroit really knows what to do with the opportunity! He's working here with a hip group that includes ... (Jazz LP)
Event/Southbound (UK), 1975. (reissue)
Raising Hell indeed – as Fatback were really burning up the dancefloor by the time of this set, well earning the demonic sexy image on the cover! All the sharp funk elements of the group's roots are still in place, but they're also given more focus for the rising club scene of the east coast ... (Soul LP)
Hypocritcal Beatdown (UK), 2022.
A heady little project that's a great showcase for the sonic trickery of Andy Votel – an artist known both for his copious knowledge of rare records, and his talents in the studio – both of which come into play here! With Votel on the mix, you'll definitely hear plenty of unusual ... (Hip Hop LP)
Soutelphan/We Want Sounds (UK), 1971. (reissue)
A legendary album from the Egyptian scene – a set that features one long track, running the course of both sides – building up to a beautiful crescendo of sounds on organ, saxes, and guitars – all backed with other orchestrations, then topped with the amazingly expressive vocals ... (Global Grooves LP)
Blue Note (Japan), 2022.
A beautifully straightforward set from guitarist Bill Frisell – one that strips away some of the bigger concepts and shifts in instrumentation of other projects – and instead lets us focus on Bill's basic talents at the core! As you'd guess from the title and cover, the album's a ... (Jazz CD)
RGS (Argentina), 1961.
Wonderful early live work from Gato Barbieri – heard here both before his important American records on Impulse, and his earlier emergence in the global avant garde – already blowing with a really wonderful tone on tenor, in a hip quartet that features the great Ruben Baby Lopez Furst ... (Jazz CD)
Saigon Supersound, Late 60s/Early 70s.
Really fantastic work from a scene that interacted briefly with our culture during the Vietnam war – yet still managed to hold on to a groove that was very much its own! This isn't the sound of American rock blaring out of a transistor radio in some fiction film about the war – and ... (Global Grooves CD)
Relax In/We Want Sounds (UK), 1991. (reissue)
Fairuz is a singer with a legendary voice – already one of the most important vocalists in Lebanon by the time of this album – with a way of soaring and stretching a note that's completely breathtaking, even if you can't understand the language! And while Fairuz had previously recorded ... (Global Grooves LP)
Corbett vs. Dempsey, 2022.
One of the most powerful performances we've heard in years from the great Joe McPhee – and that's because he lets his voice speak as much as his tenor – especially on two spoken passages that highlight McPhee's message at an extremely righteous political level! Yet that's also very ... (Jazz LP)
Blue Thumb/Big Pink (South Korea), 1972.
One of the greatest solo albums ever issued by Latin jazz trumpeter Luis Gasca – a set that really expands on his debut for Atlantic Records, and which brings in a whole host of early 70s west coast Latin influences! The style here is very laidback and open – a bit like some of the ... (Jazz CD)
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1980.
Fantastic work from piano legend Bill Evans – recorded at the Keystone club in San Francisco just a month before his too-early death – and a batch of material that shows us that Bill still had plenty to offer the world! This isn't the work of a musician on his last legs – and ... (Jazz CD)
Bureau B (Germany), Late 70s/Early 80s.
An even deeper dig into the world of the German underground than the first volume of this series – a set that moves way past some of the bigger cuts of the underground, to pull together a whole host of little gems that we might not have heard otherwise! Some of the cuts here are from rare ... (Rock CD)
Trost (Austria), 1974. 2LP Gatefold (reissue)
A really dramatic live performance from these free jazz giants – three musicians who really know each other well, but who seem to come off with an even more majestic sense of power here! The performance is from 1974, and it burns with energy right from the start – this sense of ... (Jazz LP)
Blue Note/Mosaic, Early 60s. 7CD set
Pivotal work from trumpeter Freddie Hubbard – eleven full albums recorded by the young jazzman as a leader, together showing a really incredible scope of his talents in just a few short years in the studio! The Blue Note albums here already show an incredible evolution – from initial ... (Jazz CD)
Planets/BBE (UK), 1977.
One of those really special piano albums from the Japanese jazz scene of the 70s – a record that's overflowing with new ideas and imagination, all captured with a really wonderful ear for sound as well! Masaru Imada plays a Bosendorfer grand, which has a really resonant quality, even when he' ... (Jazz CD)
Chatham Square/Unseen Worlds, 1972. (reissue)
A jazz set, but one with pretty strong ties to the art world – given that the whole thing was engineered by Kurt Munkacsi, and produced by the Leo Castelli Gallery! Richard Landry's music is a mix of spiritual and more avant modes – sometimes used in very free lines, sometimes a bit ... (Jazz LP)
Im-Hotep/P-Vine (Japan), 1973. (reissue)
Amazing sounds from drummer Roy Brooks – very spiritual work that's quite a change from his straighter soul jazz of the 60s! The album's right up there with Roy's better-known (though still rare) live performance at Town Hall – or his classic Free Slave session – and like those ... (Jazz LP)
International Anthem, Early 70s. 2LP Gatefold
Maybe the first-ever album to be issued under the name of the great Charles Stepney – even though the artist/musician/producer/songwriter had a huge role in the careers of Chicago contemporaries like Minnie Riperton, Ramsey Lewis, and Earth Wind & Fire! This set brings together ... (Soul LP)
BDS/AMS (Italy), 1967. Gatefold (reissue)
One of the most important Italian rock albums of the late 60s – even though it's a set that was virtually lost at the time! In some way, the set's a bit like the first album by The Velvet Underground – in that it was presented by an underground artist, Mario Schifano – and ... (Rock LP)
Soul Jazz (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s. 2CD
American grooves go Kingston – as the set features a wonderful assortment of funk and soul classics, all delivered here in reggae-styled versions! The approach is similar to the material featured in the older Reggae Disco collection from Soul Jazz – but the mix of modes here is much ... (Reggae CD)
Jazz Is Dead, 2022. 2LP
A very different entry in this always-great series – one that doesn't focus on a specific artist, or just the instrumentation of the two leaders – but instead has this great range of artists coming together in a very jazz-based style! Things here are even more organic and flowing than ... (Deep Funk LP)
Cherry Red (UK), Early 80s. 3CD
An early 80s set from Cherry Red Records, and one that shows just how important the British label was to the world of post-punk music at the time – as you'll hear from an assortment of tracks that's more than enough to give labels like Factory or Rough Trade a run for their money! Cherry Red ... (Rock CD)
AMS/Cinevox (Italy), 1985. Gatefold (reissue)
A seminal Italian horror soundtrack, played by the great Goblin, and created for this totally creepy film by Dario Argento! The band are using a lot of airy keyboards and electronics here – in broad washes of sound filled with evil and darkness, instead of some of the group's usual funkier ... (Soundtracks LP)
Trojan/Music On Vinyl (Netherlands), 1979. (reissue)
A fantastic meeting of the production genius of Linval Thompson and the instrumental skills of The Revolutionaries – a set of Jamaican studio giants who play in a way that was laidback, yet still pack a hell of a punch! Sly and Robbie are at the core of the rhythms, which is a big element in ... (Reggae LP)
Vertigo/Cosmic Rock, 1971. (reissue)
An excellent bit of UK Afro-Funk – recorded at the beginning of the 70s by a group that included members of the legendary South African jazz combo The Blue Notes – Dudu Pukwana on reeds, Mongezi Feza on trumpet, and Louis Moholo on drums! The record's quite different than you'd guess ... (Global Grooves LP)
Strut (UK), 2022. 2LP Gatefold
Really fantastic work from the continuing version of Sun Ra's Arkestra led by Marshall Allen – and an album of rich sophistication that definitely shows the mature version of the group really finding their own sense of voice and spirit! There's a laidback take to the music that partly ... (Jazz LP)
Chess/Bear Family (Germany), Late 50s/Early 60s.
The legendary Chess Records is best known as a home to important blues, soul, and gospel records from the postwar years – but back in the 50s, the label also did a pretty great job with the harder side of the rock and roll spectrum too! Maybe that's no surprise, given that the Chess Brothers ... (Rock CD)
Soul Bank (UK), 1982. 2CD
A fantastic lost link in the jazz legacy of Hammond hero Brother Jack McDuff – and a set that shows that he was still really kicking it strongly in the clubs during his later years, even if some of his records didn't always have the right groove! As on his 60s live recordings for Prestige ... (Jazz CD)
Arista/Big Break (UK), 1981.
An early 80s gem from Aretha Franklin – one of the best of her years at Arista Records, thanks to solid help in the studio from the mighty Arif Mardin! Mardin's in perfect form here – the same blend of older soul and jazzier, more sophisticated styles that he was also bringing to Chaka ... (Soul CD)
Masahiko Togashi & Masayuki Takayanagi
Paddle Wheel/Holy Basil (Italy), 1983. (reissue)
Two side-long improvised tracks – recorded in a spacious concert hall in Tokyo, and featuring the drums and percussion of Masahiko Togashi alongside some very inventive work on guitar from Masayuki Takayanagi! Togashi is very different than the usual jazz drummer – and even when ... (Jazz LP)
Robinsongs (UK), Late 60s/1970s/Early 80s. 3CDs
A huge collection of work from funk and soul legend Jimmy Castor – an artist who cut a big number of incredible records for a variety of different labels – almost all of which are in this set! In truth, Jimmy's got a huge legacy in soul that goes back to early years in vocal groups ... (Soul CD)
A beautiful record of light, lyrical piano jazz – and one of the best-selling jazz albums ever on Fantasy Records! Vince Guaraldi started the set as a tribute to the film Black Orpheus – and some of the album features his nice renditions of Jobim/Bonfa tunes like "Manha De ... (Jazz CD)
Epic, 1982. 2CD
Arguably the last true moment of genius in Michael Jackson's career – a record that sold a bazillion copies around the world – and for plenty good reason! Michael's still working here with Quincy Jones – in territory that steps nicely from the Off The Wall groove, into territory ... (Soul CD)
Capitol/Sundazed, 1968. (reissue)
One of our favorite Christmas albums of the 60s – and a set that's maybe every bit as great as the non-Holiday albums that Buck Owens was cutting for Capitol Records at the time! The title track "Christmas Shopping" is the kind of dated Holiday tune that we really like – a ... (Holiday Music LP)
Trova/RGS (Argentina), 1974.
Brazilian guitarist Sebastiao Tapajos usually records in a relatively mellow mode – but here, he's working with percussive backings from Pedro Dos Santos – who plays a wide variety of instruments, and really adds a lot to the sound of the set! There's kind of a bossa guitar with ... (Brazil CD)
Trova/RGS (Argentina), 1972.
Guitarist Sebastiao Tapajos really sounds wonderful here – playing in a spare setting, but a lively one too – thanks to work from percussionist Pedro Dos Santos, who plays a wide variety of instruments that really keep things groovy! There's a feel here that's a bit like some of Baden ... (Brazil CD)
Karma Chief/Colemine, 2022. Gatefold
A new kind of love, and a new kind of groove from Ghost Funk Orchestra – one that's deeper than ever before, even though the group is really just the efforts of producer/instrumentalist Seth Applebaum! Yet this time around, he's also got some great female vocals at a few points – ... (Deep Funk LP)
Bear Family (Germany), Late 50s/Early 60s.
The great Wanda Jackson is often hailed as a unique early figure in both rock and country music – yet back in the day, Wanda's work didn't occur in a vacuum – as you'll hear in this wonderful collection of cuts! As the title indicates, the set brings together both work that inspired ... (Folk/Country CD)
Blue Note, 1964. (reissue)
Mindblowing work from pianist Andrew Hill – one of the key records during that short initial run when Blue Note was really giving him a special showcase for his talents – and when the label was dabbling in more avant jazz as part of the "new thing" moment on the scene! The ... (Jazz LP)
Schema (Italy), 2022.
A really wonderful project from Gianluca Petrella – one that seems to take all the deeper currents he used in his work with Nicola Conte, and push them even farther here on his own! There's a righteous depth to the record we never would have expected from Petrella a few years before – ... (New Grooves CD)
Heavenly Sweetness (Netherlands), 2022. 2CD
Some of the most beautiful music we've ever heard from Guts – very different than the spare productions of earlier years, thanks to the presence of dozens of guest stars – singers and musicians who help to open up the music with the sounds of Havana and West Africa combined! Most of ... (New Grooves CD)
A massive look at the art behind the music of the great Sun Ra – a selection of images that are almost as important as his sonic creations – given that so many of his records were issued in very small pressings, and often had covers that were handmade! As collectors know, so many of ... (Book)
Elektra/Soulmusic.com (UK), Late 80s/Early 90s. 4CD
Howard Hewett may have came a bit late on the scene in 80s soul – but by the end of the decade, he really left his mark – as you'll hear on these four classic albums, served up with lots of bonus tracks too! First up is I Commit To Love – an 80s classic from Howard Hewett, and ... (Soul CD)
Light In The Attic, 1965. 2LP Gatefold
Never-heard early sounds from the young Lou Reed – early recordings of material that helped cement his fame in the Velvet Underground – uncovered after being lost for almost 50 years! The tracks here are early demos of both songs that the Velvets would famously soon record, and other ... (Rock LP)
Creative Funk/Clap City (UK), Early 80s. (reissue)
An excellent bit of 80s groove – one that steps along at a sweet midtempo pace, with a great mix of soaring vocals and keyboard lines that really send things over the top! Toni Smith is the singer – a great vocalist who's also known for her work on "Funkin For Jamaica" – ... (Funky 45's 7-inch)
Blue Note, 1966. Gatefold (reissue)
The sticks are up, and Bobby Hutcherson is at the top of his game – hitting a whole new groove here in this sublime session of modal numbers for Blue Note – a slightly warmer set than his more modern albums of the "new thing" years, and a great indication of the directions he'd ... (Jazz LP)
Blue Note, 1963. Gatefold (reissue)
An album that's maybe one of the least familiar Blue Note records to most jazz listeners – a set that was barely pressed up at the time, and reissued infrequently – yet which is a tremendous debut as a leader from tenorist Harold Vick! At the time of the album's release, Vick had been ... (Jazz LP)
Wenha/P-Vine (Japan), 1980.
Great later work from Wendell Harrison – a set that has the Tribe Records giant of the 70s taking the sound of the Detroit underground into a whole new vibe! The record takes the spiritual post-Coltrane jazz of Harrison's earlier days, and infuses it with some warmer, electric modes – a ... (Jazz CD)
Edsel (UK), 1980s. 2LP
Director John Hughes gave the world some pretty great movies back in the 80s – and in most of those movies, music was a very big part of the experience – as Hughes had a way of using just the right songs in just the right moments, and also helped get wider mainstream exposure for some ... (Rock LP)
Cherry Red (UK), 1985. 3CD
A great look at a year on the British scene when the final years of post-punk gave way to the kind of indie strengths that would set the tone for years to come – a moment made very famous by the C86 compilation, prefaced here by a new look at work from 1985! There's plenty of influence from ... (Rock CD)
Ancient Archive Of Sound (UK), 2021.
A really beautiful record from reedman Nat Birchall – a solo set, but one that's got the same spiritual flow as his records with a group – as Nat himself handles a number of different instruments over the course of the set, using overdubs to give the whole thing the same spiritual flair ... (Jazz LP)
Rogue Art (France), 2022.
A really great setting for the piano of Matthew Shipp – a set of duets with bassist Mark Helias, a player who brings out some very different qualities in Shipp's music than his more frequent bass partner, William Parker! Parker actually provides the notes this time around, and has a great ... (Jazz CD)
Jazzman (UK), Late 50s/Early 60s.
A great little collection that's maybe the opposite of the long-running tradition of "desert island discs" – in that the music here is hardly essential, but would be plenty of fun to hear if you were trapped alone with nowhere else to go! Think of the set as the darker side of ... (Rock LP)
20th Century/Varese, 1976. (reissue)
Arguably one of the greatest horror soundtracks ever – an intense bit of work that builds on the vocal choral style of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, using male and female voices in union with staccato orchestrations to invoke a fiercely tense mood – one that works perfectly for the spooky ... (Soundtracks LP)
Wreck/P-Vine (Japan), 1995. 2LP (reissue)
Essential 90s material from Smif N Wessun – one of those key records that was not only great in and of itself, but also as part of a larger tapestry of top shelf talents finally getting to shine in the spotlight! Previously, Smif N Wessun had shown up on Black Moon's first album – and ... (Hip Hop LP)
Tapete (Germany), Late 70s/1980s. 2CDs
A great collection of material that showcases the contributions of female artists in the underground, from the punk years onward – all put together by author Vivien Goldman, who was a big part of that underground at the time! Vivien was partly an artist, but mostly a music journalist – ... (Rock CD)
Tapete (Germany), Late 90s/2000s.
A great introduction to the music of a criminally neglected figure in British Pop music – the wonderful Louis Philippe, an artist whose sound was always a bridge between the sunshine pop of the 60s and the smart singer/songwriter sounds of the later British scene! The High Llamas' Sean O'Haga ... (Rock CD)
Splash Blue, 2022.
A long-overdue return for Khari and Jiva – the kind of pairing that first won us over to neo soul many years back – and sounding equally wonderful here! The album begins with a reworking of the James Mason classic "Good Thing" – and it only gets better and better from ... (Neo Soul CD)
Dreamland (Austria), 2022.
A fantastic record that not only continues the great blend of sounds that saxophonist Muriel Grossmann has given us in recent years, but also pushes things forward with a stunning combination that really knocks things out of the park! This isn't the first record to feature Muriel with the Hammond ... (Jazz CD)
Cavendish/BBE (UK), Mid 70s. 2LP Gatefold
Brilliant funky instrumentals from the UK Cavendish Sound Library – a company who could sometimes recorded more staid music, although that certainly wasn't the case with the gems on this collection! The music is by a handful of British studio talents of the time – most of whom come ... (Sound Library LP)
Ohr (Germany), 1970. (reissue)
The last album from the first version of Amon Duul – a set that's very early in the Krautrock generation, and also has a standard-setting quality that makes it one of the best from the time! There's a really compelling blend of acoustic and electric elements going on here – percussion ... (Rock LP)
You've never heard of The Winston Brothers before, but their music is definitely familiar – as the group features players from funk combos Mighty Mocambos, Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band, and Hamburg Spinners – coming together here with an equally great sense of groovy energy! The ... (Deep Funk CD)
Sony (Japan), 1975. (reissue)
A heavy funk party from the Japanese jazz scene of the 70s – and a set that hits a lot harder than some of the smoother fusion of the time! There's a grit here that hearkens back to some of the best American jazz funk at the start of the decade – a nice edge that you often don't find ... (Jazz LP)
Captain Oi (UK), 1980. 3CD
1980 wasn't the first year in British punk, but it was definitely a moment when folks were choosing up sides – when some artists were breaking big and going more commercial, while others were tapping into a deeper level of frustration that first got the music going a few years before! This ... (Rock CD)
Gallo/Outernational (UK), 1973. (reissue)
A funky jazz gem from the scene in early 70s South Africa – a record that seems to borrow a lot from the romping rhythms that Hugh Masekela brought to the US in the late 60s, but which also inflects things with a lot more 70s funky energy too! The drums from Jeff Mpete are great on most ... (Jazz LP)
Vampi Soul (Spain), Mid 70s.
One of the first-ever collections to focus on the very groovy music of Jimmy Salcedo – the Colombian creator who's maybe best known for his work for Elia and Elizabeth – but who maybe sounds even cooler here at the head of his own group! Onda Tres often have a criss-crossing of vocal ... (Latin LP)
Philips/Cosmic Rock, 1969. (reissue)
Dreamy instrumental work by this one-off combo – a group that includes members of Bill Plummer's Cosmic Brotherhood and Gabor Szabo's late 60s band – all coming together with styles that are even more exotic than those ensembles! The style here is often quite laidback – a bit ... (Rock LP)
Harvest/Future Shock (Italy), 1970. (reissue)
A very cool collection of early work on Harvest Records – a wonderful showcase of the way that branch of EMI Records was helping to create some crucial changes on the UK scene at the start of the 70s! The album's maybe most noteworthy for its inclusion of the rare Pink Floyd song "Embryo ... (Rock LP)
Bear Family (Germany), Late 50s/Early 60s.
A cool collection of caveman-themed rockers from the glory days of the 7" single – music that's very much in the same mad spirit as the monster rock records of the time – and which is served up here in a similar blend of echoey instrumentals, guitar-heavy groovers, and a mix of ... (Rock CD)
Loma Vista, 2021. 2LP Gatefold
A beautiful revolution from Common – a set that's maybe got more of a message than most of his music of the past decade – but which also comes across with a more interesting musical palette as well! Part of the album's sound comes from heavy contributions from PJ – singer Paris ... (Hip Hop LP)
Warner (Japan), 1983. (reissue)
That's a great 80s sense of design on the cover, and the album's got a nice sort of 80s vibe too – a bit more drum machine beats, basslines, and keyboards than work by some of the jazzier city pop artists of the time – a mode that really seems to bring out the best in the vocals of ... (Japanese LP)
Blue Note, 2012. 2CD
The start of an amazing new chapter in the career of Robert Glasper – one that would soon set the tone for a number of other records to come! This set features loads of Glasper's enigmatic piano lines – those fluid, elliptical sounds that are always filled with plenty of soul and ... (Jazz CD)
The original soundtrack to Trouble Man is nothing short of a masterpiece – a full-on moment of studio genius from Marvin Gaye, right in the middle of his classic 70s run – a record that's given a fantastic new treatment here by Lo Res, who delivers exactly what's promised in the title! ... (Deep Funk LP)
Almighty & Insane Books, 2022.
A wonderful look at a lost, secret side of the house music scene in Chicago – rare flyers and posters that were used to draw people into the sort of underground events that really helped the music blossom in the Windy City – maybe the only lasting document of musical moments that built ... (Book)
Faux Pas/Bureau B (Germany), 1982.
The really great debut album from Sprung Aus Den Wolken – a group who got a bit more tuneful in later years, but who here are still very much at the forefront of the early German industrial scene! The set is full of noise, and vocals that are spoken more than sung – yet also is never ... (Rock CD)
Buh (Peru), Late 70s/Early 80s.
Three really different soundtrack selections from Peruvian composer Luis David Aguilar – each of which is heavy in familiar elements from his scene, but which also really takes things to newly sophisticated territory too! The first half of the set features the 1983 score for El Viento Del ... (Soundtracks LP)
Partisan, 2022. 2LP
Ezra Collective are a group who've been burning up the British scene so much in recent years, they've barely had time to give us a full length album – a situation that's more than corrected by this well-done set! The combo are often tied to some of the best jazz experiments in London of the ... (Jazz LP)
Jazz Line (Germany), 1988. 2CDs
A mighty nice late life concert from tenor genius Eddie Harris – and one that has a number of moments that remind us just how special Eddie could be in the right setting! The group here is a bit unusual in that it has a guitar in the lineup instead of a piano – Darryl Thompson on the ... (Jazz CD)
Strut (UK), 1980s. 2LP Gatefold
A long-overdue collection of work by Balka Sound – an important 80s group from Brazzaville, and one whose name evokes their style of music – a sound based in folksy roots, but which is updated here with electric guitar and bass, next to lively percussion and really great vocals! The ... (Global Grooves LP)
Thein/BBE (UK), 1987.
An overlooked gem from the German scene of the 80s – at a time when the prog and free jazz experiments of the previous decade had calmed down a bit, yet German musicians were still coming up with lots of new and amazing ideas! Here, there's definitely a bit of inspiration from Brazilian ... (Jazz CD)
One of those really unusual, almost unlikely albums that were issued by the ABC label at the end of the 60s – the kind of record that shouldn't have gotten such exposure on such a big label, which meant that it was promptly ignored in terms of promotion – yet somehow went on to become ... (Rock CD)
King/Universal (Japan), 1970.
The last, and most obscure of James Brown's Christmas albums of the King years – and quite possibly the hippest too! Given that James is shouting "Hey America" in the title, he's clearly going for a righteous and semi-political tone on the set – singing Holiday tunes, but ... (Holiday Music CD)
Discos Fuentes/Vampi Soul (Spain), 1974. (reissue)
A record with a cover that's a lot more hard-hitting than some of the later global efforts from The Latin Brothers – and one with a sound that definitely matches that image too! There's a raw sound here that's right in keeping with the best of Discos Fuentes at the time – music that ... (Latin LP)
Hat Art (Switzerland), Mid 60s.
Two classic 60s albums from pianist Andrew Hill – back to back in a single set! First up is Point Of Departure – mindblowing work from pianist Andrew Hill – one of the key records during that short initial run when Blue Note was really giving him a special showcase for his ... (Jazz CD)
Doctor Bird (UK), Late 50s/Early 60s. 3CD
A stunning look at the early years of the Jamaican music scene – tracks from the years before ska, rocksteady, and reggae really took over – but which really helped set the scene for years to come! All the work here is from the hands of Duke Reid – soon to be known for his famous ... (Reggae CD)
Sun, 1962. (reissue)
An obscure soul set on the legendary Sun Records label – raw vocals from Frank Ballard, done in a style that still has a few older R&B currents in the mix, but which is definitely pointed strongly towards a 60s groove! Backings are by the band of tenorist Phillip Reynolds, and the sound ... (Soul LP)
Sahel Sounds, 2022.
Maybe an even more compelling album than the debut set from Wau Wau Collectif – as this record continues the cultural crossroads of the first, but at a level that feels even more joyous and ambitious! Traditional elements like the balafon and kora are mixed with more contemporary production, ... (Global Grooves LP)
Hotlanta/Octave (Japan), 1978. (reissue)
An incredible record from the southern scene of the 70s – a really unique set that's filled with righteous soul touches, and which really stands out from most other southern soul of the time! The feel here is often in a cosmic mode with plenty of jazz at the bottom – a sound that's ... (Soul LP)
Sonic Healing Ministries, 2022.
We're not sure why David Boykin couldn't name the club for this performance – as the set's every bit as great as his other live recordings in other venues, and is a testament to the continuing development of this underground saxophone giant of the 21st century! The group is a quartet, with ... (Jazz CD)
Our Swimmer (Germany), 1974. (reissue)
Post-Dandelion work by British singer Bridget St John – an album that's a bit more straightforward than some of her earlier work, but still pretty darn great! Bridget still sings and plays guitar in a relatively folksy way – but there's a tighter focus here than before – a sense ... (Rock LP)
Elektra/Strut (UK), 1984. 2LP (reissue)
Sweet sounds from the lovely lady – one of Patrice Rushen's last truly great albums, and a masterpiece of 80s groove with lots of jazzy touches! The keyboard sound has evolved a bit here – compressed with more electronic percussion than on Patrice's earlier records, but still done with ... (Soul LP)
Sundazed, Early 60s.
The Trashmen are best-remembered for one crazy classic – the legendary "Surfin Bird", one of those old 45s that never gets old – yet the group also have a heck of a lot more to offer, as you'll hear in this well-done set that really captures their magic in all of its glory! ... (Rock CD)
Light In The Attic, 1965.
Never-heard early sounds from the young Lou Reed – early recordings of material that helped cement his fame in the Velvet Underground – uncovered after being lost for almost 50 years! The tracks here are early demos of both songs that the Velvets would famously soon record, and other ... (Rock LP)
Blue Note, 2022. 2LP Gatefold
Although Blue Note is probably one of the most iconic record labels on the planet, the company's also done a great job of reinventing itself as the years go on – always showing that they've still got an ear for the same sort of new talent that made Blue Note so important back in the day! ... (Jazz LP)
Elektra/Strut (UK), 1978. 2LP (reissue)
A sweeeeeet groover by Patrice Rushen – her first album for Elektra, and a stunning blend of funky jazz and soul! The record really has Patrice stepping out from her earlier years at Prestige – working in some surprisingly great vocals next to tight lines on Fender Rhodes, synth, and ... (Soul LP)
Union/Cinedelic (Italy), 1970.
A Japanese take on the sound of late 60s Woodstock – one that kind of takes all the best songs from the famous festival, then distills them into a batch of short, tight, funky jazz instrumentals! The approach is very cool – more funky than hippie, especially since the album begins with ... (Jazz LP)
Continental/Tres Selos (Brazil), 1972. Gatefold
Wonderful 70s work from Tom Ze! The record's a bit more straightforward than some of his other records from the decade, and has a number of tracks with a samba sound at the base – but there's more than enough fantastic material to keep the record fresh, and Tom's writing is as great as ever. ... (Brazil LP)
Blue Note, 1995. 2LP (reissue)
The Blue Note debut of guitarist Charlie Hunter – a set that introduced Hunter's talents on the strings to a much larger audience at the time – and one that also really helped Blue Note get back into the business of funky jazz! The approach is nice and lean – a core trio with ... (Jazz LP)
Bear Family (Germany), Early 70s. 2CDs
An essential look at one of the less-exposed sides of Krautrock during the early 70s – not the bigger-name progressive rock acts from the West German scene, who often got a fair bit of global exposure – but the much more obscure groups who were working behind the Iron Curtain in East ... (Rock CD)
Capitol/Universal (Japan), 1983.
A massively wonderful album from Dayton – an album that has the group really getting their groove together – still sticking a bit in the older funk mode from the past, but also bringing in some warmer, deeper touches to their music too! There's a solidness here that's undeniable – ... (Soul CD)
Jazz In Britain (UK), 1961.
Never-issued material from modern jazz giant Joe Harriott – and a set of tracks that stands strongly next to his classic albums Free Form and Abstractions! The energy of those records is definitely present here – as Harriott's late 50s hardbop styles are taking shape with more modern ... (Jazz LP)
Grapefruit (UK), Late 60s/1970s. 6CD
A long-overdue package – one that finally brings together all the many strands of music from underground Cali rock legend Merrell Fankhauser! CD1 features some of Merrell's earliest music – a host of early singles by Merrell & The Exiles, some of which were issued on the Glenn and ... (Rock CD)
ESP, 1965. (reissue)
A freewheeling workout in the classic ESP mode – tenor saxophonist Frank Wright's first album as a leader, and a majestic little session that easily stands alongside the best from Albert Ayler and Archie Shepp at the time! The format here is a bit like that of Ayler's ESP work – as ... (Jazz LP)
RCA/BGO (UK), Late 60s/Early 70s. 2CD
Four of the more obscure RCA albums from the great Bobby Bare – all brought together here in a single set! First up is the very unusual English Countryside album – a special set that has the vocals of Bobby Bare paired with a group from the UK – Liverpool's Hillsiders, who sing ... (Folk/Country CD)
Solid Groove/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1982.
The final album from Tradition, and a set that's very different than some of their earlier work – but in a way that really makes the record a standout in their catalog! The group here are billed as Tradition Featuring Paul Thompson – and keyboardist Thompson is really the strongest ... (Reggae CD)
Elektra/Strut (UK), 1979. 2LP (reissue)
Brilliant work from Patrice Rushen – one of the records that not only helped break her out of the jazz funk ghetto, and right into the mainstream – but a set that also had a pretty profound influence on the progression of soul in the early 80s! Rushen sings as well as plays keyboards ... (Soul LP)
Mustevic Sound/Soul Jazz (UK), 1977. (reissue)
An album that captures a live radio performance from the legendary drummer Steve Reid – but one that's every bit as important to his legacy as his studio work of the time! If anything, there might be an even more powerfully spontaneous vibe to this record than the rest – with just ... (Jazz LP)
Capitol/Expansion (UK), 1981.
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 ... (Soul CD)
International Anthem/Nonesuch, 2022.
The first album as a leader from drummer Tom Skinner, but a set that instantly marks him as a player to watch – as the set's got a great vibe all the way through, and a combination of elements that's even greater than the sum of its parts! And the parts are pretty mighty, too – as the ... (Jazz CD)
Jazz In Britain (UK), 1970.
Some of the greatest work we've ever heard from legendary British guitarist Ray Russell – a set that was not issued to the public at the time, but recorded especially for the BBC – and with a sound that's every bit as striking as his famous albums for CBS! There's maybe a slightly more ... (Jazz LP)
Luaka Bop, Late 70s/Early 80s. 5LPs
A huge package of work that finally brings the rare Nigerian albums of Alhaji Waziri Oshomah to a much larger global audience – all beautifully brought together with a booklet that pays tribute to Oshomah, with contributions from his family – and sound quality that's a heck of a lot ... (Global Grooves LP)
Columbia/Real Gone, Mid 60s.
Nobody does the Holidays like Steve & Eydie – serving up the goods with that perfect blend of swing and schmaltz that sounds great during the eleven other months of the year, but somehow sounds especially nice at Christmas! Maybe it's the way they interact – which reminds us a lot ... (Holiday Music CD)
Wagram (France), Early 70s.
The diggin comes easy when you know where to start – and that's definitely the case here, in a set funky nuggets from the 70s – some well-known, some more obscure, and all working together to make for a mighty tight little collection! There's a number of tracks here from the Miami ... (Funky Compilations LP)
A really majestic album from the great Carmen Lundy – one of our favorite jazz singers of all time, and one of the few who've just kept growing and changing as the years move on! As with all her recent records, Lundy put the whole thing together herself – a tremendous effort as a ... (Vocalists CD)
Gallo/Outernational (UK), 1979. (reissue)
A stunning bit of Afro Disco from the South African scene of the late 70s – a record that almost seems to take on the interesting longform styles of earlier West African music, and fuse them with a tighter funky New York groove! All tracks here really stretch out, and have some great ... (Global Grooves LP)
Yep Roc, Mid 60s.
If you never went to Skippy White's record store in Boston, you really missed a hell of a shop – a surprisingly great outlet for rare and underground soul, located way up in New England – and a place that was giving the world wonderful music over the course of many decades! Back in the ... (Soul CD)
PLZ Make It Ruins, 2022.
London singer George Riley has been making some great waves in the underground, and this full length set is her full flowering as one of the soul artists to watch in years to come – a record that's really stripped bare in terms of production – sometimes with so few elements on a tune ... (Neo Soul LP)
Funk Night, 2022.
A special sort of project from the great Misha Panfilov, but one that's very much in line with the psychedelic sound of his funky 45s – as the set here is all instrumental, and features tracks recorded by Misha for a stage performance! Yet this is hardly familiar soundtrack music – as ... (Deep Funk LP)
Jazzman (UK), Late 70s.
Ultra-hip funk from Oklahoma's Messengers Incorporated – a group who come across with a sound that's every bit as righteous and heavy as you might guess from the cover! Instrumentation is heavy on bass, guitar, and organ – and topped with some great saxophone work too – all in a ... (Soul CD)
Blue Note, 1968. (reissue)
A really great later Blue Note session from Stanley Turrentine – a small combo set that's almost a return to the format of earlier years! The group's a strong one – and features Shirley Scott on organ, Jimmy Ponder on guitar, and Idris Muhammad on drums – playing in a style that's ... (Jazz LP)
Yellow Racket, 2022.
Brazilian singer Momo might well be taking the title of this album seriously – as the whole thing's got a nicely stripped-down vibe that's somehow even more powerful than before – like those mid 70s moments when Cateano Veloso dropped out some of the instrumentation, and let all the ... (Brazil LP)
Steeplechase (Denmark), 2022.
Don't let the title confuse you, as it's not the 1920s, but the 2020s – a fresh set of original material all penned by tenorist Chris Byars, and delivered here with a very rhythmic groove! There's a wonderful four horn frontline to the set – Byars on tenor, Zaid Nasser on alto, Stefano ... (Jazz CD)
Elektra, 1997. 2LP (reissue)
A record that really has Busta Rhymes coming into his own – taking all those charms that had been bubbling in the underground through years of guest appearances, and finding a way to really shine in the light of the mainstream! The album's not Busta's first solo effort, but has a sense of ... (Hip Hop LP)
Velvet/Vampi Soul (Spain), 1967. (reissue)
Early genius from Venezuelan pianist Ray Perez – an artist who's clearly taking a lot of inspiration from the small combo Latin of Joe Cuba's mid 60s work – and turns out a hell of a record that could match the best sounds of the New York scene at the time! There's a lean, raw energy ... (Latin LP)
Sunset Blvd, Early 70s. 2CDs
A double-length package of work that brings together some lesser-known gems from this great New Orleans soul singer! CD1 features material from the early 70s, mostly from a comeback album, plus some other tracks – all put together with some rock-solid help from legendary producer Allen ... (Soul CD)
Harvest/Esoteric (UK), 1975. 2CD
A killer album from Soft Machine – one that's maybe a bit tighter and more rock oriented at times than the jazz workouts of their previous numbered albums – although still all instrumental, and with the kind of top-shelf instrumentation that we've always loved from the group! This time ... (Rock CD)
The great thing about Lee Fields is that he just keeps on giving – giving us the sort of deep soul music that first caught our ears back when he was recording in near obscurity for a small southern label – and which has finally gotten the attention it deserves in recent decades! Lee's ... (Deep Funk LP)
Not the first solo album from Lou Reed, but definitely the one that established him as a major force away from the Velvet Underground – and a record that still stands as one of the best from this groundbreaking early 70s moment in music! Part of the record's strength is its resonance with ... (Rock CD)
Soul Jazz (UK), Late 70s. 2LP
A well-done set that really goes past the obvious choices of cuts from the early years of the UK punk scene – much more indie and obscure than some of the other collections of this nature – with a very deep dig into the world of the 7" single! The gems within are partially ... (Rock LP)
Sundazed, Mid 60s.
A 60s Cali group named The Pyramids, but one who might have been named The Monks instead – given that all their members shaved their heads, while also delivering a razor-sharp version of guitar-heavy surf rock! The Pyramids may not have been the biggest name on the west coast scene at the ... (Rock CD)
Saturn/Cosmic Myth, 1972.
A beautiful little record from Sun Ra and the orchestra – and a set that really lives up to its evocative cover and title! The album features Ra on "intergalactic space organ" – an instrument that may well be a conventional version of the organ, but which is handled with some ... (Jazz CD)
Continental/Tres Selos (Brazil), 1978. Gatefold (reissue)
One of those impossible to find records by Tom Ze from the 70s – and well worth the search! The record has Ze working in a slightly more conventional mode – with a mix of styles that ranges from spare percussive tracks, to others that have a smoother production style, but still a ... (Brazil LP)
British Progressive Jazz (UK), 1970.
A brilliant lost album from British reedman Don Rendell – an unreleased 1970 session that was done after his famous 60s work with trumpeter Ian Carr – and a set that is every bit as modern and far-reaching as those well-known classics! As you might guess from the title, the album's ... (Jazz CD)
Ogun/OTOroku (UK), 1987. (reissue)
A beautiful record – although one that's tinged with a touch of sadness, given the setting. In what was becoming an unfortunate tradition in their later years, the remaining members of the legendary South African jazz group The Blue Notes join together to mourn the passing of one of their ... (Jazz LP)
Geffen/Universal (Japan), 1987.
John White may not be the biggest name in 80s soul, but he comes on strong in this overlooked set – a catchy batch of tunes that stands out nicely from his contemporaries! There's plenty of beats and keyboards in the backings, but John's got a deep-ranged vocal style that creates plenty of ... (Soul CD)
Luaka Bop, Late 70s/Early 80s.
The Nigerian scene has given us plenty of music over the decades – and while the scene in the 70s was best known for heavy funk and crossover club, it also really resonated strongly with some new spiritual currents as well! One of the shining stars of that moment was Alhaji Waziri Oshomah ... (Global Grooves CD)
Discos Fuentes/Vampi Soul (Spain), 1960s/1970s. 2LP
A deep dive into the heady world of Colombian music – a really special place of criss-crossing cultural modes, as befits the nation's place in the South American scene! The work here is all from the catalog of the legendary Discos Fuentes – a label whose depths are only getting fully ... (Latin LP)
A&M/Universal (Japan), 1983.
A pivotal album for Jeffrey Osborne – and a record that showed the world that he could stand proudly on his own away from his old group LTD! The album was actually his second solo outing, but the first to really gel together in that hit-making blend of ballads and catchy mid-tempo pop tunes ... (Soul CD)
Blue Note, 1965. (reissue)
Oh Baby is right – as the album's one of the best Blue Note albums by Hammond legend Big John Patton – a perfect mix of funky organ and burning hardbop! The tracks hare are all originals penned for the album – mostly by Patton, but also by other group members – the kind of ... (Jazz LP)
Fremeaux & Associates (France), 2022.
A tight small combo set that celebrates that classic moment when tenorist Illinois Jacquet was part of the band of vibist Lionel Hampton – served up here by a quartet that features the great Danny Doriz on vibes and Michel Pastre on tenor – offering up a nicely lean take on the ... (Jazz CD)
Heritage Industries/BBE (UK), Late 80s/Early 90s.
Saxophonist Shamek Farrah is best known for a pair of legendary 70s albums on the Strata East label – but he was still working strongly in the American jazz underground for years after that – as you'll hear on this brilliant batch of live recordings from the end of the 80s! The album ... (Jazz CD)
De-Lite/Edsel (UK), 1970s. 11CD
The massive second chapter of Kool & The Gang – tracks from a time when the funky legends didn't falter at all, and instead reinvented themselves for a whole new generation! In the earlier part of the 70s, Kool & The Gang had already mastered the funky 45 and set the groundwork for ... (Soul CD)
Blue Note, 1962. Gatefold (reissue)
Guitar genius Grant Green is definitely feelin the spirit here – as he mixes his lean 60s style with a host of traditional numbers from the spiritual canon – at a level that provided a whole new sense of soul at the time! There was plenty of music influenced by gospel during the decade ... (Jazz LP)
Hi Hat/Svart (Finland), 1977.
An overlooked gem from Finnish hard rock powerhouse Kalavala – renamed here as an Orchestra, but still working with the lean, sharp sound of their previous two albums! There's a nice evolution here from the earlier sound of the Scandia scene – maybe a bit of northern inspiration thrown ... (Rock CD)
Coloursound Library/Be With (UK), 1981. (reissue)
Drummer Klaus Weiss gave the world some great funk and jazz in the 70s, but on this early 80s set, he's in a nicely different mode – using a fair bit of (then) contemporary keyboards along with his rhythms – at a level that ties this sound library work into some of the same shift in ... (Sound Library LP)
Four Flies (Italy), 1970s/Early 80s.
The first-ever collection to look at the lost sound library work of Ezy Minus – born Enzo Minuti, and a very self-contained talent who worked out of his own Studio 67 on the scene in Bologna! There's a scope of material here that's really great, and a bit different than some more familiar ... (Sound Library LP)
Soulmusic.com (UK), 1980s. 6CD
A really massive package – one that features six full albums from Starpoint, plus 34 bonus tracks as well! The group began as a more conventional funk outfit, but by the time of these records, they'd really found a sound that was strongly their own – a way of taking older ensemble ... (Soul CD)
Kent (UK), Late 60s/Early 70s.
A whole host of rare cuts from the original Kent Records label in LA – the 60s follow-up to the famous Crown/Modern/RPM imprint of the postwar years – a set of labels that gave the world plenty of amazing R&B tracks in the 50s! Here, Kent is going more for a 60s groove overall, but ... (Soul CD)
Clean Feed (Portugal), 2022.
You may not know the name of Ricardo Toscano, but he's a hell of a player on the alto – one to match the best energy of better-known tenorists from the contemporary scene – especially in the unbridled format of this trio setting! There's an energy here that takes the alto to trio ... (Jazz CD)
CTI/Robinsongs (UK), 1980/1981.
A pair of records from this great CTI Records group – plus bonus tracks too! Fuse One is tight funky fusion from a masterful collective – a great supergroup from the late electric years of the CTI label! The combo features Joe Farrell on tenor, Ronnie Foster and Don Grusin on ... (Jazz CD)
Verve, Late 40s/1950s/Early 60s.
Louis Armstrong's given the world a number of famous Christmas tunes over the years – but oddly, he never issued a full album of Holiday music over the course of his many decades of recordings – a fact that's finally corrected here, with the first-ever full length record of Louis' ... (Holiday Music CD)