Big Crown, 2021.
A sweet little tribute to the great Sunny Ozuna – the soulful lead singer of The Sunliners, who were one of the best Texas soul groups back in the 60s! His original tunes virtually invented the concept of brown-eyed soul, and helped bridge communities in the process – and that spirit ... (Deep Funk LP)
Lance Ferguson and The Bamboos have been around for many years – giving us albums for almost the space of two decades – and during that time, they've evolved from their roots as a lean funk combo to a much fuller ensemble, and one with an ear for the kind of tunes that have really ... (Deep Funk CD)
Posi tone, 2021.
Trumpeter Alex Sipiagin has grown tremendously in recent years – and a record like this is a fantastic demonstration of his talents as both an instrumentals and as a composer – and also as a leader of a very well-matched group! The combo is a quartet, but soar out with a spirit that ... (Jazz CD)
There's a wonderful combination of horns going on here – the trumpet of Dave Douglas and tenor of Joe Lovano – sounding maybe even better on this album than on their previous efforts together! Both artists have this really cascading sense of sound in this setting – notes that ... (Jazz CD)
Heartbeat/Mad About Records (Portugal), 1980. (reissue)
Sweet Carolina grooves from the great Kenny Mann – a singer who may have languished in obscurity, but who lays down a set here that easily rivals some of the best Cali soul of his generation! The group's got a lot of jazz at their core – a way of playing fast and funky, but with lots ... (Soul LP)
Naphta (Brazil), 2021.
The great Lo Borges first rose to fame as part of Milton Nascimento's corner club in the early 70s – and damn, if he doesn't still sound great after all of these years – maybe even more true to his roots than Milton in more recent recordings! Lo's got a hell of a way with a tune, and ... (Brazil CD)
Beatball (Korea), Late 80s/Early 90s. Gatefold
A really unusual selection of music from the South Korean scene – music we never would have heard otherwise, which makes this collection a really great discovery to our ears! As the title states, the music has elements that include jazzy bits, groovy bits, and some more pop-oriented sounds ... (Global Grooves LP)
RCA/Now Again, 1972.
Mark Fry was just a young lad when he recorded this album – as you might guess from the cover – a Brit staying in Italy, where he cut this rare gem that's gone onto legendary status over the years – a set that's maybe circulated in far more unofficial copies than its original ... (Rock CD)
Republic, Mid 2000s. 3LP Gatefold
The career of Amy Winehouse was all too short – and although she gave us a small number of really wonderful albums, a set like this is a really great addition to her catalog! The package features a huge amount recorded on various BBC shows over the years – tracks that show the initial ... (Neo Soul LP)
RCA/Musica Per Immagini (Italy), Early 70s. 10CD
Fantastic sounds from Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai – a rare album of more serious music done for RCA – very much in the darker spirit of their recordings with the Gruppo D'Improvvisazione Nuova! The music here is more avant compositional than some of Morricone's lighter soundtrack ... (Sound Library CD)
Astral Spirits, 2021.
Three giants of the Chicago improvised scene, coming together here in an album that recalls the best early recordings from the AACM! There's this open, collaborative spirit going on here – music that moves between structure and freedom, and which stands as a testament to the instant rapport ... (Jazz LP)
Bear Family (Germany), 1950s/Early 60s.
Killer work from one of the most important singers in the years before soul music – the mighty Clyde McPhatter, who was first a member of The Dominoes, then started The Drifters, and soon became a great solo act on his own! There's a few cuts here from Clyde's vocal group recordings, but the ... (Soul CD)
Dawn/Trading Places (UK), 1970. Gatefold (reissue)
A beautiful batch of British folk tunes from Heron – and a really unique album that was actually recorded outside in a field – which makes for a very different sound! The music might be dubbed "acid folk", but it's got a slightly warmer, slightly redemptive quality – ... (Rock LP)
Salut/BBE (UK), 1985. (reissue)
A set of work from Lebanese composer Ihsan Al-Munzer, who you might know from his work with various vocalists – but a record that's all-instrumental, and which almost has the feel of an 80s sound library set overall! Tracks are heavy on keyboards – used in varying ways from cut to cut, ... (Global Grooves LP)
Bear Family (Germany), Early 60s.
A way cooler set than you might expect – rock and roll from early 60s German that has a voice that's all its own – not slavish takes on American hits, but some really great work that shows that this new generation of musicians are really finding their own sound and style! Sure, there's ... (Rock CD)
Next Plateau/Music On Vinyl (UK), 1988. 2LP (reissue)
An undisputed indie classic from the end of the 80s – as Ultramagnetic MCs burst out of the Bronx with a fresh sound that challenged the new waves of styles emerging from Long Island! The group are super sharp and on point right from the start – with a young Kool Keith already ... (Hip Hop LP)
Svart (Finland), 1970.
A really heady live performance from Guru Guru – and a great reminder of how much revolutionary music was being created at the start of the 70s with just the familiar elements of guitar, bass, and drums! With an instrumental lineup that small, you'd think the whole thing would sound very ... (Rock CD)
Expansion (UK), 2021.
The deepest, most righteous music we've ever heard from Sheree Brown – and that's saying a lot, given how much we loved her first few solo records back in the day! Brown's got this rich vision here that really makes for a hell of a record – a set of tracks inspired by her younger years ... (Soul CD)
Long Road Society, 2021.
The title's a bit mysterious, but the book is very very cool – a guide to loads of rare, raw singles – each of which gets a full page devoted to itself! The book is all color, with heavy glossy pages – and each of the rare 45s is presented with a full scan of the record, and a ... (Book)
India Navigation/Valley Of Search, 1975.
One of the only albums ever issued by New York reedman Alan Braufman – a player who works here in a setting that really captures the best energy of the loft jazz scene in the 70s – at a time when Braufman was part of a musicians collective on Canal Street that also included David S Ware! ... (Jazz CD)
Hat Art (Switzerland), 1992.
Fantastic reedwork from Hans Koch – a player captured here at the height of his powers, on a series of live improvisations with drummer Paul Lovens, recorded during a tour of Eastern Europe in the early 90s! Koch doesn't always get his due alongside some of the bigger names of the overseas ... (Jazz CD)
EM (Japan), 1965. (reissue)
Really amazing music from Algerian pianist Mustapha Skandrani – music that effortlessly links up European traditions and North African roots – in a blend that's completely sublime, and unlike anything else we can think of! At many points, Skandrani plays with a complex, virtuostic ... (Global Grooves LP)
Athens Of The North (UK), Late 60s/Early 70s.
Igloo Records was a teeny tiny label on the LA scene of the early 70s – but all of its releases turned out to be killers – most handled by the hip-looking Leon Gardner on the cover! The music is often heavy with the kind of deep funk you'd expect from rare singles at the time – ... (Funky Compilations CD)
Heady, hypnotic, ominous, and hard-grooving early Can – a lost set that was recorded in the late 60s, but not actually released until the early 80s – and some of the earliest, brawniest Can jams from the Malcolm Mooney years! The record may not have the name-checking power as the other ... (Rock LP)
A fantastic little record – served up by a group of Moroccan musicians working in New York, where they've clearly found a way to expand their sound nicely from their roots! As you might guess from their name, Innov Gnawa are proponents of the hypnotic grooves you'd find in Moroccan gnawa ... (Global Grooves LP)
Big Legal Mess/Fat Possum, 1966.
Wicked early work from Junior Kimbrough – sides that are quite different than some of his better-known recordings over the years! The material was cut in Memphis in 1966 by producer Quinton Claunch – and it's got a spare, rootsy quality that's totally great – slow moving drums ... (Blues LP)
678 Records (Belgium), 1981.
A rare later soundtrack from Dutch composer Ruud Bos – best known for some very funky work at the start of the 70s, and still going strong here a decade later! The score's got a much more mid 70s vibe than you'd expect – like some of the best American cop show work of the early 70s, ... (Soundtracks CD)
Blue Note (France), 2021. 2LP
The sound of Gogo Penguin is always nice and lean – still full of bold sounds and colors, but with plenty of space to be opened up nicely in a remix project like this! The tracks within are a nicely varied lot – handled in many different ways – sometimes with almost a whole new ... (Jazz LP)
Picadilly/BGO (UK), Mid 60s. 2CD
A huge amount of music from The Ivy League – a hip UK group from the 60s, but one who never crossed over big on our side of the Atlantic! The trio were first formed to sing backup vocals on sessions for other folks, but they clearly rose up on their own, thanks to well-crafted harmonies that ... (Rock CD)
United Artists/Mute, 1973. (reissue)
A mindblowing classic from Can – a set that has the group just getting better with each new record – to a point where it's the early 70s, and they're already in territory that's completely their own! The set features long tracks that spin out beautifully – driven that that ... (Rock LP)
Dee Daniels, 2021.
A self-released set from singer Dee Daniels – an artist who's been through a great personal journey in recent years, which really shows in her music! All tracks are originals, and Dee hangs effortlessly between jazz and soul – with a sophisticated vibe that's maybe like Randy Crawford ... (Vocalists CD)
Athens Of The North (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s.
Fantastic funky soul from a very mysterious figure – Georgia's Nathan Bartell, a singer with a deep soul style, and an under-exposed legacy that mostly involves a few indie label singles, and countless work in the smaller clubs of his state! The blend of music here is a bit different than ... (Soul LP)
No Wahala Sounds (UK), Mid 80s.
A set of Kenyan tracks we've never heard before – all served up with the kind of fast-moving rhythms you'd guess from the title – occasional influences from Cuban music, blended with a spirit that's heavy on the vibrant style of East African music at the time! The "boys" in ... (Global Grooves LP)
Favorite (France), Late 70s/Early 80s.
Sweet sounds from way beyond the American scene – a range of tracks from global sources, but which are tied to some of the best soulful styles of the Cali scene of the 70s! Don't think the AOR in the title means that these cuts are all commercial hits – as they're well-produced, but ... (Funky Compilations CD)
Underdog (France), 2021.
Joao Selva has a great way of bridging classic Brazilian modes and contemporary sounds – a quality we loved on his debut, and which seems to be even more fully-formed here on his second release! Maybe that past/present quality is no surprise, though, when you consider that the record's a ... (Brazil CD)
Leonardi/Vinyl Magic (Italy), 1972.
An unusual album of underwater sound library music from Egisto Macchi – one that offers up a very unique take on the small genre – like some of Macchi's other records from the 70s! Egisto's ocean is a place of darker moods and deeper currents – not the bright waves of sound or ... (Sound Library LP)
Vertigo/BGO (UK), Late 60s/Early 70s. 2CD
Three full albums from Juicy Lucy – plus bonus tracks too! First up is the self-titled debut from Juicy Lucy – an American act who made a trip to the London scene in the late 60s, where they found a way to forge a whole bunch of influences into a very unique groove! Had they stayed ... (Rock CD)
Fastlife/Quiet Money, 2000. (reissue)
An overlooked gem from AZ – recorded at a time when the MC was out on his own, without a label, and maybe serving up some of the rawest rhymes of his career! Production is by Chop Diesel, who has this edgey style that's maybe a precursor of some of the internet modes to come – never ... (Hip Hop LP)
Dunhill/Real Gone, Late 60s.
A pair of albums from the obscure group Smith – back to back on a single CD! First up is their debut – Group Called Smith – work from a group who've got a sound that's maybe more in the mode of what you might expect to find in a small club on the Sunset Strip – as Smith ... (Rock CD)
Beat/BTF (Italy), 1969. Gatefold
Sexy ladies on the cover, and some equally sexy sounds underneath – served up in a perfect 60s Italian blend of jazz and bossa-based styles! Sweeping strings bring a nice sense of depth to some numbers, while others have a more intimate feel – either via spare guitar, or some jazzy ... (Soundtracks LP)
Intakt (Switzerland), 2021.
Pianist Irene Schweizer always has a fantastic amount of energy in her music – a quality that's all her own, informed by the freedoms of the European improvisers of the 70s, but also brought into a focus that always makes her music make a heck of a lot of sense, even to the uninitiated! That' ... (Jazz CD)
Jazz Room (UK), 1964.
The title cut here is fantastic – one of the coolest tunes we've ever heard from French soundtrack maestro Michel Magne – a track that begins with a vamping modal groove, then opens into a flute solo of the sort you might be likely to hear from Yusef Lateef! The flipside features some ... (Funky 45's 7-inch)
Blue Thumb/Big Pink (South Korea), 1970. Gatefold
A very groovy set from guitar genius Gabor Szabo – one that features all those cool tones and elements he'd developed on his late 60s albums for Impulse and Skye Records, given a tighter LA groove here, with almost an A&M Records vibe! There's loads of great solos throughout, played in a ... (Jazz CD)
AACE/Far Out (UK), Late 80s.
A set recorded in Detroit, but one that's got a globe's worth of elements in the mix – originally recorded in the mid 80s, but not released until a brief CD issue in the early part of the 21st Century! Despite that history, the album's a really timeless record that encompasses a world's ... (Jazz LP)
Far Out (UK), 1976.
A Brazilian jazz keyboard masterpiece – a set you can put right up there next to the earliest records by Azymuth, even though this one's much more obscure! Keyboardist Marcos Resende never hit the kind of fame he deserved, but that also allowed him to be one of the most creative players on ... (Brazil CD)
Bear Family (Germany), Late 50s/Early 60s.
That's Ray Vernon, not Vernon Wray – but both names are correct, as Ray's the brother of guitar giant Link Wray – and works here under an odd variation of his family name, but on an equally raw set of vintage rockers! Ray's a singer, but also a guitarist – and brother Link joins ... (Rock CD)
Astral Spirits, 2021.
That's a picture of legendary bassist Ahmed Abdul-Malik on the cover, and the title of the record hints at the legacy of Sun Ra – both references that should really give you an idea of the spirit of the sound within! The liner notes are by pianist Pat Thomas, who calls for a deeper ... (Jazz LP)
Stones Throw, 2021.
Steve Arrington's got a long long legacy in soul music – one that goes back to his late 70s work on Slave – but he also sounds completely contemporary here, working in collaboration with a whole host of producers who were no doubt influenced by his creations of the past, and help ... (Soul CD)
Gotham (Talib Kweli & Diamond D)
Dymond Mine, 2021.
A great collaboration between Talib Kweli and Diamond D – dedicated to the city that first gave the world hip hop, and which is still on top of the game with work like this! There's a great old school vibe to the set – not early 80s old school, but the sort of special, distinct quality ... (Hip Hop LP)
Brooklyn Butterfly (France), 2021.
Damn great work from Rongetz Foundation – a group who just seem to get better and better with each new record – really taking on a strong role as a jazz group, but one who's also open to some of the newer ideas of the global scene! By that, we mean that the group's style is maybe a bit ... (New Grooves CD)
Esoteric (UK), 1969.
A jazz rock masterpiece from Colosseum – the kind of record that the British scene could do far far better than any American group at the time! The set is a sweet blend of late beat group grooving – using the heavy R&B-influenced guitar and organ styles of earlier years, and ... (Rock CD)
Music From Memory (Netherlands), Late 80s/Early 90s. 2CD
A very cool collection that opens up who new territory for digging into the wonderful world of Japanese underground music – a set that features titles that were only issued on CD at the time, which might make these cuts even more obscure for those vinyl-centric folks looking into the music! ... (Rock CD)
Columbia/Morello (UK), Mid 60s. 2CD
A trio of albums from the great Lefty Frizzell – plus lots of bonus tracks too! First up is Saginaw Michigan – Fantastic 60s work from the great Lefty Frizzell – issued at a time when he was back on the top of the charts with the fantastic title track, and able to really stretch ... (Folk/Country CD)
Headz/Improved Sequence (Italy), 2005. (reissue)
Beautifully minimal sounds from the duo of David Grubbs and Nikos Veliotis – Grubbs on piano and Hammond organ, and Veliotis on cello and e-bowed piano – all instruments that are used together in really wonderful ways! The first half of the set features piano and cello – the ... (Rock LP)
Vijay Iyer/Linda May Han Oh/Tyshawn Sorey
ECM (Germany), 2021.
Wonderful trio work from Vijay Iyer – a set that's got his piano doing equal time with the drums of Tyshawn Sorey and bass of Linda May Han Oh – all at a level that reminds us why we first fell in love with Iyer's music many years back! The set's a return to the kind of records that ... (Jazz CD)
Doxy (Russia), 1963. (reissue)
A taut score from Piero Piccioni – penned for an early 60s black and white thriller, with a sound that's often a lot more serious than some of his other work of the time! There's a few whimsical themes at the start, but these drop off quickly – leaving some very spare, atmospheric ... (Soundtracks LP)
Astral Spirits, 2021.
A pair of Thollem collaborations – back to back on a single CD! First up is a beautiful duet with Susan Alcorn – with a fantastic sound that has Alcorn's groundbreaking work on pedal steel mixing with the well-crafted electronics of Thollem – lines that really seem to find the ... (Jazz CD)
Abkco, 1984. (reissue)
One of Bobby Womack's biggest albums of the 80s – part of a set that helped reintroduce him to the soul music mainstream – and which has him standing tall as the superstar he is – with guest help from George Benson, Patti Labelle, and Wilton Felder! There's a new sort of ... (Soul LP)
Positive Elevation, 2021.
It's been over a decade since Coultrain first knocked us out with his debut – and during that time, he's really continued to grow as an artist – to a point where his talents are more fully-formed and individual than ever, and served up with an increasingly sophisticated sense of ... (Neo Soul CD)
Polydor/Geffen, Late 60s. 2CD
An incredible album – and one of the most revolutionary rock albums of the late 60s! The Who recorded this one as a tribute to mainstream radio at the time – linking together some solid stand alone tunes with shorter, wittier tracks that were recorded as commercials for products that ... (Rock CD)
Esoteric, 1976. 2CD
The biggest record that Al Stewart ever cut – as you no doubt know from the oft-played title track – but a set that also stands as a great testament to all the many years he'd been crafting fine music before fully getting the recognition he deserved! Stewart's got a way with words that' ... (Rock CD)
Guitarist Dave Stryker really steps out here – getting these full, fluid backings from the WDR Big Band, conducted by reedman Bob Mintzer – who also takes a few tenor solos on the record too! It's not always easy to have a guitar shine out in front of a large group – but Dave ... (Jazz CD)
AACE/Far Out (UK), Late 80s.
A pair of great albums back to back – both rare albums from a percussionist who worked with Sun Ra! First up is Mora volume 1 – a legendary early set from percussionist Francisco Mora Catlett – and a really sublime blend of spiritual jazz and Latin rhythms! Mora's percussion is ... (Jazz CD)
Klik/Freestyle (UK), 1975. (reissue)
Warmly wonderful early work from William Bunny Clarke – billed here under a different name, but the same singer who'd rise to great fame a few years later as Bunny Rugs in Third World! The vibe here is different than his hits with that group – more laidback and mellow, with great ... (Reggae LP)
Chicago Soul Jazz Collective, 2021.
A Windy City group who really live up to their name – working here with a set of all original material by their tenorist, John Fournier – who's got a great way with the sort of tune you might have heard from Horace Silver or Blue Mitchell back in the day! The group comes across with a ... (Jazz CD)
Fury/P-Vine (Japan), 1961. (reissue)
A record that states its power right from the stark image on the cover – the genius talents of Lightnin Hopkins, handled by the soulful production of Harlem's great Bobby Robinson! The mix of modes is great – and rather than go for an uptown version of Hopkins' music, Bobby seems to ... (Blues LP)
Decca/Big Pink (South Korea), 1971.
A sweet little record from a sweet little power trio – one who take the conventional format and do all sorts of things that are very much their own! Help can definitely hit hard rock territory, but they also have a way of fusing everything together that's maybe a few years ahead of its time, ... (Rock CD)
Rogue Art (France), 2020.
Tremendous work from Joshua Abrams – a set that's very different than some of his other work in recent years, but every bit as great! The set's got a lean group – Abrams on bass, Jeff Parker on guitar, Gerald Cleaver on drums, and the great Ari Brown on tenor – of Awakening fame ... (Jazz CD)
Red Hook, 2021.
The last recordings ever made by legendary Japanese pianist Masabumi Kikuchi – an artist we first came to love for his albums of the 60s and 70s – and who's still incredibly powerful here in his final years! The feel of the record is different than you might expect – Kikuchi is ... (Jazz CD)
Apple/Capitol, 1970. 2CD
The first true proper solo album by John Lennon – recorded after a few non-Beatles records with Yoko Ono, and at the same time as Yoko's much wilder album with a similar title! This one, though, is John at his best – very personal and exposed, in similar territory to Paul McCartney on ... (Rock CD)
Cinevox (Italy), Mid 70s. 2CD
A trio of cool cop soundtracks from Stelvio Cipriani – all brought together in a beautiful package with a really unified feel! Cipriani's easily one of our favorite Italian composers for the cop/crime genre – as he's got a way of bringing sensitive sounds into play with driving action ... (Soundtracks CD)
Vertigo (Japan), 1970.
A really fantastic little record – one that's got plenty of sinister touches in all the right ways – but never at a level that's too overblown or in love with itself! Gracious have this sense of majesty that really comes through in their music – nice use of mellotron, in almost a ... (Rock CD)
Taxi/Music On Vinyl (Netherlands), 1981. (reissue)
Jimmy Riley's definitely rhythm-driven here – given that the set was issued on the Sly & Robbie label Taxi, and also produced by the heavy rhythm duo themselves! Yet Jimmy's also the main star too – singing here with righteous, uplifting vocals that are very much in the best Island ... (Reggae LP)
Kicks/Norton, 2020. Book
A really amazing book – one of those "once in a blue moon" music books that comes around with a hefty price tag, but is well worth the cost! The huge volume is the definitive story of the legendary postwar indie Fortune Records – an important label in the Detroit scene in the ... (Book)
Mississippi, Late 70s/Early 80s. 2LP Gatefold
The mighty Alan Lomax has maybe done more to document rural American music in the 20th century than anyone else – most famously for a midcentury series of recordings for the Library Of Congress and Folkways Records, which established Lomax as having an incredible ear for lesser-heard sounds ... (Blues LP)
Express (Japan), 1981. (reissue)
A classic album from this Japanese electronic group – a set that definitely borrows elements from 70s jazz fusion, but winnows them down into a leaner, more compact mode that's very much in the mode of the scene at the time! Instrumentation is heavy on keyboards, guitar parts, and rhythm ... (Rock LP)
Blue Note, 2021.
Beautiful work from the Marvels group of Charles Lloyd – a combo that not only features his own great sounds on tenor and flute, but also the very strong presence of Bill Frisell on guitar! Although Lloyd recorded famously with guitar players back in his early years, the sound here is very ... (Jazz CD)
Universal (Japan), 1982. (reissue)
One of the wildest sets ever recorded by Japanese guitarist Ryo Kawasaki – and that's saying a lot, given some of his other work! The vibe here is fusion, but with a definite 80s spacey twist that's hinted at by the cover – as Kawasaki handles most of the instruments himself, mixing ... (Jazz LP)
United Artists/Loneos Editions (Netherlands), 1971. Gatefold (reissue)
Early prog jazz genius from the mighty Embryo – and an album that perfectly fuses their love of world rhythms and electric jamming grooves – at a level that made them one of the coolest groups on the European scene at the time! Core work here is by a trio – and the percussion by ... (Jazz LP)
Warner/Rhino, 1980. (reissue)
They may look goofy on the cover, but the young B-52s are incredible here – working with this spare sense of power that almost makes us think that we didn't need most of what happened in rock and roll during the 70s – given the way these guys can distill a mood or moment down to just a ... (Rock LP)
DJM/Strawberry (UK), 1978. 2CD
A really heady record from British drummer Brian Bennett – an artist known for both jazz and funky sound library work – here stretching out in a mode that really fits the image on the cover! The tunes are longer than some of Bennett's earlier sound library material – almost a mix ... (Sound Library CD)
Island (Japan), 1970.
The first album John Martyn cut with wife Beverly – a nicely laidback effort that has the two of them sharing vocal chores, trading off from tune to tune in a really great way! We like John's work so much we're surprised how much we welcome Beverly here – but she really keeps the ... (Rock CD)
Fast funk and lots of sharp riffs from Okwess – a group with roots in the Congo, but who've risen to international fame – thanks in part to their updating of older Afro Funk modes, and the strong presence of lead singer Jupinter Bokondji! The group are clearly aware of more ... (Global Grooves CD)
Bear Family (Germany), Late 50s/Early 60s.
Sad-tinged tunes to take you late into the night – especially if the night is one you're spending all by yourself! All the music here lives up to the spirit of the title – half the cuts or more have some variation of "lonely" in the title – but the spread of styles is ... (Rock CD)
A fantastic setting for the tenor of Abraham Burton – long-flowing tracks recorded live in a very open space, with Lucian Ban on piano, really pushing Burton to heights that we've never heard before! There's one track on the set dedicated to Pharoah Sanders – and Burton really seems to ... (Jazz CD)
Candid/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1960.
One of the most righteous albums that Max Roach ever cut – and a monumental jazz release from the heart of the Civil Rights era! As you can guess from the cover and title, there's a very political bent to the record – served up in righteous lyrics penned by Oscar Brand Jr, and sung by ... (Jazz CD)
180g (UK), 1970s.
A fantastic document of the lost funk legacy of 70s Japan – music that's often different than the jazz and pop work of the decade that sees greater reissue, and which shows a very strong influence from the American scene! The rhythms here are wonderful – sometimes in the best funky ... (Funky Compilations LP)
Fresh In The Flesh, 2014.
An overlooked collaboration between Freddie Gibbs and DJ Fresh – a producer who provides a very different setting for Gibbs' lyrics, but in a way that reminds us just how versatile and creative Freddie can be! The album came out at a time when Freddie was retrenching himself in the indie ... (Hip Hop LP)
Epic/Soulmusic.com (UK), 1979.
A late 70s classic from jazzy funk master George Duke! Master Of The Game is an excellent mix of jazz, smooth soul, and Latin riffing – really a perfect blend of styles that shows not only how far George's sound had progressed throughout the 70s, it also charts the development of the ... (Jazz CD)
GTO/Cherry Red (UK), Mid 70s. 4CD
A great box collection of work from Fox– a group who recorded a handful of albums in the mid 70s, all with kind of a post-glam production style that makes all the instruments come together in this cool wash of sound, which also works perfectly for the vocals of the female lead singer – ... (Rock CD)
Ohr/Cleopatra, 1970. Gatefold (reissue)
Early Krautrock hugeness from Guru Guru – their epic debut, and a record that was one of the key calling cards of the German scene at the start of the 70s! At first glance, the elements are familiar – but there's a few nice touches in the studio too – yet the real energy of the ... (Rock LP)
Cultures Of Soul, 1970s.
A heavenly set of funky tracks from the indie scene of the 70s – titles that were all recorded as singles for the gospel market, but which have a fair bit of funk in the rhythms! These tunes all have massive appeal well beyond their spiritual message – heavy drums, amazing basslines, ... (Funky Compilations CD)
Gondwana (UK), 2015. (reissue)
The music of Matthew Halsall really opens up here – still staying in the spiritual jazz style we love from earlier records, but with an even more expansive vision overall! The album brings in some added string players to a core group that includes flute, harp, and koto alongside the usual ... (Jazz LP)
Super Fuji Discs (Japan), Late 80s/Early 90s.
The cover here gives you a good idea of what you're in for – rare material from Japanese electronic composer Hirokazu Tanaka – best known for his work on the scores of important Nintendo games – most of of it from the glory days of the cassette, and pulled from Tanaka's archives! ... (Sound Library CD)
Angel Bat Dawid & Tha Brothahood
International Anthem, 2021.
Angel Bat Dawid is a completely mesmerizing artist on record, but she's even more mindblowing in a live setting – where she seems to channel the energy of the skies and the planet into her music – brimming over with righteous energy that guides the rest of the group with a hell of a lot ... (Jazz CD)
CBS/Get On Down, 1977. (reissue)
An unusual 70s album from Herbie Hancock – first in that it was only issued in Japan at the time, and second in that it was an all-acoustic set that came out at a time when Herbie was mostly working in an electric mode! Yet that previous work definitely informs the sound here – as ... (Jazz LP)
Acorn/Grapefruit (UK), 1971. 2CD
A really dreamy little record, and one that really lives up to the ancient vibe of the title and cover – played by a combo who were one of the younger groups of the acid folk generation in the UK, and were also one of the most compelling! Oberon was formed by a group of school-aged chums who ... (Rock CD)
Motown, Early 70s. 2LP Gatefold
A great collection of vintage Jackson 5 material from the Motown years – and one that also features solo work from Michael and Jermaine too! The tracks here capture the young group at their early best – full of fire, energy, and the kind of dynamic that made The Jacksons so different ... (Soul LP)
Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders, & The London Symphony Orchestra
Luaka Bop, 2021.
A fantastic record, and one of those cases where the presence of the mighty Pharoah Sanders can really transform the sound of a session! We'll admit that we weren't sure what to expect – but at the core, the record is really a set of duets between Pharoah on tenor and Sam Shepherd on ... (New Grooves CD)
RCA/Music Box (France), 1972.
A groovy soundtrack to a film we'd love to see – an obscure thriller that starred Henry Fonda and Yul Brynner – and which, like most of the Morricone-scored films of the period, has dropped from cinematic history, even though the wonderful soundtrack lives on! The style of the music ... (Soundtracks CD)
Columbia/BGO (UK), Late 70s. 2CD
Four great albums from the 70s soul years of Johnny Mathis – all brought together in a single set, and with bonus cuts too! First up is The Heart Of A Woman – on which the voice of Johnny Mathis meets the soulful arrangements of Paul Riser and HB Barnum – all wrapped up with ... (Vocalists CD)
Beat (Italy), 1973.
A wonderfully weird Ennio Morricone score – done for an equally weird western that starred the great Terence Hill in the lead! The movie mixes in a bit of comedy with straight action – and Morricone's music really fits that vibe – with a blend of more familiar classic Morricone ... (Soundtracks CD)
Stax/Kent (UK), Early 70s.
A deep dive into the vaults of the legendary Stax Records – the Memphis label who helped usher in a whole new sound in soul music during the 60s, and was still going strong in the early part of the 70s! In the final years, Stax was hitting big with a number of stars, but also recording a bit ... (Soul CD)
Numero, Early 70s.
A tale of lost love, and lost music too – served up in this never-issued album from a very cool little group – a west coast girl pop outlet with a very dreamy sound! The group was formed by sisters Vicki and Ronnie Gosset, who'd later go on to greater fame as songwriters – but ... (Rock LP)
Digitmovies (Italy), 1967.
Very groovy work from Ivan Vandor – one of the lesser-known artists of the Italian soundtrack scene, but getting some help here from 70s giant Stelvio Cipriani – who handles the orchestrations! The music is very striking and groovy – a late 60s update of earlier crime jazz modes, ... (Soundtracks CD)
Stones Throw, 2021. Gatefold
Benny Sings has a scruffy sort of look on the cover here – but his music is wonderfully smooth and soulful – every bit the sound that we've loved on all of his previous records, and which makes Benny maybe one of the under-discovered talents of the global scene of the past decade or so! ... (Neo Soul LP)
Quartet (Italy), 1964.
An early soundtrack from Ennio Morricone – and a more unusual setting than some of his famous later work of the 60s and 70s! The movie is a prison comedy, and is handled by Morricone with style that's heavily in the crime jazz side of the spectrum – maybe more in the mode of Piero ... (Soundtracks CD)
Beat (Italy), 1970.
A soundtrack as striking as it's cover image – and a real lesser-known western gem from Ennio Morricone! The music balances a broad number of styles here – from darkly chanting vocals, to warmer mellower strings, to elements that more playfully evoke a sense of time and place – ... (Soundtracks CD)
Buried Treasure (Germany), Late 60s/1970s/Early 80s.
Nearth 20 years of work from some of the more obscure sound library labels on the European scene – served up here in a blend of modes that moves between heavy funk, jazzier grooves, and some more atmospheric keyboard-heavy tracks – all of which we're not sure we've ever heard before! ... (Sound Library LP)
RCA/Be With (UK), 1971. (reissue)
A really groovy little record, and one that's got all sorts of very cool things going on – sweet female vocals from Sola that almost feel like they're lifted from a French record, and not a Spanish language set – mixed with orchestrations that have a nice undercurrent of funk – a ... (Latin LP)
Crane City, 2021.
Seattle rapper Da Qween looks relaxed and regal on the cover – but the sound of the set has a taught intensity that comes through right away – fast rhymes, crispy beats, and a sense of urgency that holds on all the way through! There's a few sung vocal moments that get nice and mellow ... (Hip Hop LP)
Acid Jazz (UK), Late 60s. 2LP Gatefold
A fantastic compilation of work from one of the grooviest groups on the UK scene of the late 60s – a mod combo with a surprisingly funky undercurrent at times – and a sound that's virtually the definition of the freakbeat groove! The drums here are wonderful – as heavy and ... (Rock LP)
Modern Harmonic, 1986.
Lost material from Mark Sandman – tracks recorded in between his time in Treat Her Right, and his greater fame in Morphine – served up here in the first-ever package of the recordings! The sound is nice and stark – almost the spareness of post-punk work, but with more mid 80s ... (Rock CD)
Wah Wah (Spain), 1970. (reissue)
Bazali Bam look somewhat playful on the cover, but the record's got this darker intensity that points the way towards later experiments on the West African scene – with a blend of soul, funk, and psych elements that almost seem to be a precursor to Zamrock sounds! Yet the style here is a bit ... (Global Grooves LP)
Louder Than Life, 2021. 3LP
Salaam Remi's usually a key talent in the background for others – but here, he acts more like the leader in the spotlight – opening the door to a great array of talents, and really finding a way to express a powerful message over the course of the album! Remi's always had a great ear ... (Hip Hop LP)
No Business (Lithuania), 2021.
Bitches Brew is the club, not the sound of the music – a night spot in Yokohama where European reedman Liudas Mockunas improvised these performances in the company of a range of different Japanese players! The lineup shifts with each track, as do the horns handled by Mockunas – who ... (Jazz CD)
JMI/BGO (UK), Early 70s. 2CD
The first three albums from Don Williams – brought together here in a single set! First up is Don Williams Vol 1 – well-crafted work from Don Williams – an artist who began as a songwriter, but really hit his stride on this debut album! Williams has a gentle, easygoing vocal ... (Folk/Country CD)
Grapefruit (UK), Early 70s. 3CD
Classic rock from before it was classic – but a set that's also filled with lots of musical surprises too! This isn't a batch of the oldies you'll hear played perpetually in the too-small set lists of classic rock FM stations over here – and instead, the box brings together a mix of ... (Rock CD)
Brownswood (UK), 2021.
A fantastic overview of contemporary work from the South African scene – most of it jazz-based, and brought together here as a great discovery of underground material we never would have heard otherwise! The set follows in a similar spirit to other Brownswood label explorations of the ... (Global Grooves CD)
Round Bale, 2021.
Recent work from underground hero Russell Hoke, but sounds that are every bit as timeless as his earlier records – done in a stripped-down style that has Hoke playing borrowed guitar and banjo, and recording onto an old cellphone – which makes the whole thing feel like it came out of ... (Folk/Country LP)
Far Out (UK), 2021.
That's Antonio Neves wielding a trombone on the cover – but the set's got elements that move way past his great work on that horn – drawn from very collaborative contributions from different members of the contemporary scene in Rio! The record's got a jazz basis at the core, but ... (Brazil CD)
Jazzman (UK), 2011. Gatefold (reissue)
The debut album from Greg Foat – the first of many great records the keyboardist would soon give us, and a set that came as quite a surprise on the mostly-reissue Jazzman label! Yet the set also makes a lot of sense – as Foat is clearly inspired by some of the British greats of the ... (Jazz LP)
Still Music, 2021. 2LP
The full length debut of Andy Ash – a younger UK artist who's been making a nice splash with tracks in recent years, and who emerges here fully formed, with more than enough talent to fill up the double length set! The tracks are nice and long, and occupy this spare, simple space – ... (New Grooves LP)
Born Bad (France), Early 60s.
A really groovy set of tracks – not just the French cha cha promised by the title, but instead this beautiful mash-up of sounds and styles – often with results that are pretty darn unique! Sure, the rhythms are Latin, and the language is French – but there's also strands of crime ... (French CD)
Fremeaux & Associates (France), Late 1900s/1910s/1920s/1930s/1940s/Early 50s. 2CD
One of the best collections of early klezmer music we've ever seen – a big package that traces the roots of the style as it developed in the hands of early Jewish immigrants to America at the turn of the century – then grew and transformed as European styles came into context with ... (Global Grooves CD)
Digitmovies (Italy), 1968.
A very early soundtrack from Italian great Franco Bixio – done when he was just a lad of 18, before his fame with Vince Tempera – but with a sound that puts the young Franco on equal footing with the best of the spaghetti western generation! The score begins with a groovy vocal tune ... (Soundtracks CD)
Pye/BGO (UK), Mid 60s.
The first-ever full collection of all the groovy singles The Searchers recorded for the Pye Records label in the 60s – a 32 track set that includes both the a and b-side of every 7" release for the label! The Searchers were one of the leading lights of the early British invasion – ... (Rock CD)
GAD (Poland), 1982.
A very jazzy set of sound library tracks from Poland – done in a mix of fusion and prog that's similar to some of that nation's great groups of the 70s – maybe no surprise, given that the guitarist in the group had also performed with the rock act Breakout! Yet here, the style is ... (Sound Library CD)
A beautiful little keyboard record – tracks recorded for a 21st Century modern dance performance, but which have lots of great touches of the 80s underground! There's a style here that mixes keyboards, synth, and drum machine elements that might normally be found in the cold wave scene ... (Sound Library LP)
Atlantic/Big Pink (South Korea), 1971.
That's a Texas image on the cover, which is pretty fitting for the sound of Alamo – as they've got a really heady brew of psych, hard rock, and southern elements – all forged together with a sound that would have been right at home on early 70s Capricorn Records! The group are part of ... (Rock CD)
GAD (Poland), Late 70s.
Some of the funkiest work we've ever heard from Polish vibist Jerzy Milian – a series of late 70s recordings that have him working with a larger ensemble in a very groovy mode! The approach is sound library or soundtrack funk at some points, but also almost gets a bit disco at others – ... (Jazz CD)
PVP (Patience, Violet, Pinky)
La Casa Tropical (Netherlands), 1992. 2LP
PVP are a trio of South African singers who really update their groove with this sweet set of tracks from the early 90s – music that still comes across with some of the charm of 80s soul music from South Africa, but which also shows a stronger house music influence in the rhythms – ... (Global Grooves LP)
Funk Night, 2021.
Kenako bill themselves as an Afro Funk orchestra, but the group are much more offbeat and have a style that's very much their own – very much in the spirit of some of their contemporaries on the St Petersburg scene in Russia! The lineup is certainly large, and has the sorts of horns you ... (Deep Funk LP)
Venus (Japan), 1994. (reissue)
Beautiful blowing from the great Barney Wilen – an album that's as relaxed as you might guess from the image on the cover, but which has a rock-solid sound all the way through! At this point in his career, Barney's definitely back on top of his game – playing both tenor and soprano sax ... (Jazz LP)
LMLR (France), 1971.
Les Petroleuses has a nice variety of sounds – some of the slinky, sexy, Euro-styled numbers you'd expect from Lai in the early 70s, and from a film starring Brigitte Bardot – mixed with other tracks that seem to foreground a version of the old west that's a bit playful – using ... (Soundtracks LP)
Black Jazz/Real Gone, 1971.
Sweet funky jazz from pianist Gene Russell – one of the hippest albums he ever recorded! Russell's a pianist with a wonderfully fluid touch – used here to near perfection in a small combo date that really stands out from most of his other albums – just the kind of effort we'd ... (Jazz CD)
Guerssen (Spain), 1971.
An incredible Turkish psych album from Baris Manco – totally riveting work that blends some traditional Turkish influences with the panoramic psychedelia of the late 60s & early 70s – all of which makes for lots of fuzzed out rock-funk, and a fantastic melodic sensibility! The ... (Global Grooves LP)
Sun/Matsuli (UK), 1975. (reissue)
A landmark album on the South African scene of the 70s – a set that mixes together currents of jazz and funk, but at the start of a sound that would break forth even more in the decade to come! Yet The Beaters were there at the start – a young trio that includes drummer Sipho Mabuse, ... (Global Grooves LP)
BBE (UK), Late 70s/1980s. 2CD
The legend of Teena Marie lives again, and in a really beautiful way – as John Morales serves up tunes that work together almost as a tribute to the memory of the lady – with these really fresh versions that seem to add a lot of majesty to the sound as well! These aren't easy remixes ... (Soul CD)
Astral Spirits, 2021.
Kuzu is fast becoming one of the more compelling settings for the saxophone talents of the great Dave Rempis – as the blend of sounds here really sets things apart from other improvised combos, even though the elements are all very familiar! Tashi Dorji has a way of handling the guitar that ... (Jazz LP)
Never-issued work from Don Cherry – and a really key piece of the puzzle in the career of this legendary trumpeter! The recordings were done for Swedish Radio, with great fidelity – more than just live tracks captured in a club, and instead some really thoughtful material that marks an ... (Jazz CD)
Funkiwala (UK), 2021.
A Latin combo from London, but one with a wider range of styles in their music – as you might guess from the lineup pictured on the cover! Lokkhi Terra are great at familiar Latin jazz modes – really using their instrumentation to craft strong standout solos on trumpet, flute, Fender ... (Latin LP)
Ace/BGP (UK), Late 60s/Early 70s.
The reach of Miles Davis is plenty wide – as right from the start, the trumpeter was associating himself with some of the hippest young talent on the scene! Yet the apex of those associations may have come in the late 60s and early 70s, when the newly-electric Miles was experimenting in all ... (Funky Compilations CD)
Favorite (France), 1985.
A sweet 80s groove from Brazil – a self-released set by George Sauma Jr, a singer who works in some nicely soulful territory throughout! In a way, the vibe here is a bit like the Marcos Valle albums of the early 80s – elements of modern soul and boogie in the rhythms, but given a very ... (Brazil CD)
Evolution/Sunbeam (UK), Early 70s. 2LP (reissue)
The lasting classic from Raw Material – a great little record captured at the crossroads of psych and prog, with a wonderful sound that even moves past both of those styles! At one level, the album's a tripped-out batch of heavy rock tunes – complete with vocals, fuzzy guitar, and lots ... (Rock LP)
Bear Family (Germany), Late 40s/1950s/Early 60s.
A whole host of tunes that will help you say goodbye to winter and hello to spring – a light and lively mix of postwar cuts in a variety of styles – from early rockers, to instrumentals, radio pop gems, and even a bit of R&B – all put together with a very playful vibe! The ... (Rock CD)
Throttle Elevator Music feat Kamasi Washington
Wide Hive, 2021.
We certainly hope this isn't the final floor for Throttle Elevator Music, as we've always enjoyed the many sounds the group has given us over the years – styles served up here on a record that's almost a testament to the collaborative growth of the ensemble over the past decade or so, as the ... (Jazz LP)
Soul Jazz Pop/Mr Bongo (UK), 1977.
Clubby work from the South African scene of the 70s – but a set that's got a very equal amount of jazz – as you might guess from the group's saxophone-wielding leader on the cover! Tracks are long, and build from an instrumental core first – often leaving out vocals entirely, as ... (Global Grooves CD)
Warner/Jackpot, 1977. (reissue)
The actual film was weaker than the first Exorcist movie, but the soundtrack's a great one – a wonderful Ennio Morricone score, right up there with his better-known classics of the 70s! Some tracks have a full, sweeping style that's sublime – that compressed Morricone approach to ... (Soundtracks LP)
DB Recs/New West, 1980.
Overlooked genius from the scene in Athens, GA – served up by a group who also borrow plenty of influences from the UK post-punk world too! Pylon are heavy on bass that might be borrowed from Young Marble Giants, but then turned up in sound and speed – matched with these great guitar ... (Rock CD)
Black Monk (Austria), 1982.
Two players we don't really know at all, but coming together here in a sublime set of reed-based creations – Alaeddin Adlernest on bassoon and Haru Ghulam Barrabas on alto sax – four long tunes that each have some sort of structure, but also balance things nicely with a sense of freedom ... (Jazz CD)
Jazzaggression (Finland), 1973.
A real masterpiece from pianist Christian Reim – an unissued live set from 1973, conceived as one long suite for a very modern sextet! The music is wonderful – full of all these subtle moments of feeling that we don't always hear in some of Christian's other work – mixed with ... (Jazz LP)
Tommy Boy, 1995. 2LP (reissue)
A stone classic from Lord Finesse – a key moment when the DITC underground got a chance to hit the mainstream – and really show the rest of the world why NYC was still the undisputed center of hip hop! Finesse is fantastic, both as a producer and lyricist – and that collaborative ... (Hip Hop LP)
Black Monk (Austria), 1978.
Tremendous work by a jazz group we've not seen on any other records – working here in a set of live improvisations recorded in Austria in 1978! The sound is loose, but never entirely free jazz – as there's a good sense of rhythm to the group, hanging sometimes together in less-tradition ... (Jazz CD)
GDM/Musica Per Immagini (Italy), 1981.
A surprisingly nice score, done for a relatively goofy Italian comedy at the start of the 80s – set inside a Chinese restaurant in Rome, and handled with some definite Eastern touches in the instrumentation – but all mixed up in funky cop show sort of backings – almost an early ... (Soundtracks LP)
Somethin Cool (Japan), 2021.
A really lovely tribute to the memory of the great Chet Baker – served up here by Italian trumpeter Paolo Fresu – who works in a loose, open setting that's a bit like some of the wonderful overseas records that Baker cut in his final decade! Backing is just piano rom Dino Rubino and ... (Jazz CD)
On-U Sound (UK), 1981. (reissue)
The seminal second album from New Age Steppers – a set that does key work in building a bridge between Jamaican roots and the growing UK underground! Sure, there had been plenty of other experiments during the early punk years – but here, Adrian Sherwood's really finding his groove ... (Reggae LP)
Ace/Kent (UK), Late 60s.
A great entry in this really wonderful series – one that's shifted a lot over the years, and in the best way possible! "Classiest" may be a tough word to peg down – but here, it refers to tracks that are well-done, and completely put-together – yet which have the kind ... (Soul CD)
The title might be a bit presumptuous, but the album presents a setting that maybe showcases the poetic style of Neil Young even more than some of his classic studio albums of the time – a live solo date, and one that really brings a new sort of quality to some of the era's more familiar ... (Rock CD)
Here's a record that may well push Valerie June over the top – a mature, fully-formed set that's filled with anthemic tunes that point the way to a whole new generation in soul! The album bills individual songs as filling certain needs – prescriptions, if you will – like ... (Neo Soul CD)
Jon Batiste is looking mighty righteous on the cover, and he's sounding mighty righteous within – imbued with a new spirit of consciousness from the events of 2020, which brings a whole new sort of focus to his music – and makes for an album that's every bit a soul set as it is a jazz ... (Jazz CD)
Ace (UK), Late 60s.
Fantastic Brit girl pop from the 60s – from one of the labels who did it better than most! Pye Records was famously home to Petula Clark, but the company had lots of other wonderful female singers in its lineup – and over the course of the 60s, they continually set the tone for new ... (Rock CD)
On-U Sound (UK), 2012. (reissue)
Later work from New Age Steppers, but a set that's very much got the spirit of the group at the core – given that it's essentially a collaboration between Ari Up and producer Adrian Sherwood – who were the key forces behind the group's sound at the start! In fact, the feel here is ... (Reggae LP)
Rambling (Japan), 1971. Gatefold
The funkiest version we've ever heard of this great Bruce Lee soundtrack – one that brings together all the sweet instrumental moments by Peter Thomas, with sound that's much better than any other reissue! While previous versions have taken the music along with the dialogue, this gem of a ... (Soundtracks LP)
None More (UK), 2021.
Really lovely work from Caravela – a British band, but one with a lovely lead singer who delivers lyrics in Portuguese – while the group support the music in a mix of Brazilian styles and more contemporary London modes! The album's like the sort of great fusion we used to hear from the ... (Brazil LP)
Philips/Music On Vinyl (Netherlands), 1955.
A treasure trove of rare jazz work from the Dutch scene of the 50s – initially overlooked by many American listeners of the time, but fortunately well-documented by this series from Philips! The music here is a nice mix of different combos – all drawing influence from bop and some of ... (Jazz LP)
Futura/Souffle Continu (France), 1972. (reissue)
An amazing meeting of two of the most revolutionary talents on the European jazz scene of the early 70s – American expat Sahib Shihab, blowing some of his most exotic reeds ever – and pianist Jef Gilson, working here on electric keys and ondioline! The album's got a sound that echoes ... (Jazz LP)
Futura/Souffle Continu (France), 1971. (reissue)
One of the most striking albums ever from French experimentalist Jef Gilson – and one of the most outside as well! The album's from the same vintage as some of Gilson's world jazz experiments on the Palm label, but the overall feel here is much more free – with Jef working on a fuzzy ... (Jazz LP)
Mack Avenue, 2021.
A set that's maybe a bit more searing than earlier records from Cameron Graves – more full-on fusion at times, although still with some of the spacier elements we liked from before – yet definitely driven at points with the kind of energy that recalls the George Duke/Stanley Clarke ... (Jazz CD)
Monster Melodies (France), 1973. (reissue)
One of the most obscure recordings by this amazing duo – singers Brigitte Fontaine and Areski, who you might know best from their work on the legendary Saravah Records at the start of the 70s! The work here isn't musical theater, but was instead recorded for French radio in 1973 – and ... (French LP)
Crammed (Belgium), 1985. (reissue)
80s Afro grooves, recorded in Belgium – given a nice twist by the Crammed Discs label, which was one of the first to really open up African styles with more European elements! Bony Bikaye handles vocals, and Hector Zazou plays plenty of keyboards and adds in beat – so there's an ... (Global Grooves LP)
Art Yard (UK), 1957/1978. (pic cover)
Two fantastic tracks from Sun Ra – different vintage, but equally great! "Sky Is A Sea Of Darkness" is a mellow, spiritual quartet track – very stripped down, with a beautiful vocal that slides alongside this blue-tinged piano from Ra – surprisingly soulful, and ... (Funky 45's 7-inch)
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1975.
The album's dedicated to Duke Ellington, and it features Duke Ellington tunes – but overall the set is a very personal moment from pianist Masaru Imada – maybe one of his strongest dates of the 70s! The music opens up with that beautifully creative Japanese piano trio approach of the ... (Jazz CD)
Sun/Matsuli (UK), 1976.
One of the hippest bits of funk we've heard from the South African scene of the 70s – a record that mixes in plenty of currents from spiritual jazz, with a vibe that's very similar to the albums by Oneness Of Juju from the same time! The set's got this very universal appeal – earlier ... (Global Grooves CD)
Mais Um Discos (UK), 2009.
Another bold leap forward for Lucas Santtana – a Brazilian artist who really blows our mind with each new release! It's been a few years since we last heard from Lucas, but it's clear he's been doing plenty during the time – coming up with fresh new ideas, working on some English-based ... (Brazil LP)
Stag O Lee (Germany), Late 50s/Early 60s. 2LP
Raw rockers in the best Stag O Lee tradition – but given an extra-special punch here, given that the music is all hand-picked by DJ Keb Darge! Years back, Darge was an expert on American funk of the 60s and 70s – but over the years, he's become an equally well-suited collector of rare ... (Rock LP)
Incus/OTOroku (UK), 1980. (reissue)
The "one" here is the soprano saxophone – used exclusively by Evan Parker on the six improvised tracks on the set – each one very different than the other, and really showing the diversity and variation that Parker can bring to a performance! Often, the sound is very dense ... (Jazz LP)
Beat (Italy), 1967.
Great Morricone music for this legendary Italian western – a film that was first advertised with the line "When you've waited 15 years to a kill a man, it's a shame you can only kill him once!" The music here shows the same sort of determination as that statement – a driving, ... (Soundtracks CD)
Riverside, 1959. (reissue)
A record that hides a bit under its title and cover – looking like a songbook session, and without Chet Baker's dreamy face on the front – but one that stands every bit as strongly with Baker's other late 50s sessions for Riverside, and done with an equally nice set of New York elements ... (Jazz LP)
Jazzaggression (Finland), 1976.
Beautiful live work from alto saxophonist Carl Magnus Neumann – a Norwegian player with a richly expressive tone and a very fresh groove – working here in a group that's co-led with pianist Christian Reim! Neumann's a player we won't hear often – and he shines wonderfully on this ... (Jazz LP)
BBE (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s. 2CD
An ear-opening set of Japanese jazz from a time when that nation's scene was really taking off – a period in the 70s when all sorts of new artists and new ideas were really flying around – and leaving behind a huge recorded legacy that's been mostly out of reach for us in the west! ... (Funky Compilations CD)
Incus/OTOroku (UK), 1975. (reissue)
Completely unfettered solo saxophone work from Evan Parker – extremely intense, but not in an all-out blowing kind of way! Instead, Parker's got some incredible control on the valves here – playing with a frenetic sort of mode that's really incredible – freely improvising, but ... (Jazz LP)
Bear Family (Germany), Late 40s/1950s.
Tremendous work from Clarence Gatemouth Brown – a postwar guitarist who was big on the Texas scene, but who had the modern flair and jazzy swinging groove of some of his contemporaries who'd left for the west coast! All the work here is from the early years of the Peacock Records label, and ... (Blues CD)
Posi tone, 2014.
Fantastic work from Michael Dease – a player who seems to get better and better with each new record, and who's clearly becoming one of the top trombonists on the planet! Dease has a dexterity here that's amazing, and an ability to hit a sense of soul that's wonderful too – a quality ... (Jazz CD)
BBE (UK), 2001. 12 x 7 inch box set
A classic masterpiece from J Dilla – a record that set the tone for countless hip hop releases in years to come – but which still shows Jay Dee as one of the smartest, sharpest, most forward-thinking producers to rule the roost! The set's got some incredible live instrumentation – ... (Hip Hop 7-inch)
Madlib Invazion, 2020.
A tremendous collaboration between Madlib and drummer Karriem Riggins – both artists who are great enough on their own, but who really hit some new territory in this funky instrumental project! Riggins plays live drums, and Madlib throws in all this other instrumentation that really changes ... (Deep Funk CD)
Sugar/Decca (Italy), Early 60s. 2LP Gatefold (reissue)
One of the first big international soundtracks to come from the Italian scene in the 60s – the start of a great run that would continue through the decade, although maybe not with results as strongly as this! The score is for a strange documentary-like film (the title means "World Gone ... (Soundtracks LP)
Quartet (Spain), 1968.
One of the more obscure Ennio Morricone soundtracks of the late 60s – done in close collaboration with musical partner Bruno Nicolai, for a gangster film that stars John Cassavettes in the lead! A number of tracks have an older crime jazz sort of vibe – similar to the Italian modes ... (Soundtracks CD)
Digitmovies (Italy), 2020.
A contemporary horror score, but one that's handled by Basement's Glare with a nice mix of modes – including some darker electronic textures that feel like they're borrowed from the farther reaches of 80s indie soundtracks! Make no mistake, this isn't the easily-done keyboard score that some ... (Soundtracks CD)
Winley/Demon (UK), 1974. (reissue)
A great lost bit of funk – and a pretty mysterious record, too! The record came out hot on the heels of Manu Dibango's big original version of "Soul Makossa" – and while it's got a groove that definitely leans towards Afro Funk, it's also got plenty of Caribbean touches too ... (Soul LP)
ECM (Germany), 2020. 2 CDs
Keith Jarrett in our favorite side of his talents – playing the long, improvised style that first made him a breakthrough artist on ECM in the 70s – and which still remains one of his most important contributions to the history of jazz! Even later years, Jarrett's sense of imagination ... (Jazz CD)
Quartet (Spain), 1971.
Beautifully slow-building work from Ennio Morricone – caught right at that near-perfect start of the 70s point when he was a master of understatement and spare musical elements! Many numbers begin with a sound that's often very spare – sliding out of the darkness sometimes with just a ... (Soundtracks LP)
Pye/Music On Vinyl (Netherlands), 1965. (reissue)
Really beautiful work from the young Donovan – still yet to become the trippy popster that most folks know – but still pretty amazing here! The music definitely owes a lot to Bob Dylan – Donovan's playing harmonica and acoustic guitar, with just a bit of bass and drums behind him ... (Rock LP)
Mainstream/Big Pink (South Korea), 1969.
Cathy Young has a pretty psychedelic guitar on the cover – and the music here definitely has some psychedelic elements – but mixed with this bluesy style that makes Young come across with a surprisingly strong sort of sound! Her vocals are great – very gritty and soulful at times ... (Rock CD)
CBS/Music On Vinyl (Netherlands), Late 70s/1980s. 3LP
Seminal work from minimalist genius Philip Glass – a set that was issued during the same decade that saw his important opera box sets define his career – but one that also hearkens back to some of the leaner experimental modes of his early days! Part of the set was recorded in 1979, ... (Out Sound LP)
Favorite (France), 2021. 2LP Gatefold
We've loved the music of Bruno "Patchworks" Hovart in all its many forms for years – but over time, this Voilaaa project might well be our favorite – as it really gives Patchworks a way to blend past and present, while also reaching out over the space of the globe! As before, ... (New Grooves LP)
Moserobie (Sweden), 2021.
A really great change in the music of Swedish guitarist Johan Lindstrom – music that expands the vision of his previous record, and also explores some more song-based territory – while still allowing for lots of musical contributions from other players we love on the Moserobie label! ... (Jazz LP)
A real turning point in the career of Japan – and a set that really shows David Sylvian coming into his own, both as a singer and a songwriter! The sound here is a complete change from the group at the start – these really wonderful tunes that mark Japan as one of the smarter, more ... (Rock CD)
Reprise, 1990. 4LP
An unreleased live set from Neil Young – recorded in Santa Cruz in November of 1990, and featuring the group hot on the success of their Ragged Glory album! The set features the live debut of many of the record's songs, along with a number of surprises too – tracks that are unexpected ... (Rock LP)
Decca (UK), Late 60s/Early 70s. 17CD
A staggering amount of music from the great Tom Jones – 15 full albums issued over the space of a decade, plus a 2CD set of rare bonus material too! If you've ever wondered if you could ever have too much Tom Jones – the answer is "no" – as the fullness of this set is ... (Vocalists CD)
Jazzland (Norway), 2021.
That's a young Chet Baker on the cover of the record, and the set's a really beautiful experiment based on the music that Chet recorded back in the 50s – a reworking of some of the songs he sung and made his own, turned into versions with lyrics in Norwegian, and instrumentation that nicely ... (Jazz CD)
Street Noise/BBE (Japan), 1984.
Soaring piano lines, burning trumpet solos, and soulful tenor sax – all wrapped together beautifully in this obscure Japanese session from the 80s – a date that has all the free-thinking power and unbounded energy of some of our favorite American soul jazz sessions from a decade before! ... (Jazz CD)
Black Jazz/Real Gone, 1973. (reissue)
Some of the hippest sounds we've ever heard from pianist Gene Russell – an album that features heavy use of Fender Rhodes – and a soulful, solid, rhythmic core that comes from the basslines of Henry Franklin, guitar of Calvin Keys, and drums of Ndugu Chancler! The set's one of the ... (Jazz LP)
Schema (Italy), 2021.
A more spiritual soul-based setting than usual for the talents of Nicola Conte – a long-awaited full length set, served up after a host of 12" single collaborations with Gianluca Petrella! Petrella's presence is felt in the way the tunes unfold – often with strong contributions ... (New Grooves CD)
Universal (UK), 1970s/Early 80s. 8CD Set
A fantastic collection of work from one of the most unique teams in British music during the 70s – Richard and Linda Thompson, first recording here in a romantic partnership, then together in the studio but separate in life – moving through a musical journey that is captured brilliantly ... (Rock CD)
Amayana/Sconsolato (Germany), 1974. (reissue)
That's Ken Rhodes, not Fender Rhodes – but the acoustic pianist is more than funky enough on his own – even without any electricity in the mix! The set's got this wonderful rhythm duo – drummer George Greene and bassist Joachim Knauer – who often come on with this really ... (Jazz LP)
Kirk Lightsey & Rudolph Johnson with The All-Stars
Gallo/Outernational (UK), 1974. (reissue)
Maybe the hippest record ever issued by pianist Kirk Lightsey – in part because the set was issued on a South African label, and also because it features tremendous work from saxophonist Rudolph Johnson – who you'll know for his two classic 70s albums on the Black Jazz imprint! The ... (Jazz LP)
Atlantic/Friday Music, Mid 70s. (reissue)
Fantastic work from the second chapter of The Spinners – the moment when the group departed Motown, moved to Atlantic, and got some superb Philly soul treatment at the hands of Thom Bell! Unlike some groups, who maybe sounded best with a Detroit touch, it took the sophisticated Philly ... (Soul LP)
Vik/Assencionale (Netherlands), 1961. (reissue)
Great early work from Jorge Lopez Ruiz – an Argentine bassist who we already know for his more experimental recordings in the 70s – already sounding like a committed modernist here at the start of the 60s, in very hip group that also includes a young Gato Barbieri on tenor! The titles ... (Jazz LP)
Love/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1970. Gatefold
Trumpeter Terumasa Hino at a level that's quite different than most of his early work in Japan – recording in New York, and using a very spiritual approach – one that's clearly influenced by some of the other players in the session! The album features one long track – a bit ... (Jazz CD)
Four Flies (Italy), 1970s/Early 80s.
Weird and wonderful sounds from a very electric man – the mighty Piero Umiliani, an Italian composer who first rose to fame for a set of groundbreaking film scores in the 60s – then moved into even more experimental sound library work in the following decade! This set has Piero working ... (Sound Library CD)
Jazz In Britain (UK), Mid 60s.
A fantastic group from the British scene at mid 60s – music from a time when the UK world of jazz was exploding from the work of artists like Joe Harriott and Tubby Hayes, but also held some other tremendous talents as well! The group here has trumpeter Henry Lowther and tenorist Lyn Dobson ... (Jazz LP)
Detour (UK), Late 60s.
There's few folks we'd trust to take us into the mod underground of the 60s more than Rob Bailey – and this series of his always delivers the goods, and reminds us that we've got a heck of a lot more to learn about music like this! Tracks come from rare singles and unreleased acetates – ... (Funky Compilations LP)
Epic/36 Chambers, 2000.
A fantastic meeting of the minds – as director Jim Jarmusch makes a film that's a nod to the old martial arts films of the 70s that inspired the Wu-Tang Clan in their music – and RZA gets a chance to contribute to the soundtrack, with help from the Clan as well! The music is maybe the ... (Hip Hop CD)
Impulse (Japan), 1972.
Soaring spirits and joyous jazz-based expression – an overlooked treasure from Pharoah Sanders – and proof that his work on Impulse Records just kept on getting better and better! The style here is a bit tighter than some of the previous Impulse albums – no side-long tracks here ... (Jazz CD)
Cultures Of Soul, Mid 80s.
Excellent work from the South African scene of the 80s – music that maybe provides a pathway to the new freedom to come, thanks to a joyous, upbeat sense of spirit – one that's equally wonderful all these many years later! The cuts here are all clubby, but less in the disco mode that ... (Global Grooves CD)
Columbia/Get On Down, 1959. 2LP Gatefold (reissue)
One of Charles Mingus' true classics – and an essential album in any jazz collection! This 1959 gem was recorded by Mingus at a key point in his career – when he was rising from the jazz underground into the ranks of America's elite jazzmen, penning some of the most challenging work of ... (Jazz LP)
Gorbra/Sonorama (Germany), Mid 70s. (reissue)
A rare jazz gem from tenor saxophonist Fitz Gore – originally issued on the Gorbra label in Germany in a very tiny quantity! The record's a bit unlike anything else of the time – spiritual jazz, certainly, but with all these different approaches that vary from track to track, as does ... (Jazz LP)
Born Bad (France), Early 60s.
A strange mix of Latin rhythms and exotica modes – served up here on a set of recordings from early 60s France that we might not have heard otherwise! Grooves are often in the cha cha mode promised in the title, but other instrumentation is definitely "au harem" – exotic ... (French CD)
Impulse (Japan), 1969.
A wonderful reunion of Pharoah Sanders and vocalist Leon Thomas – and a set that captures a lot of the same energy as the pair's previous record – Karma! Thomas' vocals are in wonderful form for the set – stretching out soulfully on the extended classic "Hum-Allah-Hum-Allah-H ... (Jazz CD)
Trojan/Doctor Bird (UK), 1970. 2CD
A massive package – the full rare Undertaker album from Derrick Harriott & The Crystalites, plus an insane amount of bonus tracks too! The core album is instrumental – a wicked set of rhythms from The Crystalites, a group who have a vibe that's right up there with the best of the ... (Reggae CD)