Ace (UK), Late 60s.
Overlooked genius from Bobby Hatfield – the lesser-remembered Righteous Brother – or at least one who never hit the fame of his duo partner Bill Medley! Yet Bobby's a hell of a singer, and really steps out wonderfully here – on a range of rare tracks that includes material cut ... (Rock)
Asha/Soul Jazz (UK), 1970.
One of the most beautiful albums ever recorded by DC flutist Lloyd McNeil – and one of the grooviest, too! Lloyd's work is always amazing – stretched-out, spiritual, and filled with life – but this time around, there's a definite groove to the record that's undeniable – an ... (Jazz)
Dub Store (Japan), Late 80s.
A fantastic collection of crucial dancehall cuts from the hands of King Jammy – put together by the folks at Dub Store Records with the same sort of care they brought to their collections of rocksteady work and 60s reissues! The tag "dancehall" on a reggae collection can sometimes ... (Reggae)
Fantastic sounds from trumpeter Maurice Brown – a straight jazz player by training, but one who opens up here in a warmly soulful groove! The record bristles with loads of great keyboards from Kris Bowers – whose sound is as important to the album as Brown's trumpet – and the ... (Jazz)
FPE, 2017. 2LP Gatefold
One of the deepest records we've ever heard from Nicole Mitchell – and that's saying a lot, given all her other fantastic albums! This richly-textured piece was first commissioned in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the AACM – that legendary jazz organization of which Mitchell is a ... (Jazz)
Now Again, Late 60s/Early 70s.
The deepest of the deep from the American scene at the start of the 70s – groups so hip they weren't quite soul, weren't quite rock – and instead kind of a funky hybrid of both! After opening our ears to countless underground sounds from around the globe, the Now Again label turn back ... (Funky Compilations)
Highpower Studios, 2016.
Neo classic boombap from one of the most pivotal producers in Chicago hip hop history, the mighty Dug Infinite! "Art" is co-produced by Teeko and comes out quickly with some of the heaviest headnodding beats we've heard in a while, as timeless you'd expect from Dug Infinite, whose work ... (Hip Hop)
A wonderful setting for the great Jane Birkin – working here with a full symphony orchestra, in very fresh interpretations of the classic songs of her onetime partner, Serge Gainsbourg! The orchestrations are wonderful – never sleepy, and always nicely light – so that Jane's ... (French)
Dub Store (Japan), Late 80s.
Seminal sounds from King Jammy – a reggae maestro who really made his mark during the dancehall generation with work like this! The set's the third in this excellent series from Dub Store, but has all the freshness of the first two – a great testament to the never-ending genius that ... (Reggae)
Blue Erro Soul, 2017.
Fantastic sounds from Eric Roberson – one of the best contemporary soul singers of the past decade or two – and an artist who never fails to blow us away with his music! This time around, Roberson is even more positive and upbeat than ever – both in his lyrics, which have always ... (Neo Soul)
Kent (UK), Late 60s/Early 70s.
An overlooked strand of southern soul – a range of great productions by Bob Holmes, who was kind of an underground figure on the Nashville scene – where he turned out great soul singles like these amidst the larger shadows of the country music industry! The work here not only bears no ... (Soul)
Sony/Real Gone, Mid 60s.
One of the best collections of 60s girl pop we've seen in years – all rare tracks pulled from the vaults of Columbia and RCA Records – presented with fantastic sound and a great set of notes! The collection's more on an Ace Records level than most we've seen from the Real Gone label ... (Soul)
The musical vision of Gerald Clayton just seems to be getting stronger and stronger – to a point at which records like these are almost hard to conceive in terms of his earliest work! The set's got a very progressive, righteous sort of vibe – and a style that mixes shorter sonic tracks ... (Jazz)
Overdrive (Italy), Late 70s. (reissue)
The cover here looks a bit 80s, but the sound of half the record is much more rich and organic – and maybe more in the kind of mode you'd know from the film score work of Piero Umiliani – who's working here under his Moggi pseudonym! Side one is orchestral – and most tracks have ... (Sound Library)
Schema (Italy), 2017.
A dream of a record from Marvin Parks – a hell of a jazz singer, and one that we'd place in an elite legacy that runs from Oscar Brown up through Jose James! The work here is wonderful – as Nicola Conte produced the record, and gives it the same sort of jazzy sparkle as his own sublime ... (Vocalists)
Kent (UK), Late 60s/Early 70s.
The best work ever recorded by Freddie North – one of the most sophisticated singers on the southern scene at the end of the 60s – and an artist who really helped move deep soul past some of the more overdone cliches! The presentation and arrangements here are wonderful – ... (Soul)
Ace (UK), Mid 60s.
A very hip batch of 60s soul jazz numbers – played with a hard, full swing by the combo of LA bassist Clarence Daniels – and featuring vocals on a few of the best tracks! Daniels' group has a sound that's full, but never too much so – a great mix of rootsier soul jazz modes and ... (Jazz)
Motown, 1966. 2CD
One of the biggest charting albums by The Supremes – and one of the best, too! The girls are opening it up a bit here – getting in on some of The Miracles Go Go action of the period, and laying down tunes that have a bit more of a northern soul vibe – relying a bit more on a ... (Soul)
Delicious Vinyl, 2017. (pic cover)
Previously unreleased fire from Frank N Dank and producer Jay Dee! Gritty, beat heavy, rumbling genius from Dilla in straight forward, floor-shaking style – the perfect backdrop for the on beat, focused rhymes. Includes vocal and instrumental versions of "Let's Go", "Things Ain' ... (Hip Hop)
Stax, 1973. (reissue)
An obscure one from Stax – the first (and only?) solo effort from John Gary Williams, who earlier headed up the excellent Mad Lads vocal group for the label! Williams is working here with a fairly sophisticated set of arrangements – ones that almost have a Curtom Chicago sound to them, ... (Soul)
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