Thrill Jockey, 1996. (reissue)
Essential early-ish Tortoise – and among their best records ever! The bassy, heavily rhythmic aspect of their earlier recordings is as well intact and distinctive as it was on the benchmark self-titled album and earlier singles, but the group really branches out here and incorporates many ... (Rock LP)
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1976.
Japanese pianist Yosuke Yamashita cut some fantastic work in Tokyo with his trio during the 70s – but he shines equally brightly here on a German session from the decade, but in a completely different way – given that the whole record just features duets with bassist Adelhard Rodinger! ... (Jazz CD)
RCA/Abkco, 1964. (reissue)
Good news galore from the great Sam Cooke – maybe THE album in which he fully shows off his unique contribution to soul music in the 60s – that mix of raw and sweet, easygoing and progressive – a mode that had a huge impact at the time, and went onto become a strong influence for ... (Soul LP)
Dreamland (Estonia), 2020.
There's nothing quiet about the way that Muriel Grossman approaches her music – as the saxophonist is one of the boldest, strongest voices in jazz in the past decade – one of the key proponents of the new spiritual underground, and a player who just seems to win us over more and more ... (Jazz CD)
Astralwerks, Late 70s/1980s/1990s.
Many years back, Brian Eno gave us a record called Music For Films – a set that came out during his initial run of Ambient recordings, showing us how strong his instrumental creations could be when and if applied to a cinematic mode! The tracks there were half imagined works for film – ... (Rock CD)
Lysergic Sound, 1968. (reissue)
One of those super-rare albums that never went beyond the stage of being a demo, yet which has gone on to be the stuff of legend over the years – maybe in part because it was later discovered to be an obscure side project by the legendary Wrecking Crew of LA 60s studio fame! The approach ... (Rock LP)
Albarika Store/Acid Jazz (UK), Late 70s. (reissue)
Fantastic funk from late 70s Benin – a set that maybe owes as much to the sound of New York as it does to the West African groove of the time! The album's got a monstrous bassy vibe all the way through – with cuts that often just riff and groove like some of the best clubby funk acts ... (Global Grooves LP)
RCA/Parlophone, 1976. (reissue)
The second half of Bowie's Thin White Duke years in the studio – a record that's more cool and condensed than his Young American album – but equally sublime in its own sort of way! The format here is much more compact – with a small group working alongside Bowie, still with some ... (Rock LP)
Monument/Iron Mountain Analog Research (Australia), 1960s. Gatefold
Fantastic sounds from one of the most troubled decades in modern American history – a moment so rocky, its changes and politics even touched the world of country music! While you might think of country as being just a flag-waving, gun-toting version of society, these rare gems show a ... (Folk/Country LP)
ZTT/Island, 1984. 2LP Gatefold (reissue)
Arguably one of the greatest concept albums of the 80s – and the only really strong full length album cut by Frankie Goes To Hollywood! At the time of the set, the group was riding high on the success and controversy of their singles "Relax" and "Two Tribes" – but ... (Soul LP)
RCA/Abkco, Early 60s. 2LP
A brilliant overview of Sam Cooke's best secular soul from the 60s – a well-done collection that contains tracks from Sam's early sessions for RCA, and which presents the material with a full set of notes by Peter Guaralnick, and complete details on all the sessions! Some of the tunes on ... (Soul LP)
Blue Note, 1960. Gatefold (reissue)
A wonderfully lyrical session from trumpeter Donald Byrd – yet for some reason, the album's one of his most overlooked from the 60s! The session features material by 2 different groups – one that includes Byrd, Hank Mobley, and Duke Pearson; and another which features Byrd, alongside ... (Jazz LP)
Enja (Germany), 1988. (reissue)
One of the last albums that Chet Baker recorded – and a set that changes things up a bit from the smaller combo setting of most of his final decade! The set features some small group work, but also brings in larger orchestrations on a number of tracks – balancing the fragility of Baker' ... (Jazz LP)
Omni/Iron Mountain Analog Research (Australia), 1950s/1960s/Early 70s. Gatefold
A beautiful entry in this long-running series – a continuing testament to the darker sides of American life that formed the subject matter for so much of postwar country music! The package brings together some great tunes by bigger names of the time – not entirely hits, but the kind of ... (Folk/Country LP)
Vintage League, 2020.
A set that bills itself as "brand new original authentic soul music", but which maybe offers up more than that too – as there's also a fair bit of instrumental funk in the mix, served up by an array of up-and-comers, and some crucial talents you'll recognize from years back! The ... (Deep Funk LP)
22A (UK), 2020.
One of the most compelling records we've ever heard from UK reedman Tenderlonious – and that's saying a lot, because most of his other recordings have been pretty damn great as well! This set has Tenderlonious playing flute and soprano sax, stretching out on long improvised ragas with the ... (Jazz CD)
Innate Sounds, 2021.
It's been almost a decade since the first Lumberjack Soul album from Miles Bonny – and in that time, he's grown tremendously – both as a singer and musician, and as an artist who's really in command of his sound! Miles' voice still has the raspy charm we loved before, but the overall ... (Deep Funk CD)
Big Bucks, 2021.
Think what you want about Mayer Hawthorne, the man's got a way with a catchy sort of tune – and each new record seems to further that legacy, at a level that's always got us wondering why Mayer never seems to get more play in the mainstream! Mayer handles plenty of keyboards, drums, and bass ... (Neo Soul CD)
Now Again/Stones Throw, 2016.
Not the original Quatermass EP from The Heliocentrics – but material that takes off in an even fuller, heavier direction – and which may well be the funkiest sounds we've heard from these guys so far! The music is stunning right from the very first heavy bassline and sharp drum crackle ... (Deep Funk CD)
Posh Boy/Radiation (Italy), 1979/1980. 2LP Gatefold
A fantastic collection of work from the legendary Posh Boy label – a short-lived, but crucial imprint on the LA punk scene at the start of the 80s – and a company that was always a lot more hardcore than SST! Posh Boy really had a knack for capturing the short, sharp tunes that marked ... (Rock LP)
Nadja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1974.
Warm-hearted piano work from Takeshi Shibuya – a set that brings together some older jazz currents with newer modes of expression – a bit in the manner of some of the Three Blind Mice label sessions of the time! As with those records, this one is recorded superbly – so that the ... (Jazz CD)
Funkiwala (UK), 2021.
Trombonist Justin Thurgur has spend time on the more global side of the scene in London during recent years – and here, he brings that experience to bear on a jazz set with a very unusual vibe! It's not easy to pick the straight influences of the tunes – there's currents of Afro Funk ... (Jazz CD)
Enja (Germany), 2020.
Beautiful solo piano work from Abdullah Ibrahim – a later set that's got a different vibe than some of his earlier material in the format, in a way that shows the continuing evolution of his sound! There's a gentleness here that we might not have heard back in the 70s – a quality that ... (Jazz LP)
Fat Possum, 1982. (reissue)
Wonderful live work from RL Burnside – done in that instantly-timeless style that he brought to recordings right from the start – maybe even more so here, as the acoustics are fantastic, and really capture the spirit of the man and his guitar! As most folks know, Burnside was a bit ... (Blues LP)
Be! (Germany), Late 50s/Early 60s. 8CD
Think you know anything at all about Alabama? Forget what you know, because this beautiful set will expose the state as a lost musical powerhouse back in the day – home to countless small labels, with a musical legacy that rivals the better-known work from Louisiana and Tennessee at the time! ... (Rock CD)
Valley Of Search, 2021.
Patricia Brennan is a vibist with experience in some farther reaches of avant expression – but here, she stakes her voice in a very beautiful way – with sounds that build slowly, take gentle shapes, and use both vibes and marimba at a level that has the songs opening up like patient ... (Jazz CD)
Dope Folks, 1994.
Unreleased tracks from the recordings for Saafir's Boxcar Sessions debut, plus rare early cuts from the vaults – all brought together here as a full length set that offers up a great prequel to his solo career! The cuts here are from a time when the Bay Area MC was coming off of ... (Hip Hop LP)
Sunset Blvd, Late 50s/1960s/Early 70s. 3CD
The biggest collection of work we've ever seen from early southern soul star Wilbert Harrison – a set that goes way past the early hits that usually make up his tiny greatest hits features on the market – to include a whopping 70 titles that takes the Harrison journey all the way ... (Soul CD)
Wrap/Dope Folks, 1998. (reissue)
Just a few short years after Saafir's debut as a solo act – and a set that marks a really strong maturation in his sound! There's a sense of layering in both the production and the vocals that packs a punch from the very first track, and which holds strong throughout – with studio work ... (Hip Hop LP)
F Spot, 2020.
The first full length set from The Bombillas – an LA funk group, but one with a strong sense of global elements in their music – used here in ways that really make for an unusual sound throughout! The keyboards are especially strong – often abstracted, or fuzzy, and used in ways ... (Deep Funk LP)
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)
Linear Labs, 2020.
Singer Angela Munoz gets billing on the cover – but since the album's all instrumental, the main talent here is producer Adrian Younge! The tracks are funky, but mellow – nicely tripping with those classic sweet soul touches that have always made Adrian one of the best interpreters of ... (Neo Soul LP)
Rhino, Late 70s/Early 80s. 2LP (reissue)
A great early live set from The Talking Heads – a collection of recordings from the late 70s and early 80s, culled together in a format that almost makes the whole thing come across like a discreet live album! The versions of tunes here are changed up nicely from their studio counterparts ... (Rock LP)
Gondwana (UK), 2020.
A gem of a record from trumpeter Matthew Halsall – one of our favorite jazz musicians of the past 20 years, and an artist who just seems to be growing and growing with each new release! This set picks up on the organic, meditative quality of some of Halsall's recent records – but it ... (Jazz CD)
Soul Jazz (UK), 2020.
A beautiful book of ultra-rare album cover art – Cuban records from the 50s through the 90s – a fair bit of which were never available here in the US market! The book follows similar projects by Stuart Baker under the Soul Jazz imprint – but this one is maybe even more essential, ... (Book)
RCA/Abkco, 1964. (reissue)
A classic live album – one of the first in soul music, and a beautiful set of smooth soul tunes from Sam Cooke! Sam's singing at the high-end nitespot The Copacabana – and like many live sets performed there, this one's tailored a bit to the classy crowd at the show – but that ... (Soul LP)
ECM (Germany), 1971.
A key early ECM set from guitarist Terje Rypdal – a set that moves him from the territory of his more experimental Bleak House album into the kind of moodily expressive field that made the label such an important showcase for his unusual talents! There's still some psychedelic touches around ... (Jazz CD)
Solid Jackson, 2021.
A beautiful self-released album from tenorist Javon Jackson – a set that's overflowing with warmth and soul, and which features a really well-chosen array of material throughout! Jackson could sometimes have a colder edge in his youth – and while his sharpness is still present here, ... (Jazz CD)
Pye/BMG (UK), 1964. (reissue)
Early Kinks in all of their glory – showing a bit more of an R&B influence than in their later years, but still already working with all the wit and imagination that won us over many years ago! The tunes have a surprising roughness, if you're only used to the group from a few years later ... (Rock LP)
Tremendous live work from avant piano legend Cecil Taylor and always-creative drummer Tony Oxley – a duo who recorded most famously for FMP at the end of the 80s, but who also turned in some great live performances over the following decades! This set is definitely one of those – ... (Jazz CD)
I Dischi Di Angelica (Italy), 2000s.
A stunning set of recordings from Dutch piano legend Misha Mengelberg – selections recorded in a number of different settings in the first decade of this century – all of which work together to show why Mengelberg's a player that's completely different from anyone else! The cover image ... (Jazz CD)
Aketa's Disk/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1979.
An unusual vocal jazz session from the Japanese scene of the 70s – a record that's a bit different than some of the more staid readings of standards at the time, as singer Chiko Honda has a really nice bite to her style – and works with a small, rough-edged combo too! We might say ... (Vocalists CD)
Funkiwala (UK), 2020.
Vocalist Dele Sosimi joins this ultra-hip London group – a combo who are equally skilled in African and Cuban elements, hence the title of the record – and one who can also serve things up with lots of jazz-based energy as well! All tracks are nice and long – and in addition to ... (Global Grooves LP)
ECM (Germany), 1974.
A fantastic early record by one of the true guitar geniuses of the 70s – and a set that shows why even at ECM, Terje Rypdal could still sound unlike anybody else in his generation! Side one features a quintet working through two very striking tunes – a bit noisy and funky at times, ... (Jazz CD)
Light In The Attic, 1970. (reissue)
Sunny wonderfulness from one of the grooviest vocal groups of all time! This is Free Design's legendary album for children – referred to in the title as "very important people" – and it's a strangely hip set of tracks designed to get the kids to open up in a groovy late 60s ... (Vocalists LP)
Trikont (Germany), 2020.
A fantastic project, and one whose sound is even better than we can sum up in words – as the core group features players from Berlin, inspired by older African sounds – turning to work from the 70s Mali scene, and teaming up with some of its musical giants – but all in a way that's ... (Global Grooves CD)
CTI/A&M, 1970. Gatefold (reissue)
A truly fantastic record, and one that's become the stuff of legend over the years – a rare CTI album that was only ever issued in Japan – and which may well be one of the coolest sessions recorded during the A&M years of the label! Trombonists JJ Johnson and Kai Winding had ... (Jazz LP)
Beat (Italy), 1982.
A cool Riz Ortolani soundtrack for this obscure early 80s film that starred Ben Gazzara – music that's of much later vintage than some of Ortolani's classics, but still pretty great overall! There's a fair bit of keyboards in the mix, but they're still delivered with the warmth we've come to ... (Soundtracks CD)
Tru Thoughts (UK), 2003. (reissue)
A landmark album – one that has the beat-heavy Quantic transform into the Quantic Soul Orchestra, for a stunning deep funk performance! The record sounds like nothing Quantic have done in the past – and shares a sound with work from the Soul Fire/Daptone underground, with a tight blend ... (Deep Funk LP)
Savoy/Honest Jons (UK), Late 50s/1960s/1970s/Early 80s. 3CD
An insanely fantastic look at the strong legacy of gospel music from Savoy Records – a company who were initially a powerhouse in the fields of jazz and R&B, but who moved into the gospel world and dominated that market for decades! Savoy is a bit like Chess Records – a company who ... (Gospel CD)
Stax/Craft, Early 70s. 2CD
An overdue look at a very cool record label – the short-lived Gospel Truth imprint, which was an outlet for the more spiritual side of Stax Records in the early 70s! The music is gospel, but often has plenty of the best Memphis soul elements of more popular Stax/Volt work of the time – ... (Gospel CD)
United Artists/Quartet (Spain), 1969.
A sublime soundtrack from John Barry – common, to be sure, but also a wonderfully-crafted set that goes way beyond the stereotypes of his work for the James Bond films! The record is probably best known for Nilsson's famous version of the Fred Neil tune "Everybody's Talkin" – ... (Soundtracks CD)
WRWTFWW (Switzerland), 1985.
The first-ever full presentation of the music for Ghoulies – the creepy 80s horror film about monsters that would come up from the toilet! Richard Band's music is surprisingly rich and full for the film – done with light orchestrations that evoke a nice sense of fantasy – ... (Soundtracks CD)
How Do You Are, 2020.
A great entry in this excellent and long-running series – one that's given us some sublime mellow soul and AOR work from the late 70s onward – including some fantastic sounds from around the globe! This volume follows on that work, but goes it one further – as all the tracks here ... (Funky Compilations CD)
Tompkins Square, Late 60s/Late 70s/Early 80s. 5CD
Unheard music from guitar genius Robbie Basho – a selection of tracks that were never issued at the time, all rescued from Basho's archive of over 100 reel to reel tapes! Robbie gave us some groundbreaking records on Takoma, Vanguard, and Blue Thumb – which established him as one of ... (Folk/Country CD)
Lion/Pearl Of Asia, Late 60s/Early 70s.
The first-ever western collection to pay tribute to the lost legacy of Sinn Sisamouth – easily one of the coolest singers in Cambodia, before the Khmer Rouge shut down his career along with the rest of mainstream society! Sinn's got this amazing voice – surprisingly deep for a little ... (Global Grooves LP)
RCA/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973.
An excellent set from the great Gato Barbieri – one of the gems from his earlier years on record, and an album that's very much in the best spirit of his sides for Impulse in the early 70s! There' definitely some Latin currents in the rhythm – not as strongly stated as on his Latin ... (Jazz CD)
AAA/Klanggalerie (Germany), 1978/1981.
Two of the most inventive British improvising musicians of the 70s – matched here in a series of French recordings that not only demonstrate their incredible versatility on their instruments, but also the way that both are such a great pair together! Fred Frith plays electric guitar, Lol ... (Jazz CD)
APA/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1977.
A sweet campy disco classic – and a record that's been close to our hearts for years! Celi Bee may have had white hair and a hokey kind of look, but she won us forever with her incredible "Superman" – a five minute homage to the man in red and blue, and the leadoff track on ... (Soul CD)
Dropa Disc, 2020.
Two improvising giants, still very much at the top of their game – and making music that almost has the same intensity as their groundbreaking work from decades back! We've heard often from Peter Brotzmann in recent years, so Fred Van Hove may be the biggest surprise here – as he can ... (Jazz LP)
Leaf (UK), 2019.
A very different album than the previous effort from drummer/percussionist Saratha Korwar – a lot more political, as you might guess from the title – and a set that has the London musician working with performers from the hip hop scenes in Mumbai and New Delhi! Most of the tunes have a ... (Jazz CD)
Fuel (UK), 2020.
Jonny Trunk's a man who's given us plenty of great music over the years – his fantastic productions on the Trunk Records label – but this time around, he's presenting us with something sweeter – hundreds of rare candy wrappers from the 20th Century, mixed with some soda cans and a ... (Book)
Atco/Real Gone, 1976. (reissue)
A fantastic post-Faces project from guitarist Ron Wood and bassist Ronnie Lane – served up in a mode that's very similar to their previous group at its best, but with much more of an instrumental sound overall! Wood sings just a bit on the record, but most of the music is just a fast flurry ... (Rock LP)
Roulette/Grapefruit (UK), Late 60s/Early 70s. 6CD
A huge amount of material from Tommy James & The Shondells – a group that most people know for a string of jingle-jangle gems in the 60s, but who kept on making some really wonderful music over the course of the 11 albums included in this set! The group at the start were already pretty ... (Rock CD)
History Of Soul, Early 60s. 4CD
A pretty unique take on the rich world of 60s soul – a set that brings together tracks that are all live recordings from the time – maybe no surprise, given that soul music was one of the first genres to really explore the use of concert-based recordings – thanks to early 60s ... (Soul CD)
Killer funky work from Pete Rock – a set that's still rooted in the hip hop traditions he helped form over the past few decades, but which also has a strong degree of instrumental funk as well! Pete did the set with the Soul Brothers quartet – a great group with riffing guitars, funky ... (Hip Hop CD)
Storyville/Solid (Japan), 1989.
A later entry in the run of Johnny Griffin albums recorded overseas – and one that's very much in the openly-blown style of his classics from the 60s and 70s! As with some of those, the great Kenny Drew works alongside Griffin on piano – and the pair really step out on familiar tunes ... (Jazz CD)
Astigmatic (Poland), 2020.
A really great take on the music of Sun Ra – served up by a group from the contemporary Polish scene – one who clearly have a strong influence from Ra and his Arkestra, but who also take the sounds in really great directions of their own! The group is maybe a bit heavier on keyboard ... (Jazz CD)
Polydor/Universal (Japan), 1969. Gatefold (reissue)
A fantastic Japanese group from the end of the 60s – a quartet who really live up to their name, and definitely give the blues rock movement of the Anglo world a run for its money! These guys are awash in plenty of fuzz – and the solos are long, and very trippy at points – that ... (Rock LP)
Lucky Kind, 2021.
A great look at a surprisingly strong source of music – the scene in Springfield, Missouri – a tiny stop along route 66 that's had more influence over the decades than you might expect! Writer Dave Hoekstra takes us to Springfield and tells the tale of the city's overlooked influence ... (DVD)
WRWTFWW (Switzerland), 1986.
Magically moody music from Richard Band – sounds that are maybe a bit less creepy than image on the cover, but which transform nicely as the set goes on! Many of these cuts are longish – almost like mini-suites of soundtrack themes – often with strings used in these nicely-steppin ... (Soundtracks CD)
Flying Dutchman/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973.
Soaring, searing sounds from the young Gato Barbieri – one of his classic albums for the Flying Dutchman label, and very much in the vein of his first few for Impulse Records! The Latin element isn't as strongly stated in the music as you might guess from the title, but the inspiration is ... (Jazz CD)
Rhino/Warner, 1989. (reissue)
Not the Prince music from the first Batman film – but all those other sounds that were used in the movie, penned and produced at a surprisingly strong level by Danny Elfman – who shows the world that he's got a lot more to offer than just his previous work in the group Oingo Boingo! ... (Soundtracks LP)
Epic/Soulmusic.com (UK), Late 60s/1970s. 2CD
The first-ever collection to really do justice to the music of Johnny Nash – despite the fact that the man himself racked up a few global hits back in the 70s! Nash is a heck of an interesting singer – born in Texas, and able to croon both deep soul and jazz – which he did on a ... (Soul CD)
Third Root Music, 2020.
Knowledge-heavy hip hop from the Texas trio of Easy Lee, MexStep, and DJ Chicken George – working here with some heavy help from a lineup of guests that includes Black Pumas and Grupo Fantasma! Producer Adrian Quesada, the powerhouse between those two acts, is on hand as producer for a fair ... (Hip Hop LP)
Garland/Beat Rocket, Late 60s.
A really cool collection of work from the surprisingly deep musical well of Garland Records – a Pacific Northwest imprint that's maybe best known for some garagey gems, but who here display a great ability to cut country-tinged records too! The vibe here is a bit Bakersfield, but filtered ... (Rock CD)
Young Turks, 2020.
Really great work from saxophone genius Kamasi Washington – music that's very different than the longform sounds of his epic sets – yet very beautiful too, and clearly showing off a whole new feather in Kamasi's mighty cap! As you can tell from the title, the work is music for a ... (Jazz CD)
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)
ORG, 1961. 2LP Gatefold. (reissue)
A fantastic live performance from legendary reedman Jimmy Giuffre – captured here at the time when he was really stepping out with his sound, as heard more famously on the albums Fusion and Free Fall! As with those records, the group here is Jimmy's amazing trio with Paul Bley on piano and ... (Jazz LP)
Digitmovies (Italy), 1979.
That kid on the cover isn't as cute as ET – but he's also an extraterrestrial in a film from the same period – teaming up here with Italian comedic great Bud Spencer, amidst a lively little soundtrack from the duo of Guido and Maurizio DeAngelis! The style here is a bit like some of ... (Soundtracks LP)
Beat Rocket, 1966.
Lothar & The Hand People gave the world one of the greatest psych albums ever issued by Capitol Records – but this set of earlier recordings shows the group in a very different light – raw, noisy, and very garagey – much more in the territory of The Seeds or The Sonics! The ... (Rock LP)
P-Vine (Japan), 1964/1990s.
An incredible treasure from a lost vocal jazz genius – the little-known Bobby Cole, every bit as great a singer as he was a songwriter, very unusual for the time! Bobby was probably best remembered as the house pianist at Jillys, but at the time of this 1964 recording, he was poised to ... (Vocalists CD)
Timeless/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1982.
A great little session – ostensibly a tribute to Clifford Brown, but way more than that! The set's actually an excellent soul jazz session – hardly the boppish affair you might guess from the title, and instead a deep-feeling set of jazz with some surprisingly spiritual touches. ... (Jazz CD)
Big Crown, 2020.
Never-heard work from Elmer Lee Fields – one of the greatest deep soul singers of the contemporary age – an artist who had to wait decades to get the attention he deserves, and one who's never been in better hands than these! The tracks here are unreleased gems from the sessions for ... (Deep Funk CD)
Far Out (UK), 2007.
Tremendous new work from Arthur Verocai – the Brazilian legend who's best remembered for his sublime self-titled album from the 70s, but who sounds equally great on this contemporary release! The record has a really classic feel overall – warm, soulful, and filled with plenty of jazzy ... (Brazil CD)
A masterpiece of freeform funk from Mandrill – New York group at the start of the 70s, but one who work here with the best longform jamming styles of the Bay Area scene! The combo draw equal influence from jazz, funk, soul, and Latin – using all elements in a unique hybrid that's all ... (Soul CD)
Espacial (Spain), 1983. (reissue)
Kenny Claiborne's the singer, but the record's clearly got plenty of help from The Armed Gang – a small group that may well just be the Italian producer Sangy, who brings all sorts of sweet electro soul elements to the mix! The album's got more of an NYC streetsoul vibe than some of the ... (Soul LP)
Just Sunshine/Tidal Waves, 1974. (reissue)
Genius work from Norman Feels – a virtually unknown mellow soul singer from the 70s, but one who should have been huge! Norman sings with this sweetly crackling style that we loved the moment we first heard it – a sound that's somewhere in territory covered by Marvin Gaye or Leroy ... (Soul LP)
La La Land, 1967.
A pair of overlooked Jerry Goldsmith soundtracks – back to back on a single CD! First up is The Detective – a soundtrack we've been trying to find for years – given the way the music works perfectly in the surprisingly dark film! Goldsmith uses lots of jazzy tones in his scoring ... (Soundtracks CD)
Modern Harmonic, 1969.
Dracula never sounded so funky – thanks to the mighty sounds of the Whit Boyd Combo! Boyd was a porn peddler in 60s Texas, but also cut a few great soundtracks for his smutty films – including this wonderful romp that's full of funky drums, heavy organ, off-tuned guitar, and even a bit ... (Soundtracks CD)
TK/Ultra Vybe (Japan), Late 70s.
Sweetly soaring disco from the legendary Celi Bee – easily one of our favorite disco divas of the late 70s! This album's got a slightly lighter feel than some of Celi's other work – a bit less drama at times, but still plenty of full-on clubby rhythms – thanks to arrangements ... (Soul CD)
P-Vine (Japan), 1960s/1970s/1980s. 3CD
A beautiful batch of southern soul tracks – and one of the first times anyone's really made a strong set out of the under-reissued gems from the Jewel/Paula catalog! Most of the interest in the label's reissues has leaned towards the bluesier side of its output – and while this set ... (Soul CD)
Elektra/Tommy Boy, 1990. 2LP (reissue)
One of those records that maybe snuck in a bit under the wire at the time of release – but a set that instantly went on to become a classic, and one of the greatest debuts of the early 90s! Not only is the production great – full of sophisticated samples and ways of putting them ... (Hip Hop LP)
WRWTFWW (Switzerland), Mid 80s. 2LP
A trio of works created by Japanese composer Somei Satoh in the mid 80s – all very much with the meditative qualities you might guess from the title! The songs here all build slowly – with a strongly resonant sonic space that seems to emerge slowly from a keyboard – some of the ... (Out Sound LP)
A long-overdue return to form for Roctober – one of our favorite magazines in the 90s and 00s, and a publication that always gave us plenty of bang for our buck! That tradition certainly continues here – as the hefty zine runs for well over 120 pages – stuffed to the gills with ... (Magazine)
Pye/BMG, 1970. 2CD
An album that maybe marked the close of one chapter of The Kinks, and the start of another – music that still holds on to some of the best elements of their late 60s Village Green era, but which also moves the group into some of the headier territory of their Muswell Hill/RCA years too! Ray ... (Rock CD)
Barry & The Fountains, 2020.
Contemporary deep soul from Barry Jean Fontenot – a singer who should be destined to be huge, given the power and presence he has on this six track release! Barry knows how to soar like a classic soul singer, but also never hangs his music on cliches – as the sound here is very much ... (Neo Soul LP)
Bear Family (Germany), Late 50s.
Hard-rocking gems from the second decade of Mercury Records – a label that first broke big in the postwar years with a strong ear for up-and-coming R&B – and one who continued that close to the ground success during the early years of rock and country music as well! Mercury wasn't ... (Rock CD)
Da Mon/High Jazz (Switzerland), 1980. (reissue)
There's few folks who were able to fuse spiritual jazz ideas with more soul and funk-based material as well as Daoud Abubakar Balewa and his Ambiance ensemble – a group who made a few wonderful records at the start of the 80s! This album's got all the complexity of some of our favorite indie ... (Jazz LP)
La La Land, Mid 60s. 2CD
A double-header of soundtracks from composer Jerry Goldsmith – both from his 60s years at 20th Century Fox! Von Ryan's Express is a lot more driving and dramatic than some of the composer's other scores – Goldsmith serving up a rich score to a wartime action thriller with Sinatra in ... (Soundtracks CD)
Strut (UK), 2020.
Sun Ra left the planet a few decades ago, but his Arkestra has been going strong – really carrying the torch that the great one kept burning – and stepping out here in their first studio album in 20 years! The record is really something special – that core Sun Ra spirit, but ... (Jazz CD)
Futuristica (UK), 2020.
Georgie Sweet's just starting out, but we've got a feeling that we're going to be hearing from the singer plenty in years to come – as she's one of the freshest soul music talents we've heard from the UK scene in years – bristling with unique creative energy on this massive debut! ... (Neo Soul CD)
Mr Bongo (UK), Late 60s/1970s.
Maybe the coolest entry so far in this excellent series – and proof that the Mr Bongo label has gone much farther in recent years than it ever did in the past! Years back, Bongo was known as a hotbed of Latin and Brazilian music – but the sounds here are also rare funk and soul, other ... (Funky Compilations CD)
Elemental, 1988. 2CD
Great work from French tenor genius Barney Wilen – a live festival set from 1988, a year when Wilen was really making a strong comeback to the scene – in a group that also features Spanish piano legend Tete Montoliu, plus Riccardo Del Fra on bass and Aaron Scott on drums! The setting ... (Jazz CD)
Albina Music Trust, 1977. (reissue)
Damn great work from the Legendary Beyons – a soul group from late 70s Portland, but one who could easily go head to head with some of the hipper New Jersey and Philly acts of the early part of the decade! The group have fantastic harmonies – and are able to serve them up on these ... (Soul LP)
Tabansi/BBE (UK), Late 70s.
Two rare albums from Uncle Victor Chukwu – a hell of a guitarist, and the driving force behind both of these Nigerian gems from the late 70s! Akalaka is a record that's maybe higlife in outward appearance, but which has a very different quality overall – in part because the guitar work ... (Global Grooves CD)
Marlin/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1978.
A macho disco classic from the TK Records family of labels – in case you couldn't guess from the image on the cover! The drums are more pounding here than on the typical clubby record of the time – especially on the title track – and there's this nicely funky groove at most ... (Soul CD)
Fantastic work from Ledisi – an artist we've loved for almost 25 years, and who maybe sounds better here than she has in the last decade! There's this back to basics approach that maybe recalls some of her self-released albums at the start – but mixed with the maturity in all the years ... (Neo Soul CD)
Pye/Music On Vinyl (Netherlands), Late 60s. 2LP Gatefold
A mad assortment of 60s girl pop from the UK – one that features a huge amount of material pulled from the vaults of Pye Records! If you've always thought that Petula Clark and Sandie Shaw were all that was going on in the UK pop scene at the time, you'll really be blown away by the scope of ... (Rock LP)
Lemon (UK), Early 70s. 3CD
Great work from Fancy – a group who could sport hard rock chops on the guitar, but a very catchy groove upfront – thanks in part to vocals from the lovely Annie Kavanagh! The group have a style that's very well-suited to the emerging glammy generation of UK pop – the guitars are ... (Rock CD)
Black & Blue/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1974.
A killer set – one that not only features vocals from Jimmy Dawkins on one half, and vocals from Big Voice Odom on the other – but which also includes some great guitar from the mighty Otis Rush! Rush is fantastic, twisting around Jimmy's own guitar, which is pretty darn great too ... (Blues CD)
Ata Tak/Bureau B (Germany), 1991.
The last album in the cool classic run of German gems from Der Plan – a group that few folks paid attention to at the time, but who really gave the world some wonderful electronic music in the post-punk years! These guys really distill all the best sides of the German electronic experiments ... (Rock CD)
Jazz Is Dead, 2020.
A great new showcase for the legendary keyboard work of Doug Carn – and a set that's very different both from his famous albums for the Black Jazz label, and some of his organ jazz records in more recent years too! The set's maybe got a more pronounced influence from Adrian Younge and Ali ... (Deep Funk CD)
Polydor/Universal (Japan), 1974. (reissue)
A really wild little record – quite experimental, and maybe in a mode that's impossible to describe in words! The set's part of that great burst of creative Japanese music at the start of the 70s – but is even more revolutionary than most – as it seems to mix artful passages with ... (Rock LP)
Modern Harmonic, 1969.
Funky organ jazz from a very unlikely source – a Texas-made porno from 1969, and a movie that dared ask the question "Do prostitutes make good wives?" The music is unusual in that it's actually pretty darn good – nice small combo jazz, often with a good current of funk in the ... (Soundtracks CD)
Reprise, Late 60s/Early 70s. 8CD
An insane amount of middle-period work from Fleetwood Mac – presented here with lots of bonus tracks, and a never-issued live set from 1974! There's lots of ways to approach these records – as the long path leading up to Rumors, or the post-Peter Green years when both Christine McVie ... (Rock CD)
Sony (Italy), 2020.
A great little package that expands on the tune "Paradise" – one of the catchiest numbers in years from the raspy-voiced genius of Mario Biondi – a contemporary singer, but one who's perfect for turning out soulful tracks that really hearken back to the bast! Here, Biondi ... (New Grooves LP)
JTTP/Be! (Germany), Early 70s. (reissue)
A jazz mass, but unlike any other variation on the theme that's ever been recorded – thanks to a very righteous performance from James Tatum – who makes the whole thing feel much more like an organic spiritual jazz set than anything you'd ever find in a church! James himself plays both ... (Jazz LP)
Fantasy, Mid 70s.
A host of funky classics from the Fantasy Records catalog – including some killer jazz funk produced by Larry Mizell – and more gems from the early 70s run of the label! These are tracks from an amazing time when 60s soul jazz was mixing with 70s funk – and all the genres were ... (Funky Compilations LP)
ECM (Germany), 2020.
Mindblowing sounds from guitarist Terje Rypdal – one of the most unique players of the 70s, and still very much at the top of his game all these many years later – even after generations have tried to copy his style! The set is a great reminder that the mixture of Rypdal and ECM is a ... (Jazz CD)
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1973.
Shigeko Toya looks mighty righteous on the cover – and she sounds mighty righteous on the record, too – working both as a pianist and a singer, and with a quality that's very different than most other Japanese vocalists of the time! The tracks are long, and often drenched in deeply ... (Vocalists CD)
Cherry Red (UK), 1980s. 5CD
A full package of work from the great Chaz Jankel – the keyboardist/composer who first rose to fame with Ian Dury & The Blockheads, but who went onto make some even better work on his own! Jankel's the guy responsible for the great groove on some of the best Dury classics – and ... (Rock CD)
Pye/BGO (UK), Late 60s. 3CD
A huge package – four full albums by this excellent soul group – plus lots of bonus tracks too! First up is Hand Clappin Foot Stompin Funky Butt Live – filled with sockin soul from Geno Washington – an ex-American marine who recorded to big fame in the UK in the late 60s ... (Soul CD)
Total Refreshment Centre (UK), 2020.
Alabaster DePlume gave us a real genre-bending album on International Anthem – and that vibe is definitely continued here in a collaboration with Danalogue – done under the aegis of the Total Refreshment Centre in London, which has also been host to a number of IA artists in recent ... (Jazz LP)
Family Groove, 1979.
Two rare tracks recorded in New Orleans in the late 70s – both appearing here for the first time ever! "Freaky With You" is an extended ensemble funk number – riffing guitar with the groove, monstrous bass driving the train, and lots of offbeat vocals on the lyrics – ... (Soul 12-inch)
Ata Tak/Bureau B (Germany), 1987.
The title translates to "it's a strange and peculiar world" – and there's maybe no better introduction to the mad electronic music of this wonderful German trio from the 80s! Der Plan were part of that special small slice of the German new wave – groups who didn't rely on ... (Rock CD)
Soul Note (Italy), 1980. (reissue)
Groundbreaking material from Bill Dixon – some of his best-remembered recordings of the later years, and a seminal set that showed that his talents were every bit as sharp as they were when he first emerged on the scene in the 60s! The work here has a very compositional feel – one that' ... (Jazz LP)
We Release Jazz (Switzerland), 1971.
A never-issued live set by one of the coolest European funk bands of the 70s – the legendary Placebo – not the current group, but a vintage ensemble that features wicked work on Fender Rhodes from the mighty Marc Moulin! The 1971 date of the set places it before the combo's famous ... (Jazz CD)
A career-spanning set of work from the Beastie Boys – one that features tracks from both their Def Jam and Capitol/Grand Royal years – in a way that really shows the continuing evolution of their sound! The tracklist is great – classics from every generation, and the kind of cuts ... (Hip Hop CD)
Guerra Company/Mad About Records (Portugal), 1975. (reissue)
Killer Latin funk from the mid 70s – a totally rare little set, but a masterpiece all the way through! Sol is a combo headed up by keyboardist Joe Gallardo – and they've got a groove that blends together some wonderful elements – including jazz funk, straight Latin, and a bit of ... (Latin LP)
Analog Africa (Germany), Mid 70s.
Early work Zimbabwe legends Hallelujah Chicken Run Band – a group that was an early showcase for the vocal talents of the equally legendary Thomas Mapfumo! The set's not just a Mapfumo showcase, though – as the sound here resonates strongly from the whole group – nice harmonies ... (Global Grooves CD)
Paneg/Mad About Records (Portugal), 1964. (reissue)
A rare little bossa jazz album from the early 60s Brazilian scene – one that's also a soundtrack too, which gives it a different feel than most other records of its type! The music is a mix of jazz and occasional larger orchestrations – in the best tradition of the late 50s French new ... (Brazil LP)
Elektra, 1995. 2LP Gatefold
A rare all-instrumental version of the very first album from ODB! Pressed up here like a rare promo release – with versions of "Shimmy Shimmy Ya", "Baby C'Mon", "Brooklyn Zoo", "Hippa To Da Hoppa", "Rawhide", "Damage", "Don't ... (Hip Hop LP)
International Anthem/Nonesuch, 2020.
One of the most ambitious albums ever from Rob Mazurek – and a set that really continues the legacy of community building and world healing that's become such an important part of his music! Rob's a player who was great at the start – a hell of a trumpeter, and a great experimentalist ... (Jazz CD)
Futuristica (UK), 2020.
Nathan Thomas has penned songs for others, and has bubbled under on the UK scene in recent years – but this full-length debut is the kind of statement that should definitely get him some attention – a great little record that mixes his well-written tunes with crispy production and lots ... (Neo Soul CD)
Omni (Australia), 1950s/1960s/Early 70s.
A hell of a cool little set – one that begins with obscure country songs about drug use, then moves onto a whole host of songs with themes of suicide, insanity, damnation, and redemption! The music is every bit as great as you'd guess from the title and cover – and the folks at Omni, ... (Folk/Country CD)
CBS/RPM (UK), 1976.
A great expanded version of this classic from Tina Charles – one that brings in 8 more bonus tracks from her pre-disco years! These tunes are really wonderful – titles that show a style of female pop that still has the soul-influenced quality that was picked up by the British scene in ... (Soul CD)
Latin Big Note (France), 2020.
Excellent work from Setenta – a Parisian combo who work with a great blend of Latin roots and funk – served up with lots of percussion at the core, topped with Fender Rhodes and other keyboards from jazz genius Florian Pellissier! The acoustic percussion and electric keys are perfectly ... (Deep Funk CD)
Music On Vinyl (Netherlands), 1977. (reissue)
A spectacular soul album from Holland – but one that's got a much more American groove than some other overseas records of its type! The cuts all feel as if they could have been lifted from indie sides of the east coast scene of the early 70s – and Billy shines beautifully both on the ... (Soul LP)
One of the most unique books we've ever gotten from John Corbett – an author who's given us some fantastic music writing over the years! This book is completely different – not written, but "salvaged" – as the contents are a lost manuscript from the early 30s – ... (Book)
A wonderful debut from Gorden Campbell – an underground soul singer on the contemporary LA scene, and one who works here with some of the same collaborative power as the jazz musicians in the city in recent years! Gorden claims inspiration from Terrace Martin, who's on the set, in a lineup ... (Neo Soul CD)
Trans Canada/Return To Analog (Canada), 1972. (reissue)
The second album from Canadian hard rock legends Sex – a power trio at the core, but expanded here with some great flute and sax, the latter of which is played in both acoustic and electric modes! The sound isn't quite prog, but the songs are longer than before, and the jazzy reed work ... (Rock LP)
Resonance, 1968. 2CD
The first-ever release of a Bill Evans concert recorded at Ronnie Scotts in London – a place where he cut other work in other years, but maybe not at a level like this! The group is wonderful – Bill's budding relationship with the bassist Eddie Gomez, who was bringing a richness to the ... (Jazz CD)
De Rap Winkel (Netherlands), 2010. 2LP (reissue)
A set inspired by the Marvin Gaye album of the same name, but delivered here in a very contemporary spirit – handled with lots of fantastic production from Terrace Martin – who moves between a mix of hip hop and some of the cosmic jazz touches that have become his strength in more ... (Hip Hop LP)
Grapefruit (UK), Late 60s/Early 70s. 3CD
Weird work from the Wicker Man generation – that moment in British music where it often seemed like the spookiest sounds could come from the past – as you'll hear here in a huge batch of music from the acid folk revival years! Instrumentation on these tracks is mostly acoustic, but ... (Rock CD)
Soul Jazz (UK), 2020.
These guys have a real 70s look on the cover, and they have a strong 70s sound within – a cool contemporary take on older spiritual jazz modes – done by a largeish ensemble who recall the glory days of Impulse Records at its best! We've heard from Chilean keyboardist Enrique Rodriguez ... (Jazz CD)
Resonance, 1982. 2CD
Unreleased live work from pianist Monty Alexander – recording here with a bit of extra percussion in his trio, which always seems to give his music a nice little kick! The date was captured at Bubba's, in Fort Lauderdale – a club that not only seemed to be a rare spot in Florida that ... (Jazz CD)
Astral Spirits, 2020. 2LP
A beautiful extended composition for the coronavirus generation – a piece written for cello and percussion in a very minimal way that builds and shifts over time – all to examine the "care and empathy that emerge when two lives share space"! That care is very clear here ... (Out Sound LP)
A great issue of this mini-magazine from the folks at Numero Group – one that focuses heavily on the unique LA imprint Reflection Records – home to the classic album from Catherine Howe, and some other great music too! The issue has a feature on the label, plus looks at some of its ... (Magazine)
RCA, 1970. 4CD
The first-ever proper presentation of one of the most legendary Elvis Presley recording sessions – a marathon five day series of recordings done in Nashville, in which Elvis was working with hip backing from the Nashville Cats, and really breaking past some of the stale material that had ... (Rock CD)
Linear Labs, 2020.
Not everyone loved the movie, but Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad did a really great job with the soundtrack – using a style that's a more stripped-down approach to some of the funkier styles they've used in other films – often with more of a focus on percussion, and an insolated ... (Deep Funk LP)
Savoy/Honest Jons (UK), Late 70s/1980s. 2LP Gatefold
An insanely fantastic look at the strong legacy of gospel music from Savoy Records – a company who were initially a powerhouse in the fields of jazz and R&B, but who moved into the gospel world and dominated that market for decades! Savoy is a bit like Chess Records – a company who ... (Gospel LP)
Gospel Friend, Late 30s/1940s/Early 50s.
Two decades' of work by Elder Charles Beck – a really important force in the early years of gospel music, and an artist who really helped link the music to more secular styles too! Beck plays both piano and trumpet – the latter quite a surprise, and is used here on early cuts to ... (Gospel CD)
Chris Potter's a great player in any group, but this time around he's all on his own – as this session was recorded in the middle of 2020, when Potter had to be socially distanced from the rest of the jazz community at large! Yet the record's not a quiet record of instrumental solos – ... (Jazz CD)
Dust To Digital, 1920s/1930s/1940s. 4CD
An amazing collection – and one that really lives up to the genius of the original Anthology Of American Folk Music put together by Harry Smith for Folkways Records! That groundbreaking set is the stuff of legend – a package that collected rare blues, folk, string band, hillbilly, and ... (Folk/Country CD)
Strawberry (UK), Mid 60s. 3CD
A really well-titled compilation – one that gets at the special mix of music that was happening in the London mod scene of the 60s – a blend of styles that's way different than was going on here in the US at the time! There's certainly some bigger names on the collection – but ... (Rock CD)
Atco/Eclectic (UK), Late 60s/Early 70s. 7CD
A monstrous assortment of work from Iron Butterfly – one of the key groups in helping the American scene move from psych to hard rock at the end of the 60s! First up are mono and stereo mixes of Heavy – a record that's not nearly as well known as their classic In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida – ... (Rock CD)
APS/P-Vine (Japan), 1979.
One of the most soul-based records ever cut by vibist Billy Wooten – a record that's even tighter and more focused than his work with The Wooden Glass or 19th Whole! The album's got Billy and other vocalists singing along with his vibes and marimba – over the top of tightly vamping ... (Jazz CD)
Universal/Edsel (UK), Late 60s. 3CD
A stunning collection of work from Kiki Dee – a British singer that most folks only discovered in the US in the mid 70s, thanks to a duet with Elton John – but one who gave her homeland some fantastic music in the 60s! The set's the first to fully dip into this part of Kiki's career, ... (Soul CD)
Soul Jazz (UK), 2020. 3LP
A glittering constellation of groundbreaking jazz from the contemporary UK scene – a world of jazz that's changed dramatically over the past decade or so, with huge new advances in sound and styles in a range of different directions! The changes going on are a bit like some of those that ... (Funky Compilations LP)
The third in a series of unearthed archival release of treasures by 60s folk singer, guitarist and banjo player Karen Dalton from Delmore Recordings – and it's also the third completely beautiful and revelatory Karen Dalton release from Delmore Recordings! For years, Dalton was best known by ... (Folk/Country CD)
Motown (UK), 1960s/Early 70s. 2CD
A long-overdue fifth entry in this amazing series – and like the previous volumes, a double-length set of rare material from the Motown vaults! 20 of the 43 tracks on the set are previously unreleased – and all of the material here goes way past the hits – to really show the full ... (Soul CD)
Round, 1971. 2CD
The legendary Jerry Garcia, in one of our favorite settings – stretching out on a long set with organist Merl Saunders – a player who always seemed to open up the jazzier side of Jerry's music! The material here is long and jamming, but in a way that's nicely laidback – certainly ... (Rock CD)
Island/Tuff Gong (Germany), 1970s. 11CD
A groundbreaking set of work from one of the musical giants of the 70s – not just a reggae star, but an artist who took the sound of Kingston to the rest of the globe with the crucial albums in this collection! Bob Marley had already been one of the reigning stars of Jamaican music when he ... (Reggae CD)
International Anthem, 2020.
One of the boldest albums so far on the International Anthem label – and that's really saying a lot, given the boldness of most of their records! The set features wonderfully dynamic energy from Aquiles Navarro and Tcheser Holmes – the former a trumpeter, the latter a drummer – ... (Jazz CD)
RCA/Soulmusic.com (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s. 8CD
A massive collection of music – eight full albums from Evelyn Champagne King, plus bonus tracks as well! King was a hell of a singer who came along at just the right time – as cool and classy enough to have sung jazz in decades before, but with a richness that also really fit the ... (Soul CD)
Preservation Project, Late 60s.
A rare slice of Philly – two unusual tracks by The Larks – a group who are different than the doo wop act of the 50s! "Another Sleepless Night" has this rolling romp of a groove – harmonies cresting over the top while piano tinkles along with the rhythms – a bit ... (Funky 45's 7-inch)
Sony/We Want Sounds (UK), Early 80s.
A great dip into the wide world of Japanese pop in the early 80s – a set that does a nice job of bringing in some elements from the world of jazz, and showing just how much a range of electric modes flowed together in Tokyo at the time! Some of these artists were doing more offbeat work, ... (Funky Compilations CD)
Innerspace (UK), 1970.
Rare early work from Kraftwerk – a live performance done at a time when the group was maybe more tied to the freakier, fuzzier side of the German scene than some of their later spare electronics – stepping out here on long tracks that really show a great ability to jam in an extended ... (Rock LP)
Saturn/Strut (UK), 1971.
Some of the most obscure material that Sun Ra and the Arkestra recorded on their legendary trip to Egypt – given that half the set was a TV broadcast, and the other half was recorded at the home of their host – Hartmut Geerken! The spirit here is very strong – a mix of the newer ... (Jazz LP)
Little Giant/We Are Busy Bodies, 1970.
A rare South African jazz treasure – a set that's much more obscure than some of the bigger names of the scene, and which has a sound that's very different too! There's maybe a stronger American influence taking place here, especially in the rhythms, but also in the phrasing – and the ... (Jazz CD)
SFP/SAM (France), 1965. (reissue)
One of the first true moments of genius from saxophonist Nathan Davis – a mid 60s European session cut for the tiny SFP label – and a record that's even rarer than his early classics for MPS! The sound here is similar to the MPS sides – a mixture of soul jazz and modal jazz ... (Jazz LP)
Theresa/Pure Pleasure (UK), 1981. (reissue)
One of the most interesting records we've ever heard from pianist Joe Bonner – a set that still has all the long, spiritual lines of his excellent albums from the 70s – but which also showcases Bonner's ear for larger arrangements – as he brings in trumpet, trombone, flute, and a ... (Jazz LP)
Tonodisc/Altercat (Germany), 1971.
Some of the earliest recordings of Brazilian percussionist Nana Vasconcelos – an artist who'd go on to have a huge history in jazz, including famous work with Pat Metheny on ECM! This set has Nana very much in his roots – playing first on a stunning solo percussion track that mixes ... (Brazil CD)
Atlantic/Culture Factory, 1964. (reissue)
Early bossa jazz from Sergio Mendes – recorded with his famous Bossa Rio combo, in the years before he moved to America! The album's a classic in Brazilian jazz – a tight album of bossa-inflected jazz tunes played with razor-sharp precision, handled with a style that went on to ... (Brazil LP)
Verve, 2020. (pic cover)
Unreleased work from Jon Batiste – and a set that pays tribute to the roots and traditions that inspired his music! The set begins with the tunes "Work It Out" and "I Need You" – then moves into the title cut "We Are", which was done with help from the St ... (Jazz 12-inch)
Fremeaux & Associates (France), Early 90s.
A really great project from the legendary saxophonist Manu Dibango – a set that's almost a return to more rootsy territory after his more upbeat grooves of the 80s – even though Manu was always a bit more of a hybrid player overall! The set was originally issued in two different ... (Global Grooves CD)
123/Souffle Continu (France), Early 70s. (reissue)
A strange and beautiful album from reedman Steve Potts – an artist that most folks know as a key part of the Steve Lacy group on the French scene of the 70s, but who stepped aside to record this rare album as a leader! As you'd guess from the title, the album's a soundtrack of sorts – ... (Jazz LP)
Columbia/Get On Down, 2002. 2LP
An early oughties classic – with an appearance by Tupac from beyond the grave – plus guest work from Alicia Keys, Bravehearts, and Kelis – on tracks that include "Revolutionary Warfare", "Hey Nas", "Zone Out", "Made You Look", "Get ... (Hip Hop LP)
Favorite (France), 2020.
A beautiful debut from this hip French group – a quartet that features piano and arrangements by Florian Pellissier, who we've loved on his other records – plus Yoann Loustalot on flugelhorn, Theo Girard on bass, and Malick Koly on drums – really stretching out here at a session ... (Jazz CD)
Black Focus, 2020.
Keyboardist Kamaal Williams is light years ahead of his first record here – and that's saying a lot, as that album was already pretty darn far-reaching! The music still has plenty of Fender Rhodes and keyboards, and other jazz elements that include tenor from Quinn Mason – but the ... (Jazz CD)
Smoke Sessions, 2020.
Eric Reed steps out here in a strong array of modes – solo, trio, and quartet – all of which really show the depth he's developed in recent years – a strong step forward from the already-great territory of his earlier records! The pianist really knows how to balance his talents ... (Jazz CD)
A beautiful lost performance from pianist Horace Tapscott – a set of duets with saxophonist Michael Session, recorded in France at the end of the 80s – and based around three long tracks, one penned by Tapscott himself – the other two by LA/Nimbus contemporaries Jesse Sharps and ... (Jazz LP)
Fremeaux & Associates (France), Late 50s/Early 60s. 2CD
A well-done look at a style that would break big on the European scene of the mid 60s – the mixture of jazz performance and classical melodies – presented here in a slightly different way by some of the genre's true pioneers! Jacques Loussier recorded famous albums of Bach tunes done ... (Jazz CD)
MGM/Vivid (Japan), 1968.
A really groovy little record – a set of really catchy pop psych numbers, all of which get the added benefit of larger arrangements from producer Alan Lorber! Orpheus are clearly good enough on their own – a great ear for mixing trippier touches and catchier lyrics – but the ... (Rock CD)
Blue Note, 2020.
Beautiful work from vibist Joel Ross – a player who's just starting to blossom as a leader, and who's clearly on the right path! The sound is wonderfully rich – not just vibes from Ross, but especially nice work from bassist Kanoa Mendenhall, who's a really key part of the sound here ... (Jazz CD)
Z Records (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s. 2LP Gatefold
A fantastic entry in this excellent series – one that goes way past the disco and boogie promised in the title – and which includes some modern soul gems that we might never have otherwise heard! There's a sense of warmth that really links these tunes together – not too-fast ... (Funky Compilations LP)
Takt/Le Tres Jazz Club (France), 1969. Gatefold (reissue)
Some of the most arch-modern work we've ever heard from Japanese reedman Akira Miyazawa – proof that even though he was one of his nation's greatest straight jazz sax players in the 60s, he could also open up experimentally too! Akira's playing both flute and tenor here – and he's ... (Jazz LP)
Discomate/P-Vine (Japan), 1983.
A walearic classic from the Japanese scene of the early 80s – a set that's definitely got some of the Latin elements promised in the title, but which also resonates strongly with some of the more electronic modes of the time! The tunes are instrumental, and often a bit jazzy – but also ... (Jazz CD)
Finders Keepers (UK), 1984.
A rare soundtrack from an unusual UK stage production of the early 80s – presented here on record for the first time ever! The piece was a stage extension of the novel Riddley Walker – and has this eerie, sci-fi like vibe – scored here by Graeme Miller and Steve Shill with ... (Soundtracks LP)
Sacred Bones, Late 60s/Early 70s. (reissue)
A tremendous collection of work from moog maestro Mort Garson – a name you might know from projects like the Wozard Of Iz, Lucifer, or Ataraxia – stepping out here on some much more obscure recordings, including some that appear here for the first time ever! Garson was easily one of ... (Now Sound LP)
Soutelphan/We Want Sounds (UK), 1976. (reissue)
That's a pretty groovy looking keyboard on the cover – and the record's got a pretty groovy sound as well – very different than other organ records or Mid-East instrumental titles of the time, thanks in part to some very dexterous work on the multi-level keys from Omar El Shariyi! The ... (Global Grooves LP)
Uptown/Universal, 1994. 2CD
The stunning second album from Mary J Blige – a record that showed that both the singer and her new form of soul music were around to stay! Production is from Sean Combs and Chucky Thompson – very heavy on beats borrowed from the underground, but nicely tuned to the mainstream – ... (Soul CD)
Legacy, 1970. 2CD/blu-ray
A legendary set of live performances from Jimi Hendrix – both sets recorded in Maui in July of 1970, presented here officially for the first time ever – along with a bonus documentary on the performances too! The set is kind of the true counterpart to the botched Rainbow Bridge project ... (Rock CD)
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1977.
A beautiful showcase both for the piano of Masaru Imada and the bass of George Mraz – the latter of whom gets really respectful treatment on this Japanese-only session – in the best tradition of the Three Blind Mice record label! TBM always had a way of showcasing the bass that was ... (Jazz CD)
Cadillac (UK), 2020.
Tori Handsley may not look like your usual jazz musician on the front cover – but she's part of the contemporary London scene, and really breaks out here alongside some killer drums from the great Moses Boyd! Handley plays both piano and electric harp with lots of cool effects – and ... (Jazz CD)
Finders Keepers (UK), 1971.
One of the most obscure entries in the short-lived genre of prog-based horror soundtracks – and one of the best as well – music by the French group Acanthus, served up here for a creepy film by director Jean Rollin! In a way, the use of electric guitar with vampires is maybe even ... (Soundtracks LP)
Asylum/Souffle Continu (France), 1976.
Rare funky fusion by this overlooked French guitarist – recorded in New York with a really unusual group, and in a setting that has Alain Bellaiche providing a bit of vocals too! The sound is great – different than some of the more jamming rock fusion of the European scene at mid 70s ... (Jazz CD)
Finders Keepers (UK), 1966.
An amazing soundtrack to an amazing film – a Czech new wave classic that's supported by sounds as dynamic as the images on the screen! There's a really playful feel to the whole thing – much more so than other Finders Keepers reissues in recent years – and the music jumps along ... (Soundtracks LP)
Expansion (UK), 2020.
A collection of mostly contemporary tunes, but one that really lives up to the classic modern soul modes of the Soul Togetherness series! The tracks are warm and uplifting – done with a great vibe that holds strong throughout – usually in a midtempo mode, but sometimes picking up the ... (Funky Compilations CD)
Saturn/Strut (UK), 1971.
A great lost album from Sun Ra – one of a handful that he recorded on a legendary trip to Egypt in 1971 – live throughout, with that special sort of flavor that the Arkesta picked up while visiting the land of the pyramids! The work was recorded in Cairo – by a lineup that ... (Jazz LP)
Cantilever/Tidal Waves, 1975. (reissue)
One of the rare west coast sets from Quinn Harris from the 70s – an artist who looks pretty darn badass on the cover, and who sounds very much the same on the grooves of the record! Quinn's both a singer and a saxophonist – and he mixes tenor and flute solos in with the lyrics, which ... (Soul LP)
Strata East/Pure Pleasure (UK), 1975. (reissue)
Beautiful solo work from John Hicks – one of the few straight pianists that can hold our attention in a setting like this for so long – a record that's maybe a bit more conventional than some of the other releases on the Strata East label from the 70s, but equally filled with a sense of ... (Jazz LP)
Verve, 1939/Late 40s/1950s.
A selection of work put together for the well-done documentary on the late, great Billie Holiday – a record that includes classics from Billie's vintage recordings, plus a few new tracks recorded for the film by the Sonhouse All Stars! The Holiday vocal tracks are the main draw – as ... (Vocalists CD)
MAM/Be With (UK), 1974. (reissue)
A really sublime rare groover from JR Bailey – vocalist in the Cadillacs back in their doo wop years, but a heck of a great 70s mellow soul artist in this obscure little set! JR wrote and co-produced all the tunes on the set – in a mode that steps along beautifully with a subtle groove ... (Soul LP)
Fame/Kent (UK), Mid 60s.
Classic sounds from one of the coolest labels and studios in southern soul – the mighty Fame, which was to Muscle Shoals what Stax was to Memphis – especially at the time of these mid 60s recordings! Like Stax, Fame was an indie with a strong ear to the ground – and was able to ... (Soul CD)
Looks like a 12" single, but the set's actually fantastic full album of rare funky soul – the only set ever cut by this obscure southern combo from Birmingham – a group who seem to share the best mix of club and funk styles you'd find on the Atlanta scene of the late 70s! By that, ... (Soul LP)
WHP (Italy), 1963. (reissue)
Rare early work from Piero Piccioni – music scored for a 60s film with Alberto Sordi in the lead – maybe a bit more conventional than some of Piccioni's later work, but still wonderfully groovy overall! There's lots of jazz in the mix, and there's a number of tunes that have a great ... (Soundtracks LP)
Parlophone (Germany), 1970. Gatefold
The first truly great David Bowie electric guitar album – an all-out, power-driven set of tracks played by a group that included Mick Ronson and Tony Visconti! Bowie's in prime pre-Ziggy mode here – ripping into tunes that blister with dark energy that are some of the first truly ... (Rock CD)
The duo of Artie Black and Hunter Diamond – the former of whom plays tenor, alto, clarinet, and other small instruments – the latter on tenor, clarinet, and some very cool percussion elements too! All the music here is improvised, recorded over a marathon five hour session, then ... (Jazz CD)
Discos Fuentes/Vampi Soul (Spain), 1965. (reissue)
One of the stranger albums on Disco Fuentes during the 60s – served up by a group with a caveman look on the cover, and who also had a bit of a caveman schtick in their approach – but who also managed to groove with a lean sound that's mighty nice all the way through! The album takes ... (Latin LP)
Munjale/Be With (UK), 1984. (reissue)
South African soul from Caiphus Semenya – and a set that's got a nicely righteous, upbeat vibe throughout! Caiphus works here in that best sort of South African style in the decade when the nation's struggles were getting a lot more global attention – showing a spirit that refuses to ... (Global Grooves LP)
Alternative Fox (UK), 1979.
A fantastic album from the great Don Cherry – and maybe one of the earliest examples of the way that he mixed together avant jazz and a globe's worth of influences on the European scene! The album features three long tracks – all seemingly improvised – very heavy on percussion, ... (Jazz LP)
Crossover/We Want Sounds (UK), 1974.
Funky trumpet galore – and one of the few albums ever cut by trumpeter Billy Brooks as a leader! At the time of this 1974 LP, Billy Brooks was an overlooked LA trumpeter working in the Ray Charles band – and although this record didn't bring him instant fame when it was released, it's ... (Jazz CD)
Abkco, 1975. (reissue)
A 70s album from The Stones, but one with a 60s-looking cover – and for good reason too, as the set features a whole host of unissued gems from their first decade in the studio! The package is a great reminder of how strong the group were at the start – so much so that the set ended up ... (Rock LP)
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1972.
An unusual little session from early 70s Japan – one that features some jazz vocals from Shigeko Toya, but also a fair bit of piano as well – set alongside backing from the trio of Masaru Imada, who plays organ on the numbers that don't feature Toya on the piano! If that sounds ... (Vocalists CD)
Strut (UK), Late 70s/1980s/Early 90s.
A great look at one of our favorite record labels of all time – a company that was one of the first we ever worked together with, back when we started Dusty Groove – and whose music has been a huge inspiration to us for decades! Black Fire is a really special record label from the DC ... (Funky Compilations CD)
Sapporo/WRWTFWW (Switzerland), 2015.
Beautiful work from pianist Ryo Fukui – a relatively recent set, but one that sparkles with all the charm and imagination of his famous records from years back! The format is a familiar trio – with Takumi Awaya on bass and Itetsu Takemura on drums – but as always with Fukui, the ... (Jazz CD)
Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids
Strut (UK), 2020.
A tremendous return to form for reedman Idris Ackamoor and his Pyramids group – and a record that we love every bit as much as his classic material from the 70s! There's a power, righteousness, and urgency to this album that we haven't heard from Ackamoor in years – very much the kind ... (Jazz CD)
Black Jazz/Real Gone, 1973.
The most righteous album ever from Kellee Patterson – her first record, and a set that's way different from her more soul-based sides of later years! The album's got Patterson working in a wonderfully soulful approach to jazz – a style that's not unlike the earliest work by Dee Dee ... (Vocalists CD)