Tribe/Octave (Japan), 1975.
An incredible session from the legendary Tribe Records scene – an equal effort from leader Doug Hammond and keyboardist David Durrah, who contributes some groundbreaking Fender Rhodes and moog work to the set! Hammond handles drums plus a bit of vocals and synthesizer on the session – ... (Jazz CD)
Wenha/Octave (Japan), 1980.
Pretty great stuff – even though Wendall Harrison has strayed far from the Tribe Records sound of his earlier years! The record takes the spiritual post-Coltrane jazz of Harrison's earlier days, and infuses it with a smooth fusion approach that's clearly an attempt to reach a wider audience ... (Jazz CD)
World Circuit, 2020.
A really fantastic collaboration between two pioneers of African music – and a set that nicely opens both into the jazziest side of their talents! Hugh Masekela blows flugelhorn, and Tony Allen handles drums and plenty of percussion – and although both artists sing a bit, the main ... (Global Grooves CD)
Posi tone, 2020.
One of the few large group sessions ever recorded by the Posi-Tone label, but a set that definitely keeps the soulful vibe of the well-respected imprint – as you might guess from the "Swinget" in the group's name! The lineup is a nonet, but moves with the energy of the smaller ... (Jazz CD)
Matthew Tavares & Leland Whitty
Mr Bongo (UK), 2020.
A really amazing step forward for Matthew Tavares and Leland Whitty – two musicians best known as founders of BADBADNOTGOOD – but emerging here in an even more mature blend of jazz and larger instrumental ideas! The record mixes core solo voices with some larger touches here and there ... (Jazz CD)
Righteous (UK), Late 50s/Early 60s.
Blast off into space with The Cramps – with plenty of firepower here in a collection of unusual space-themed and space-sounding tunes from the glory days of the postwar recording industry! Some of the tunes have the raw, raunchy vibe of other material in this great series of Lux & Ivy ... (Rock CD)
Tribe/Octave (Japan), 1974.
One of the most righteous albums ever issued by the always-righteous Tribe Records label of Detroit – a really collective effort, one that features ensemble vocals and spiritual jazz – all pulled together by pianist Harold McKinney! The album showcases a group named Voices Of The ... (Jazz CD)
Rebirth/Octave (Japan), 1985.
Later work from reedman Wendell Harrison and the Tribe Records scene – a set that's got a slightly tighter feel than some of his earlier work, but still a relatively soulful vibe overall! Harrison leads the group on tenor, flute, and clarinet – but there's definitely a collective vibe ... (Jazz CD)
Gallo/Mr Bongo (UK), 1982.
A really unusual album from the South African scene of the 80s – served up by a blind quartet who partly echo the styles of other vocal ensembles of the period, but done with a mish-mash of styles that really keeps the whole thing interesting! The album's maybe best-remembered for a few ... (Global Grooves CD)
Astral Spirits, 2020.
A sublime trio set from drummer Charles Rumback – a record that has us really appreciating the special touch the leader can bring to a date, as this album may also be one of the best that we've heard from pianist Jim Baker in years! Baker has this great way of sounding soulful and lyrical, ... (Jazz LP)
Jasmine (UK), Mid 50s.
A really cool collection – one that brings together 32 answer songs and follow-ups from the 50s – all R&B numbers that stand more than strongly enough on their own, but which are even cooler when you know that most of them are kind of a "part 2" to bigger hits of the time! ... (Soul CD)
Lovely/Ndeya, 1977. (reissue)
To most ears, trumpeter Jon Hassell first burst on to the world through his experiments with Brian Eno on EG Records, or maybe his 80s work on ECM – but here, on his debut for the small avant label Lovely Music, it's clear that Jon's already in complete control of his sound – and is ... (Rock LP)
Awesome Tapes From Africa, 2020.
A great new recording from Hailu Mergia – the Ethiopian keyboardist who's given us some great records over the years! This set has Hailu working on both of his strengths – using keyboards in the lead on some tracks, accordion on others – plus a bit of melodica, and just a slight ... (Global Grooves CD)
Sony/Real Gone, Late 50s. 2CD
A nice collection of overlooked work from Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – not the oft-reissued material from the group's years at Blue Note, but instead some slightly more obscure sides recorded for Columbia and RCA! The work here also represents a time when Blakey was experimenting a ... (Jazz CD)
Steeplechase (Denmark), 2020.
Saxophonist Chris Byars always has a great way of putting together a set of horn players – and here, his tenor is matched with alto from Zaid Nasser, bass clarinet from Stefano Doglioni, and trombone from John Mosca – all given piano-less accompaniment from the duo of Ari Roland on bass ... (Jazz CD)
Blue Note, 2020.
Maybe the straightest jazz set we've heard to date from Kandace Springs – a record that's got a great old school vibe overall, and the sorts of moody, dark-tinged qualities that takes us back to vintage material by Abbey Lincoln or Nina Simone – something we might not have said about ... (Neo Soul CD)
International Anthem/Don Giovanni, 2020.
Damn incredible work from Irreversible Entanglements – a Philly group, but one who definitely belong in the special, small universe of the International Anthem label from Chicago! This set is even more fierce, more focused than their great debut – burning with righteous energy from a ... (Jazz CD)
Maggot Brain/Third Man, 2020.
The mighty Moondog is on the cover this time around – in a fantastic second issue of Maggot Brain that really lives up to the spirit of the debut! The cultural currents here are nice and wide, and all pretty darn hip – and in addition to a nice feature on legendary outsider composer ... (Magazine)
Astral Spirits/Feeding Tube, 2020.
The genius drummer Hamid Drake joins the Mako Sica trio – a group of electric and acoustic improvisers that features a wide variety of instruments used in a mode that's somewhere between free jazz and some of the best experimental modes of the New York downtown scene in the 80s! The trio ... (Jazz LP)
Posi tone, 2020.
Maybe the first album we've ever seen from guitarist Jocelyn Gould – a hell of a player, and one who fits right in with the strong quality of work we've come to expect from the Posi-Tone label! Jocelyn's got this round, firm tone throughout – balanced with the boldness of pianist ... (Jazz CD)
Exodus (UK), 2020. 2LP
A hell of a record from drummer Moses Boyd – a musician who's fast becoming way more than a drummer! Here, Boyd is in the same "jazz plus" territory of Makaya McCraven – still strongly respectful of his lineage in the music, but also trying very hard to push the whole thing ... (Jazz LP)
George Burton, 2020.
An album that explodes with life, soul, and energy right from the very first note – a jazz set from keyboardist George Burton, but a record that weaves in lots of different strands along the way – with a sense of imagination that's certain to make Burton's music something to really keep ... (Jazz CD)
El (UK), Late 50s/Early 60s. 3CD
An excellent collection of early work by John Cage – and a set that's maybe not nearly as sweet as you'd guess from the "lollipops" in the title! The box is worth it alone for its presentation of the 25 Year Retrospective Concert – which brings together 1958 performance ... (Out Sound CD)
Four Flies (Italy), 2017.
New material from the legendary Alessandro Alessandroni – one of the key forces in helping define the sound of Italian film scores in the 60s and sound library material in the 70s – still alive and well here, and working in a style that's maybe a more intimately focused presentation of ... (Sound Library CD)
Gallo/Mr Bongo (UK), 1976.
A fantastic set from 70s South Africa – and a record that maybe has a lot more of an American funk vibe than you'd expect! The style is nice and lean, and is often in a mode that echoes some of the cooler underground disco of the late 70s on the east coast – almost as if these cuts ... (Global Grooves CD)
Invictus/Demon (UK), 1972. (reissue)
An amazing solo effort from Harrison Kennedy – a record that's quite different than his work with Chairmen Of The Board, and a set that's easily one of the most compelling albums ever issued on the Invictus Records label! The set's nice and funky at times – the heaviest expression of ... (Soul LP)
An all-electronic set from Gerald Cleaver, but one that's got the same sort of rhythmic pulse as his better-known work on the drums – a record that, in fact, almost feels as if Cleaver is triggering various electronic elements with live work on the drums – or, more likely, using live ... (Jazz LP)
Basis (Japan), 2019.
It's been a number of years since we last heard from Bottom Rhythm Jam – but man, these guys have definitely kept things together – and maybe even seem more "bottom rhythm" than ever before! The lineup features drums from Takehiro Shimizu of Indigo Jam Unit – mixed with ... (Jazz CD)
Uno Melodic/Expansion (UK), 1980.
A legendary project from Roy Ayers – and a record that's almost as in-demand as his classic Ramp album! The Eighties Ladies were a hip vocal quartet, with the soulful Sylvia Striplin on lead – and they work here in a mix of perfect Ayers-styled grooves – often using female ... (Soul LP)
International Anthem/Nonesuch, 2020.
Mindblowing music from Jeff Parker – sounds that we always knew were part of his core, but which have maybe taken most of his career to emerge! This album follows beautifully from Jeff's previous album for International Anthem – and like that one, it's an explosion of new and old ideas ... (Jazz CD)
Black & Blue/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1985.
A great lost chapter in the career of organist Lonnie Smith – a session recorded in the 80s, but done with the simple straightforward soul jazz groove of earlier sides on Muse and Prestige! Lonnie's working here in a loose and free trio format – with Melvin Sparks on guitar and the ... (Jazz CD)
Souffle Continu (France), Late 70s. (reissue)
New industrial modes from Philippe Doray and his group of French experimentalists – not sounds that fall into the industrial dance world of the late 80s, but those very early, groundbreaking creations from Throbbing Gristle and the rest of their generation! This album's maybe slightly more ... (Rock LP)
Ill Considered (UK), 2020.
An amazing group, sounding even better here on their second album than they did the first time around – which is quite an achievement, as we really loved that record from this mighty trio! The group's an offshoot from the Ill Considered combo – and they've got an approach that's ... (Jazz LP)
Reprise/Real Gone, 1973. Gatefold (reissue)
A really wonderful little record – by a group who should have been much bigger than they were! Despite the fact that these guys are an obscure rock band with a silly name, the record's a perfect example of the subtly soulful work that was coming out of various west coast sources during the ... (Rock LP)
The Monophonics sound better here than ever before – as if the group's gone through some great mutation that's got them coming across with a richer, more mature sound than we ever might have expected a few years before! Things are still pretty darn funky, but there's also strong currents of ... (Deep Funk CD)
Sunset Blvd, Early 70s. 3CD
A definite journey in blues from the legendary Freddie King – as the guitarist was really burning up the clubs across the US at the time of these recordings – playing with energy that may well top his well-received studio albums during the same stretch! There's not much in the way of ... (Blues CD)
Four Flies (Italy), 1969.
Mindblowing work from Nora Orlandi – one of the few major female film composers on the Italian scene, and a talent that we always rank right up there with the male greats of the golden days! This set has a real Morricone-like balance of darkness and light – although the style is ... (Soundtracks LP)
Mag/Vampi Soul (Spain), 1972. (reissue)
A very groovy set, and one that already won us over with its cover – even though we're not sure the pink-pantsuited lady playing vibes is part of the group at all! Instead, these guys are a heavily percussive combo that thrive on the best modes of small combo 60s Latin – think Joe Cuba ... (Latin LP)
Duke University Press, 2020.
Groundbreaking work from David Grubbs – a name you might know from his decades as a musician, singer, and improviser in a variety of settings – or from his more recent emergence as an author – heard from here in a book that unifies both sides of his creative personality! In some ... (Book)
Souffle Continu (France), 1976. (reissue)
Groundbreaking work from the Paris scene of the 70s – a record that's kind of post-prog, post-improvisation, and which maybe sets the scene for sonic experiments on the UK scene in years to come! Philippe Doray is at the helm of his antisocial associates here – a quintet that mixes ... (Rock LP)
Fire Orchestra (Mats Gustafsson)
Rune Grammafon (Germany), 2020.
An expanded take on the original "Actions" composition – originally recorded by Don Cherry, with composer Krzystof Penderecki – and extended here by original material from reedman Mats Gustafsson! The original recording was a key juncture between two different avant worlds on ... (Jazz LP)
BBE (UK), 2020. 2CD
A double-length collection of work from Boddhi Satva – a retrospective of sorts, as the package features tracks from the past 20 years of his career – but maybe more of a special celebration of his talents, as the album brings together special projects, collaborations, and under-exposed ... (New Grooves CD)
Soulmusic.com (UK), 1970s/Early 80s. 6CD set
A massive collection of work from Sister Sledge – a Philly quartet who were able to take an older version of female group soul deep into the disco years – then keep on making great music well into the 80s! The hits of the group are certainly well-known, but they've got a rock-solid ... (Soul CD)
Blue Note (Japan), 1969.
One of the last John Patton albums for Blue Note, and one of the best! A young James "Blood" Ulmer's on guitar, and Marvin Cabell (who we only know from Patton LPs) is on tenor and flute. The sound is deep and soulful, and despite the "accent on the blues" of the title, the ... (Jazz CD)
Trio/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1976.
One of the most beautiful albums of the 70s from pianist Richie Beirach – and in saying that, we don't mean to insult the rest of his other great American work! This set was done in Japan, and it's maybe one of Beirach's most obscure of the decade – but it's also a really special ... (Jazz CD)
Strut (UK), 2020. 2LP
That image on the cover is a fantastic visual representation of the sound of Onipa – a group who draw on older cultures with roots in Ghana, but who are clearly poised to shoot out into the cosmos with lots of future energy in their music! Percussion is a mix of acoustic and electric, and ... (Global Grooves LP)
Mack Avenue, 2020.
Vibist Warren Wolf has always been way more than just a straight soloist in jazz – and here, he takes that role further by bringing in work from two different singers – vocalists Marcellus Shepard and Imani Grace Cooper, each of whom sing a few songs on the set! This isn't a straight ... (Jazz CD)
Fat Beats, 2020.
Brownout sound heavier than ever here – recording in Texas, not Berlin (that's the last name of the producer) – and with a fantastic blend of deep funk, Latin elements, and lots of psychedelic touches! In fact, there may be more of that last aspect here than ever before – ... (Deep Funk CD)
Digitmovies (Italy), 1967.
A beautiful little soundtrack from Armando Trovajoli – the best sort that he did in the 60s, at a time when he and a few other Italian soundtrack artists were helping push things forward from straighter jazz into the sorts of groovy modes that would make their scene stand out from the rest! ... (Soundtracks LP)
Epic/BGO (UK), 1980s/Early 90s. 2CD
Four later albums from the great George Jones – packed together in a 2CD set! First up is Still The Same Ole Me – and on the set, George Jones is still definitely the same old me – even if his voice has aged and changed over the years! The album's got some great songs that ... (Folk/Country CD)
David Toop & Paul Burwell
Quartz/Song Cycle (UK), 1980. (reissue)
A fantastic set of music from the young David Toop – a package that comes from tapes of improvisations with percussionist Paul Burwell – who plays "a variety of percussion arranged on the floor, and in a kit, most of which fell over immediately prior to this performance"! ... (Out Sound LP)
22A (UK), 2020.
We really loved Nick Walters the last time around, and on this set the trumpeter seems to be even more visionary than before – really going for this expansive approach to his music, and serving things up with a vibe that maybe makes him one of the most spiritual leaders on the contemporary ... (Jazz CD)
Third Man, 1968. (reissue)
A record as revolutionary as the French year in which it was recorded – an amazing batch of late 60s grooves from Parisian pop madame France Gall! The set's upbeat and jaunty, with plenty of fuzz – almost a psyche pop sound, with lots of groovy guitars that make the album sparkle with ... (French LP)
Treasure Isle/Doctor Bird (UK), Mid 60s.
A fantastic debut from The Techniques – and a set that also features a fair bit of work from Jamaican trumpet legend Baba Brooks! The vocal quartet have a great sound that's even more soulful and sharp than some of their contemporaries – maybe the difference that four voices make ... (Reggae CD)
Timeless/Solid (Japan), 1991.
Laidback, soulful work from Pharoah Sanders – a record that showcases a very different side of his talents than you might know from his classic albums on Impulse Records – but a side that's an equally great revelation overall! The album features mostly older jazz standards, blown by ... (Jazz CD)
4AD (UK), 1987. (reissue)
A great shift in sound for the Cocteau Twins – a record that tones down the splashier drum machine parts that were such a key element in earlier records – in a way that almost makes the ethereal guitars and vocals feel pastoral at points, but never in mode that's sleepy at all! The set ... (Rock LP)
Blind Faith (Italy), 2019.
Martha High has a hell of a legacy in soul music – one that includes early work with James Brown, and a surprisingly strong run of recent records that includes this well-crafted gem! Martha's singing here with a younger group from Italy, but the sound is very old school throughout – ... (Soul CD)
Universal (France), Late 50s/1960s/1970s/Early 80s. 3CD
A treasure trove of rare work from the legendary Serge Gainsbourg – studio outtakes, alternate versions, and lots of other material that stands as a great addition to the catalog of one of the coolest, grooviest French language singers ever! This 3CD set is overflowing with gems – and ... (French CD)
Moserobie (Sweden), 2020.
Torbjorn Zetterberg has always been a hell of a bassist – but in recent years, he really seems to be exploding as a greater jazz visionary – working with a group like this in a range of explosive new ideas we never would have expected just a few years ago! The music is often incredibly ... (Jazz CD)
Strata East, 1968.
The first moment of genius from trumpeter Charles Tolliver – a set that wasn't originally issued on the Strata East label, but which really set the tone for all the genius to follow on Tolliver's label! At the time of the record, Charles was part of a whole new generation of hardboppers who ... (Jazz CD)
HMV (Japan), 2015. (reissue)
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 LP)
King/We Want Sounds (France), 1977. (reissue)
There's a vampire with a flute on the cover – and that image alone is more than enough to make us drop the needle on this rare Japanese gem from the 70s! And fortunately, the sound of the music is equally cool – funky fusion with some nicely spacey currents – almost a Mizell ... (Jazz LP)
Northern Spy/Jazzman (UK), 2016/2020.
A stunning debut from a really unique New York quartet – a group who explore spiritual jazz territory, but in a mode that's different from anyone else we can think of! The group's led by Amirtha Kidambi – who both sings, and plays harmonium – and creates these loose structures ... (Jazz LP)
Pinche (Spain), Mid 60s.
A really cool collection of rockers from the 60s scene in Chile – music that partly echoes American modes of the time, but which also has all these really cool and groovy touches! A fair bit of these tunes have a touch of the exotic – an echoey organ line, a strangely-tuned guitar, ... (Rock LP)
Strata/180 Proof, 1973. 2LP Gatefold
A never-issued live set from Detroit's Contemporary Jazz Quintet – a group who were a key part of the Strata Records scene, and who are expanded here to a much larger lineup for this very freewheeling performance from 1973! The group's spiritual modernism is very strongly in place, but there' ... (Jazz LP)
Virrey/Vampi Soul (Spain), 1974. Gatefold (reissue)
A classic set from Peru Negro – an ensemble that was partly a performance group, but who also had a deep legacy in presenting the deeper roots of culture in Peru – especially that nation's ties to West African styles that were brought over during the colonial years! Their work is a ... (Latin LP)
ECM (Germany), 2020.
Beautiful sounds from pianist Carla Bley – a musician who just keeps on blowing us away as the decades move on – and that's saying a hell of a lot, given how many years she's been making music! There's a really special quality to this record – a warmth and maybe just a slight ... (Jazz LP)
Soulful sounds from Black Pumas – a collaboration between singer Eric Burton and the great Adrian Quesada – the latter an instrumentalist and producer that you'll know from a variety of different funky projects over the years! This set might well be Adrian's ticket to the big time ... (Deep Funk LP)
Blue Note, 2020. 2CD
Few players have the scope and depth of Charles Lloyd over the space of so many decades – and here, once again, Lloyd reminds us that his longevity in jazz has everything to do with the continued growth of his music – and not just the fact that he's stuck around for so long! The sound ... (Jazz CD)
Beat (Italy), 1981/1983. 2CD
Riz Ortolani is best known for his big scores of the 60s – but here, the maestro turns in two early 80s soundtracks – one sci-fi, one horror – both with a very distinct vibe! First up is I Guerrieri Dell'Anno 2072, a soundtrack that has some "future" elements in its use ... (Soundtracks CD)
Cometa (Italy), 1971. (reissue)
Rare work from this legendary Italian improvisational group – a lineup that features famous modernists Mario Bertoncini, Egisto Macchi, and Walter Bianchi – as well as soundtrack genius Ennio Morricone! The sounds are quite dark and abstract – often somewhere out in the space of ... (Sound Library LP)
Sonor/Musica Per Immagini (Italy), 1974. 2LP Gatefold (reissue)
Beautiful grooves from the legendary Piero Piccioni – a set that's a great follow-up to some of his famous 60s work – touched with a few more sexy 70s touches than before, but in a way that's still extremely groovy! There's lots of electric piano lines on the set – almost a ... (Soundtracks LP)
Fonocal/Svart (Finland), 1974.
A set that takes off with plenty of fire and frenzy from Alejandro Medina – who's working here with his group La Pesada, which translates into "The Heavy" – and definitely gives you a clue as to the sound of this set! Medina's vocals are as wild as his guitar – and he ... (Rock LP)
Fonocal/Svart (Finland), 1973. (reissue)
A fantastic hard rock set from the Argentine scene of the 70s – and a record that shows that nation could boast the kind of power trio to match the giants on the UK and US scenes! Nacho Smilari may well be the powerhouse driving the whole thing – as his vocals are already strong, but ... (Rock LP)
Svart (Finland), 1980s/Early 90s. 2LP Gatefold
Finland's been giving us some great funk and soul sounds in recent years, but that legacy stretches back much longer than we might have guessed – to a point that includes all these groovy disco and electronic dance tracks from the 80s! The set's a follow-up to the Satan In Love compilation, ... (Funky Compilations LP)
Vampi Soul (Spain), 1980s.
A collection of music we never expected to be this wonderful – but that's also because we were completely unaware of the scene until this release! The album brings together songs from a special time in Uruguay – a moment when democracy was returning to the nation, which seemed to ... (Global Grooves CD)
Steve Tibbetts, 1970s/1980s/1990s/2000s. 3CD
A huge collection of work from Steve Tibbetts – a guitarist who really helped open up the sound of ECM Records in the 70s, then kept on exploring music that was always at the fringes of jazz and other styles too! The package is put together by Steve himself, and features key moments from ECM ... (Jazz CD)
At Home Sound (Japan), 2020.
Fantastic Fender Rhodes from Yusuke Hirado – plus a fair bit of other keyboards too – all delivered in a set that mixes 70s space jazz funk with some great contemporary elements, and in a way that's nicely different than Hirado's work in the group Quasimode! The set's got some old ... (Jazz CD)
Kit (UK), 2020.
Cosmic Neighbourhood move into the realm of sound library music with this delightful little record – a 10" album that's filled with short, captivating tunes – mostly melodic, and with electronic components, but delivered in a style that's really organic, and very beautiful! At ... (Sound Library LP)
BBE (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s. 2LP Gatefold
A whole new genre of soul music – all pulled together by the legendary Rainer Trueby – famous global DJ, and the guiding force behind Compost Records for many many years! This set's all older work, a mix of rare and familiar soul records from the late 70s and early 80s – but ... (Funky Compilations LP)
Trova/Vampi Soul (Spain), 1974. (reissue)
Brazilian guitarist Sebastiao Tapajos usually records in a relatively mellow mode – but here, he'd working with percussive backings from Pedro Dos Santos – who plays a wide variety of instruments, and really adds a lot to the sound of the set! There's kind of a bossa guitar with ... (Brazil LP)
Eastbound/Tidal Waves, 1972. (reissue)
Maybe the only album ever issued under the name of trumpeter Gary Chandler – but a smoking little set that rivals some of the best jazz funk records at the start of the 70s – including heavyweight classics on Prestige by Melvin Sparks, Leon Spencer, and Boogaloo Joe Jones! The feel ... (Jazz LP)
Pressure Drop (UK), Late 60s. 5CD set
An insanely huge amount of work from British rocksteady legend Laurel Aitken – especially when you consider that this set of 138 tracks was issued in the short space of just two years! In truth, Laurel's not the lead artist on all the cuts, but he had something to do with all of them – ... (Reggae CD)
Alhaji Kollington Ayinla & His Fuji 78 Organization
Kollington/Soul Jazz (UK), 1978. (reissue)
An album of heavy righteous power from Alhaji Kollington Ayinla and his Fuji 78 ensemble – a group who bring a very different sound to this record than some of the more mainstream Afro Funk work of the Nigerian scene at the time! The group are heavily percussive, and also use their drums in ... (Global Grooves LP)
Blue Note, 1960. (reissue)
A real stormer! This was one of the few albums ever cut as a leader by the great hardbop drummer Art Taylor – and it's one of the best from the Blue Note catalog at the time! The band is a heavily smoking one – with Dave Burns on trumpet, Stan Turrentine on tenor, and Wynton Kelly on ... (Jazz LP)
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1972.
Excellent work from Japanese drummer George Otsuka – a set that has him stepping away from his previous piano trio modes, and really making some greater magic with a larger group! The combo here is a quintet – filled with bright young players that include Shunzo Ono on trumpet and ... (Jazz CD)
NG (Italy), Late 70s/Early 80s.
A really wonderful second set in this totally unique series – one that looks at really obscure Italian grooves from the late 70s and early 80s – not the big disco work of the time, but some of the more unusual, more sophisticated sounds that were bubbling under in the farther reaches of ... (Funky Compilations LP)
Favorite (France), 1981. (reissue)
A really wonderful trio, and one who are very different than some of the more familiar underground boogie and club acts of their time – as Twylyte 81 seem to be going for a much deeper, more sophisticated style – one that resonates with some of those really unique 70s artists who are ... (Soul LP)
Nimbus/Outernational (UK), Early 80s. (reissue)
Great soul jazz from the LA underground! Pianist Nate Morgan plays in the tradition of McCoy Tyner and Stanley Cowell, with a swirling spiritual feel that's deeply rooted in a Love Supreme tradition. On this LP, he leads a quintet with Jesse Sharps on reeds and Danny Cortez on trumpet – and ... (Jazz LP)
Strata East/Now Again, 1974. (reissue)
The rare second album from Juju – the avant jazz collective who'd later morph into funk band Oneness Of Juju, but who still sound pretty revolutionary here! There's a bit more focus than before – still energy that's a lot like the best righteous jazz groups coming out of Chicago or St ... (Jazz LP)
Bureau B (Germany), 1990s/Early 2000s. 2CD
A collection of early work from Jimi Tenor – an artist who's maybe known best these days for his spiritual jazz and funk recordings, but one who sounded very different at the time of this material! Jimi issued much of this music on the Warp label back in the 90s – and although there's ... (New Grooves CD)
Guitarist Pat Metheny has a wonderful way of always opening himself up to new ideas, yet never losing the sound at his core – that unique approach to electric strings that made his ECM albums so revolutionary in the 70s, and which continues to set Metheny apart from anyone else around! There' ... (Jazz CD)
Love/Svart (Finland), 1970. (reissue)
A fantastic set from Wigwam – a record that even tops their first album on Love – with production from Kim Fowley that helps to give the proceedings a much more international vibe! Lyrics are all in English this time around, and the tunes have this short, focused quality that often has ... (Rock LP)
Accords Croises (France), 2020. 2LP Gatefold
Arat Kilo blend together sounds of West Africa, currents of hip hop, and older Mid East modes – all filtered through their unique Parisian perspective, and topped here with help from Mike Ladd and Mamani Keita on vocals! The record's a great evolution of older world music blends that never ... (Global Grooves LP)
Cherry Red (UK), 1990. 3CD
A heady dose of music from a key year in the British scene – a moment when all the changes that had taken place in pop music during the tail end of the 80s were really coming home to roost – to change the sound and style of the indie world a fair bit since the initial C86 compilation! ... (Rock CD)
Super Sonic Jazz (Netherlands), 2020. 2LP
An assortment of work from the contemporary Dutch scene – music that's partly jazz, but which also has lots of 21st Century elements too – although never in a way that falls into any sort of too-easy remix of downtempo modes! Most of these artists use a fair bit of electric ... (New Grooves LP)
Cobiana/Mar & Sol (Netherlands), 1978. (reissue)
Brightly beautiful sounds from this popular Guinea group of the 70s – served up in a cascading array of guitars and percussion, all topped with warmly harmonic vocals from the group! The guitar interplay is what really makes the record great, especially on the fast-moving songs – as ... (Global Grooves LP)
Grunt/Esoteric (UK), Early 70s. 2CD
A pair of late albums from Jefferson Airplane – issued here in a single set, with new remastering too! First up is Long John Silver – a really fantastic final studio album from Jefferson Airplane – a set that's definitely different than their early work, and which shows the new ... (Rock CD)
One of the best things that ever happened to singer James Hunter was the moment he formed his James Hunter Six – a great combo who've really helped Hunter deepen his groove in recent years! James was always a great vocalist – one of the best blue-eyed soul singers of the past 20 years ... (Deep Funk CD)
Jasmine (UK), Late 50s/Early 60s.
A really wonderful overview of the early career of Bobby Lewis – a pre-soul singer who recorded for a variety of different labels, and always managed to pack a hell of a punch! Bobby can have a very dynamic vocal approach when he wants – a sometimes-explosive approach that paves the ... (Soul CD)
Dial/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1978.
Joe Tex is definitely not without funk on this sweet little set – a smoking TK Records session that carries strongly from the vibe of his "I Gotcha" years! Longtime producer Buddy Killen is still on deck to keep everything tight and right – a mix of Joe's southern soul roots ... (Soul CD)
Northern Spy, 2020.
The first full length set we've heard from drummer Jeremy Cunningham – and a set that's bound to set him on a fantastic legacy of recordings for years to come! The album is both very personal and politically powerful – put together by Cunningham in response to the loss of his brother ... (Jazz CD)
Ace (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s.
Great tracks from the early years of the synthesizer in British music – or at least the early years of the form in mainstream styles – and not some of the colder, more academic modes of the past! Yet the music also mostly predates the big Brit electro pop explosion that would come ... (Rock CD)
Z Records (UK), 1990s. 2CD
Joey Negro's given us some great collections of club music from the 70s and 80s – and he's equally well-skilled at picking the best underground tracks from the 90s – a decade in which some of Joey's own music was staring to get some heavy play too! This set's not your usual dance music ... (Funky Compilations CD)
Ace (UK), Late 60s.
Brigitte Bardot's best known on these shores as an actress, but during the 60s she cut some really fantastic work on the scene in Paris – including a fair bit of groovers that were done with help from the legendary Serge Gainsbourg! Bardot provided a fantastic new voice in the world of pop ... (French CD)
Marlin/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1979.
Lost soulful sounds from Osiris – one of the many high-concept funk ensembles to spring up in the wake of Earth Wind & Fire – and one of the better ones too! The combo's got some mighty tight grounding in the bass work of Tyrone Brunson – stepping out here in an early role to ... (Soul CD)
Polydor/Tidal Waves, 1978. (reissue)
The fourth and final album from Ofege – and a set that shows the Nigerian group still very much at the top of their game – soaring out on fast funk rhythms that often echo American styles of the time, but with a lot more edge – and produced with all these cool trippy touches ... (Global Grooves LP)
Ultra Vybe (Japan), Early 80s.
Excellent 12" tracks from the Streetwise/Partytime label – the kind of unusual dubs, instrumentals, and remixes the company always put on its extended singles – usually numbers that are sparkling with just the right sort of electro touches that made these records real favorites for ... (Funky Compilations CD)
Tru Thoughts (UK), 2020. 2LP
A mighty nice second set from J Felix – even tighter, sharper, and funkier than his first – and done with a great blend of old school instrumentation and warmly cosmic energy! The keyboards are often in the lead – over basslines and rhythms that have plenty of 80s boogie in the ... (Deep Funk LP)
Horo/Alternative Fox (UK), 1979. 2LP Gatefold (reissue)
A fantastic entry into the improvising orchestra genre – a set that's similar to classics by ICP and London Jazz Composers Orchestra – and which also features a bit of crossover in members with both groups! The lineup here features the cream of the crop of the European avant scene of ... (Jazz LP)
Ace (UK), Early 60s.
Searing instrumentals from the glory days of the electric guitar – that initial moment when the fuzz was turned up, the echo expanded, and the instrument finally got a chance to step out in the lead in the kind of totally wonderful tracks like these! The Ventures are pictured on the cover, ... (Rock CD)
Ultra Vybe (Japan), Late 70s.
Warm and wonderful tunes from the mighty TK Records – the famous Miami label best known for its disco hits of the 70s, but a company that recorded a whole heck of a lot more great music at the time! Most of these tracks are turned down a few notches from disco or club – still ... (Funky Compilations CD)
Fremeaux & Associates (France), Late 50s/Early 60s. 3CD
A great little package that finally brings together two different musical worlds of the great Alain Goraguer – the man who's maybe best known for providing the sounds for early recordings by Serge Gainsbourg – and an artist who also recorded some great jazz and soundtrack material on ... (Jazz CD)
Schema (Italy), 2020.
A fantastic album of grooves from the mighty Alex Puddu – and a record that's worth it alone for its guest work from Gene Robinson Jr on a few tracks – a singer whose voice was part of the classic sound of Breakwater! Puddu's groove has really shifted into the jazzy funk of Robinson's ... (New Grooves CD)
International Anthem, 2020.
Beautifully meditative music from Alabaster DePlume – a set that brings together work from a variety of recorded projects from the past decade or so – finally getting full exposure in this Transatlantic collaboration between Chicago's International Anthem label and London's Total ... (Jazz CD)
Light In The Attic, 1960s/1970s/1980s. 2LP Gatefold
A really special look at the sound of the Pacific Northwest – served up here on a host of rare recordings from legendary Seattle producer Kearney Barton – all pulled from never-issued tapes that were stored at his home for decades, and released here to the public for the first time ever! ... (Funky Compilations LP)
Hamilton De Holanda/Daniel Santiago/Edu Ribeiro/Thiago
Brasilianos (Brazil), 2020.
Some of the sharpest jazz work we've heard from Hamilton De Holanda in awhile – a quartet session that has a bit more edge than some of his other records, and which uses his work on bandolim in the lead as a very powerful solo instrument! The group also features Daniel Santiago on guitar, ... (Brazil CD)
Selected Sound/Be With (UK), 1983. (reissue)
A very unusual sound library album from the German scene – a set that's maybe a lot more ethnographic than the usual stock TV and commercial grooves you'd expect – done by Victor Cavini with a fairly sensitive blend of traditional Japanese instrumentation and a few key modern elements ... (Sound Library LP)
TK/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1976.
The Diamond Touch here is from Gregg Diamond – who brings a real Bionic Boogie feel to this album for George McCrae – a sound that shifts slightly from the Miami soul approach of earlier records, moving George up to New York for the session, and coming up with a strong disco groove ... (Soul CD)
Strut (UK), 1970s/Early 80s. 2LP Gatefold
Stunning sounds from the Disques Debs label in the 70s – a powerhouse imprint in the French Caribbean scene, and a company who were really coming into their own during the decade! The "cadence revolution" in the title is a reference both to the revolution in new musical sounds that ... (Global Grooves LP)
Madlib Invazion, 2020.
A fantastic mix of heady sounds and heavy funk from The Heliocentrics – and a record that continues the vibe of their previous set – in which the team of Malcolm Catto and Jake Ferguson were joined by the lovely vocals of Barbora Patkova! Patkova's presence is just what the group needs ... (Deep Funk CD)
TK/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1980.
A rare TK Records effort from James Brown – very much in the best uptempo funk mode of the later Polydor years! The groove here is quite similar to those better-known efforts – grooves that are a bit quicker than a few years before, but still played in a core JB funky style – ... (Soul CD)
Tramp (Germany), 1960s/Early 70s. 2LP Gatefold
The tenth edition in this really fantastic series – a collection of tunes that's moved way past the traditional funk compilations from years back – really showing the evolving taste for a groove in the global underground! The tunes here effortlessly mix together rare soul, groovy jazz, ... (Funky Compilations LP)
Musiplay/Discobertas (Brazil), 1966.
Great small combo work from Brazilian pianist Helio Mendes – working here in a set that's maybe even jazzier than usual, thanks to some strong trumpet lines next to the piano – and some lively rhythms that seem inspired by some of the cooler trios of the bossa scene! The tunes are a ... (Brazil CD)
Beautifully heavy sounds from Black Market Brass – a group who started out with more of a global funk approach, but who emerge here with the intensity of some lost funky soundtrack – all with the sort of edge you might expect from the cover! The style here is really revolutionary ... (Global Grooves CD)
Blue Note, 1957. Gatefold (reissue)
A rare gem from Hank Mobley's initial late 50s run at Blue Note – a session recorded by the label in 1957, but unissued at the time! The quality of the set is right up there with Hank's best from the period – presented here in full album format, and the mix of searing hardbop and ... (Jazz LP)
Tidal Waves, 1982. (reissue)
A set recorded in Paris during the early 80s – but headed up by an American saxophonist, and done with a vibe that's like the best spiritual jazz modes of the 70s! Byron Pope has a compelling legacy that includes work with Burton Greene and Alan Silva – but he's definitely his own man ... (Jazz LP)
Million Dollar Disco/BBE (UK), Late 70s. 2CD
Classic cuts, made even better by the magic hands of Al Kent – a mixing talent we've trusted for years, and one with an uncanny knack for making the same kind of special sounds you'd hear on a rare club edit from back in the day! These tracks aren't remixed, or bogged down with new musical ... (Funky Compilations CD)
Posi tone, 2020.
There's nothing idle about these hands – as the group have a tightness that makes you think they've been together for years – which is maybe partly the case, as many of the artists are part of the great and ever-growing legacy of the Posi-Tone label! And while the company has given us ... (Jazz CD)
Cometa (Italy), 1970. (reissue)
A record that definitely lives up to its title – an obscure Italian sound library session that blends instrumental touches that evoke an America at the start of the 70s with some of the hipper, deeper currents you'd expect from the team of Stefano Torossi and Giovanni Tomasso! There's plenty ... (Sound Library LP)
Black & Blue/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1983.
One of the best 80s recordings from French saxophone legend Guy Lafitte – a set that's equally great for the presence of organist Wild Bill Davis – who's also at his best on the album! The tunes have a really timeless quality – lots of long, lean tenor solos from Lafitte – ... (Jazz CD)
Decca/Alternative Fox (UK), 1971. (reissue)
The only album ever recorded by Satisfaction – a wonderful British group from the key jazz rock years of the scene, but one who have a sound that's maybe more personal and intimate than the rest! These guys are never too proggy, and are only just a sextet – one that's fronted by some ... (Rock LP)
Rare Noise (UK), 2020. 2LP Gatefold
A pretty heady little set, from a pretty heady trio of talents – drummer Bobby Previte, guitarist Nels Cline, and keyboardist Jamie Saft – who works here on Hammond, Fender Rhodes, and mini-moog! The music is very dark and often distorted – as if the other two musicians have ... (Jazz LP)
Bongo Joe (UK), 1970s/1980s. 2LP Gatefold
Lively grooves from the islands of Sao Tome and Principe – two nations located in the gulf of Guinea – at a unique crossroads that makes for a really wonderful criss-crossing of styles and sounds! The nations are part of the older Portuguese colonial network, and share some sounds with ... (Global Grooves LP)
Survival Research (Australia), 1975. (reissue)
The debut album from the Ogyatanaa Show Band – a group who'd been working heavily on the Ghana scene in the early 70s, and who begin this set with a side-long track that pays tribute to all the giants in the world of highlife! That track's quite unusual – a highlife number, but one ... (Global Grooves LP)
An incredible document of the punk and post punk era live music scene in Chicago by Brian Shanley – a photographer and designer who shot so many iconic bands and did design work for Wax Trax Records early on – and this book of his black & whites is pretty breathtaking if you have ... (Book)
Stag O Lee (Germany), Late 50s/Early 60s.
No rock here – as the set's filled with vintage blues material, all from that time when the Chicago scene was having an especially strong influence on the genre – and players all over where plugging in their guitars, and making a heavy sound that would influence rock music in years to ... (Blues LP)
Odeon/Polysom (Brazil), 1970. (reissue)
An incredible early album by this legendary Brazilian band with a strong late 60s/early 70s progressive flair! While not as countercultural as Os Mutantes or other Tropicalia artists, Som Imaginario shared with them a sense of pure musical inventiveness, and a love of psychedelic flourishes – ... (Brazil LP)
New Voice/RPM (UK), Late 60s. 3CD
Five full albums of work from the mighty Mitch Ryder – plus a fair bit of rare singles as well – all brought together in a package that features the first full look at his years at the New Voice label! First up is Take A Ride – a classic set from the mighty Mitch Ryder and his ... (Rock CD)
Back in the day, Sergio Mendes was best known for the core energy of his groups – the legendary Brasil 66 and Brasil 77 – but in the 21st Century, Sergio's also become quite a collaborator – part of a legacy that's definitely continued here on a set of tracks that features work ... (Brazil CD)
On The Corner (UK), 2020.
One of the moodiest, most introspective groups to emerge from the London scene in the past few years – a group headed up by Tamar Osborn, who blows flute, clarinet, and baritone sax – in addition to handling a lot of the basslines on the set – in this balance between the reeds and ... (Jazz CD)
Tidal Waves, 1974. (reissue)
An album that's every bit as great as you'd guess from the cover and the title – a hip set recorded on the Philly scene of the 70s, and this wonderful blend of jazz, soul, and plenty of percussion! Malaku Thompson plays the drums, but there's also plenty of other percussion on the record ... (Jazz LP)
Cien Fuegos (Austria), 1972. (reissue)
A seminal album of solo drum tracks from 1972 – created and performed by Sven-Ake Johansson, a key figure in the European improv scene of the late 60s and early 70s – although an artist who's maybe at his best on a record like this! Johansson plays only a standard drum kit – but ... (Jazz LP)
Beat/Chris' Soundtrack Corner (Germany), 1980.
A surprisingly sweet soundtrack for a film that deals with cannibalism – one that's scored by Alessandro Blonkensteiner with a mix of modes that rivals some of the 70s greats by composers like Stelvio Cipriani, or the duo of Guido & Maurizio DeAngelis! Like both of those talents, ... (Soundtracks CD)
Sonor/Musica Per Immagini (Italy), 1973.
A never-issued album from Italian composer Giuliano Sorgini – and one that's very much in the best spirit of some of his better-known sound library albums from the 70s! Like some of those, Sorgini does a great job here of balancing more experimental modes with more familiar ones – ... (Sound Library LP)
Spring (UK), 1970s/Early 80s.
A fantastic look at the Spring Records label in New York – a company that had a few big crossover hits in the 70s, but also issued a lot more rare and obscure material over the years – with a long legacy that even hit the early years of the old school scene! One of Spring's great ... (Soul CD)
Ace (UK), Late 60s/Early 70s. 2LP Gatefold
A great document of a really cool moment in British pop – a time when the music eschwed guitars in favor of strings and larger arrangements – not in the sweet style that American singers were using at the start of the 60s, but a much darker mode that paved the way for even more complex ... (Rock LP)
XL/International Anthem, 2010/2020.
A fantastic tribute to a fantastic record – one that takes all the core lyrical creations of Gil Scott Heron from I'm New Here, then adds in a wide array of new music from drummer/genius Makaya McCraven! The approach is similar to some of Makaya's own albums – which are both performed ... (Soul CD)
SSS/Sundazed, Late 60s/Early 70s.
Southern soul killers from one of the most overlooked labels in the business – Nashville's mighty SSS International, home to as much great work in the late 60s as most labels from Memphis or Muscle Shoals! SSS was headed up by producer Shelby Singleton – who had a great ear for up-and-c ... (Soul LP)
Leo/BTF (Italy), 1972. (reissue)
A fantastic little record, and one that really lives up to the "elettro" promise in its title – as Giuliani Sorgini uses lots of offbeat electronics, in a mode that's almost a link between the musique concrete experiments of the 60s, and some of the more electronic-based sound ... (Sound Library LP)
Tatham, Mensah, Lord, & Ranks
2000 Black (UK), 2020.
The record comes in a plain white sleeve, with little to announce its presence on the front – but that's A-OK with us, because this mighty quartet always make their presence known in the grooves of the record! The set begins with the bristling cosmic energy of "Life After Subway" ... (New Grooves 12-inch)
Incus/Honest Jons (UK), 1983. 2LP
Live work from the famous Company of improvising musicians on the UK scene – a performance recorded by the BBC in 1983, and issued here for the first time on record! The lineup of players is fairly large this time around, but comes together with all that careful sense of sound and space that ... (Jazz LP)
Stax/Craft, Late 60s/Early 70s. 7 LPs
Legendary sounds from the Staple Singers – a set of albums for Stax Records that really helped push the group from the gospel folk underground into the soul music mainstream – and which also helped transform the rest of the scene in the process! The Staple Singers had recorded ... (Soul LP)
Heartfelt yet exciting work from Chicago trumpeter Markus Rutz – heavy on originals, but with some distinctive takes on classics by Wayne Shorter, Charlie Parker and another couple of covers – showing love and appreciation for his influences in music and life in general with a wonderful ... (Jazz CD)
Night Dreamer (UK), 2020.
The best album in years from Seun Kuti – recorded live in the studio, with no overdubs at all – in a way that really lives up to the best sound of his legacy in music! Tracks are all nice and long, and as spontaneous as they are hard-grooving – a perfect update of older Afro Funk ... (Global Grooves LP)
Virgin, 1988. 3CD
Maybe the crowning moment of genus from the great Neneh Cherry – a record that's a huge evolution from her post punk funk of just a few short years before – and one that really helped her bridge the Atlantic and find a huge following over here at the time! There's a great mix of hip ... (Soul CD)
BBE (UK), Late 70s.
Fantastic longform grooves from the Tabansi Studio Band – a cool combo who worked to support Nigerian artists on the Tabansi label, but who have a sound here that's very much their own! These tracks are a lot wilder and more freewheeling than any of the group's music behind a singer – ... (Global Grooves CD)
Days Of Delight/Sony (Japan), Mid 70s.
A really special slice of Japanese jazz from the 70s – tracks from the sorts of records that make that scene so different than any others we can think of – especially in the way the musicians evolved familiar styles into personal grooves of their own! Instrumentation varies with each ... (Funky Compilations CD)
Warner/Mr Bongo (UK), 1967.
One of the most important early albums by Marcos Valle – a set of instrumental tracks recorded with lots of acoustic guitar! Even though Valle was well known as a singer and composer of bossa nova tunes, the set instead focuses on his instrumental work – recording his guitar ala Jobim ... (Brazil CD)
Jazzaggression (Finland), 2020. (pic cover)
A group with players that you probably can't pronounce, but a sound that will grab you right away – a fantastic combination of vibes, saxes, and trombone – all set to some really great modal rhythms! The combo is led by Ville Vannemaa, who blows tenor and bass clarinet – but the ... (Jazz 12-inch)
Intakt (Switzerland), 2020.
That's no snake oil in the bottle, it's fantastic music from this razor-sharp quintet – maybe one of the most fantastic projects that saxophonist Tim Berne has given us in many years, and a group that just seem to get better and better with each new record! There's a combination of reed and ... (Jazz CD)
Ariola/Big Break (UK), 1979.
A sweet bouncy groover – one of the rare albums of modern soul cut by the group Delegation! The group in this incarnation are a trio – Ray Patterson, Ricky Bailey, and Bruce Dunbar on vocals – stripped-down harmonically, a perfect fit for the album's groove-heavy arrangements. ... (Soul CD)
Trio/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973.
Some of the most beautiful work ever recorded by pianist Dave Burrell – a solo session issued only in Japan, featuring Burrell on a Steinway recorded in the wide open space of a performance hall in Tokyo! There's a photo on the back cover that has a pair of suitcases behind Burrell at the ... (Jazz CD)
Jazzaggression (Finland), 2020. (pic cover)
A contemporary Finnish group, and a great one too – a combo who play with the sharp, soulful tones of a Blue Note lineup from the 60s – but all without ever sounding like they're trying to copy that mode too much! Instead, these guys just have a proud, confident sense of their ... (Jazz 12-inch)
Dusty Groove Gear, 2019.
The music at Dusty Groove goes way way way back, and here's a shirt that does the same – a lovely image that evokes the feel of a vintage phone book ad – simple, elegant, and very much to the point! The lines are lean, but the image is bold and striking – never overdone, with a ... (Clothing)
Columbia/BGO (UK), Mid 70s. 2CD
Four albums from the classic Columbia Records run of Johnny Paycheck in the 70s – a time when the singer had sprung from the indie underground way into the Nashville mainstream – using his unique vocal approach to stand out both as a budding outlaw talent, and as a surprisingly strong ... (Folk/Country CD)
Weird World/Ultra Vybe (Japan), Mid 70s.
The raunchy one is at it again – serving up funky, filthy, and funny parodies of 70s soul and pop songs with more than enough bad language to make even the most street hip hopper turn red! The band is nice and tight on most of the tracks, grooving hard with a funky wah-wah sound underneath ... (Soul CD)
Cordial (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s.
A long-overdue full length album from Family Of Swede – not a group from Stockholm, but a funky soul combo that worked in Oakland in the late 70s, but only ever managed to issue one single at the time! This set brings together a nice batch of unreleased music by the group – finally ... (Soul CD)
A Chahine & Fils/BBE (UK), 1979.
A really fantastic little record – and one that's even better than you might expect from the title – which itself is already pretty darn fantastic! The set is upbeat and funky, but not entirely disco – more this very groovy blend of Mid-East elements and more familiar keyboards ... (Global Grooves CD)
Blue Note/Slow Down Sounds, 1961. (reissue)
A beautiful little session from one of the greatest guitarists ever! The album's part of Blue Note's tendency to "churchify" Grant Green on some albums – giving his guitar a gospelly groove that has some nicely soulful connotations – but it's also a record that's maybe the ... (Jazz LP)
Universal (UK), 2019.
A brilliant blast from The Comet Is Coming – their second album on Impulse in less than a year – and it's as exciting as anything they've done so far! Their core vibe of mixing spiritual jazz with electronic experimentation is here in full force, but they take it new directions. While ... (Jazz CD)
Three Blind Mice/Craftman (Japan), 1973.
Torchy vocals from singer Mari Nakamoto – sung in English, and graced with some really lovely arrangements! The tunes are mostly standards, and Mari's presentation is traditionally torchy – but the backings have a lightly swinging quality that features some of the great touches the ... (Vocalists CD)
Aartrud (France), 1975. (reissue)
Some of the earliest work we've ever seen from Steven Halpern, and some of the best – a mid 70s set that predates some of his better-known new age records of later years – and which has a sound that's maybe a bit more compressed and focused overall! Steven's still playing plenty of ... (Jazz LP)
BCW, Mid 70s.
A tremendous album from a totally hip Philly soul group of the 70s – the kind of quartet who would have been huge, had they recorded in another city – but whose genius was most likely eclipsed by the superstars that were stuffing the Philadelphia scene at the time! These guys have a ... (Soul CD)
Cherry Red (UK), 1982.
The standout classic from Sad Lovers & Giants – one of the more arty bands of the postpunk generation, as if you couldn't guess that from their name! The group still share some of the tuneful qualities of their contemporaries, and a number of songs here are almost creeping towards ... (Rock CD)
A hefty collection of funky numbers from the Daptone Records label – long-trusted source of sounds from the contemporary underground – and nicely evolving past their roots in recent years! Titles include "Ephra" and "The Proposition" by Budos Band, "Dancer's ... (Deep Funk LP)
Trost (Austria), 2020.
Three musicians who have a really great way of improvising together – sounds that almost make you feel like one player tripped, and the other two decided to follow – falling through sonic space with all these happy accidents in music – yet somehow making complete sense as they ... (Jazz CD)
Hot Casa (France), 2020. (pic cover)
A great little funky single from Franck Biyong – part of his continuing evolution and growth as one of the leading lights in the contemporary Afro Funk underground – an artist who's really moved past some of the slavish styles of years behind! Franck adds in both live drums and rhythm ... (New Grooves 12-inch)
Sonet/Grapefruit (UK), 1970s. 6CD
The lost legacy of Brett Marvin & The Thunderbirds – a group whose name might make them sound like slavish 50s rockers, but who actually have a fantastic amount blues energy at their core! The group began like many Brit acts of the 60s – trying hard to replicate the best styles of ... (Rock CD)
Madlib Invazion, 2020. 2CD
A masterful duo project from Madlib & Oh No – Madlib on the beats and younger brother Oh No on the mic, 2 independent hip hop heavies still riding a creative peak after a couple decades in the game! The Professionals moniker is more than earned here. Madlib has been one of the most ... (Hip Hop CD)
Victor (Japan), 2019.
The cover image is maybe a bit more cosmic than usual for this hip Japanese jazz group – and the sound within definitely follows suit, and maybe makes the album one of the most compelling we've heard from Soil & Pimp Sessions in years! We've loved these guys right from the start, and ... (New Grooves CD)
Tabansi/BBE (UK), Late 70s.
One of the most rootsy albums ever issued by the Tabansi label – a set that's quite different than their more familiar electric modes, and which features very raw, tribal sounds by a percussion group that is tied to the Niri Kingdom in Nigeria! As you'd guess from their name, the ensemble is ... (Global Grooves CD)
Soul Jazz (UK), Late 60s. 2LP Gatefold
A fantastic collection of sounds from the Nigerian scene at the end of the 60s – music in the apala mode, a highly rhythmic blend of percussion, voices, and thumb piano – served up with a style that's a lot grittier than some of the more commercial music of the time! These tracks are ... (Global Grooves LP)
Lion, Early 70s.
Fantastic sounds from a Colorado trio who only existed for a few short years at the start of the 70s – and worked in this wicked blend of fuzz and freak, acid and heavy – all with a sound that's really incredible, given the homemade nature of these recordings! The tracks here aren't ... (Rock LP)
Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1986.
A nicely biting session from Japanese pianist Fumio Itabashi – a set that rounds out his trio with guest alto sax and guitar on a few of the cuts, which makes for a fuller, more driven sound overall! There's definitely a soulful groove to the set – kind of an 80s soulbop mode overall ... (Jazz CD)
Bear Family (Germany), Late 50s/Early 60s.
The kids on the cover might look pretty mainstream, but the sounds on the record are in the best tradition of rockabilly and hillbilly styles of the Bear Family label! The set's overflowing with romping little gems that work equally well far from a dancefloor filled with gals in skirts and guys in ... (Rock CD)
Universal/Get On Down, 2002. 2LP Gatefold (reissue)
A tough title to live up to – but Raphael makes it happen! The album's as wonderful as you might think – all the deeply soulful styles Saadiq worked out with Tony Toni Tone, taken back through a historical range of soul music – firmly planted in a legacy that begins with Stevie ... (Neo Soul LP)
Original Music/Take It Acid Is, 1987. (reissue)
A set of recordings made in the Somali city of Baraawe, which is a bit south of Mogadishu – all done in the late 80s, but with a quality that sounds far more timeless and ancient! The instrumentation is all acoustic – mostly vocals and a single stringed instrument – used in ways ... (Global Grooves LP)
Ace (UK), Late 60s.
A really great collection of work – one that shows the strong influence of Belgian songwriting genius on the music of Scott Walker! Scott emerged from the poppy Walker Brothers with a series of albums in the late 60s – records that are now well-respected classics that showed a much ... (Rock CD)
Antibalas take a page from the Wu-Tang book, and add a little kung fu action to their music – with results that maybe make this set one of their freshest in years! All the core energy of the group is very firmly in place – that razor-sharp instrumentation that's made these guys one of ... (Global Grooves CD)
Black Saint (Italy), 1982. (reissue)
Richly complicated work from reedman John Carter – working here at a level that's a great change from his smaller combo work of the early years! Carter plays clarinet throughout – at the head of an octet with a very cerebral feel – a group who almost bring more of a serious music ... (Jazz LP)
Trio/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1977.
A beautiful Japanese-only album from guitarist Barney Kessel – one that captures the giant in a trio setting that's awash in wonderful colors and tones! Kessel's playing live – with Kunimitsu Inaba on bass and Tetsujiroh Obara on drums – and the trio has this very open, gently ... (Jazz CD)
Trio/Muzak (Japan), 1974.
One of the greatest jazz vocal albums of all time – and one of the first true moments of genius from a young Dee Dee Bridgewater! The album's a Japanese only release (proof that they're always hipper to our jazz artists than we are!) – and it features Dee Dee singing material that's ... (Vocalists CD)
Paula/Real Gone, 1972. (reissue)
One of the best soul records to come out on the Paula label in the early 70s – one with a number of beautifully soulful moments – and a few surprisingly funky ones, too! Although Bobby Patterson did a lot of work for other singers, this is one of the few albums he actually cut under ... (Soul LP)
Record Kicks (Italy), 2020.
Calibro 35 have certainly gained momentum in our book – as the group's given us more than a few albums over the years, and just keep sounding better and better with each new one! This set has the group still strongly in their core territory of Italian soundtrack and sound library funk – ... (New Grooves CD)
Motown/Real Gone, Late 60s/Early 70s. 2CD
A fantastic collection of work from Sondra "Blinky" Williams – a hell of a soul singer who recorded a fair bit for Motown Records at the end of the 60s and start of the 70s – but an artist whose music ended up mostly spending the next few decades in the label's vaults! Yet ... (Soul CD)
Athens Of The North (UK), 1979.
LaRombe Baker hails from Philly, but he's best known for his late 70s work on the LA scene – a place where he was continually bubbling under, but never fully got the chance he deserved! Hearing this set, it's clear that LaRombe was one of the great almost-rans of his generation – an ... (Soul CD)
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1982.
Beautiful later work from Woody Shaw – perfectly honed, in the soaring, stretching, soulful exploratory style of his best work in the 70s! The group's a quartet with Mulgrew Miller on piano, Stafford James on bass, Tony Reedus on drums, and Steve Turre joining Woody in the frontline – ... (Jazz CD)
Schema (Italy), 2020.
Maybe the best album we've ever heard from Dining Rooms – a set that has the group moving way past just makers of seductive grooves, into wider, fuller territory that definitely puts them at the top shelf level we love from the best at Schema Records! The album balances some of their earlier ... (New Grooves CD)
The Project K here is a reference to Korea – a culture that saxophonist Jim Snidero has been engaging with for the past few decades, and which takes a very strong form here in his music! The album is one of Snidero's most compelling in years – and features a group that's already great ... (Jazz CD)
CID/Far Out (UK), Early 70s. (reissue)
Fast funk and groovy grooves – a really great album of psychedelic tunes from Brazil! The Cry Babies serve up a sound that's beyond compare – American funk and soul influences played on organ, guitar, and sax, filtered through some really wild post-Tropicalia production! The result is ... (Brazil LP)
Fabrizio Bosso & Spiritual Trio
Warner (Italy), 2020.
A very groovy record from Italian trumpet legend Fabrizo Bosso – one that features a group referred to as his Spiritual Trio, but a combo that's maybe got more of a soul jazz vibe overall – as the lineup features Alberto Marsico on organ and Alessandro Mnetto on drums! The spare format ... (Jazz CD)
Ultra Vybe/Takt (Japan), 1969.
The album's got a sexy little cover – but that's no surprise, considering that the record's a late 60s "Playboy Manual" from Japan! The format is quite weird – as each track begins with some Japanese spoken bits from Norio Maeda, possibly on the art of seduction – and ... (Jazz CD)
Finders Keepers (UK), Late 60s. (pic cover)
Funky sounds and offbeat grooves from an obscure French adult film of the late 60s – directed by Jean Rollin under a fake name, and scored by Pierre Raph with the same sort of charm as his work for Requiem For A Vampire! This EP features a number of different styles of sounds from the film ... (Funky 45's 7-inch)
Soul Japan (UK), 2019.
The first new album in many years from Portrait – and a great little set that shows a strong evolution of their early 90s groove! The group here just features original members Michael Angelo Saulsberry and Phillip Johnson – working with help from some new members and associates, but ... (Soul LP)
Malaco/Ultra Vybe (Japan), Late 70s/Early 80s.
You might know Malaco Records as a hotbed of deep soul during the 70s – but as the decade progressed, the southern label also really opened up to some of the warmer, more sophisticated styles that were brewing up north – all to create a magnificent sort of hybrid that really helped move ... (Funky Compilations CD)
Taste (Italy), 2019.
One of the most unusual albums we've ever heard from Italian pianist Enrico Intra – and that's saying a lot, given his legacy of creative sounds from the 70s onward! This set has Intra playing piano, but also has all the spacey elements you'd guess from the cover – a very unusual mix ... (Jazz LP)
Schema (Italy), 2020. (pic cover)
Two great Schema Records talents come together here in one sweet EP – the bossa-inspired vocals and acoustic guitar of Toco, mixed with the Latin-styled rhythms of Gerardo Frisina! The set begins with the long, lively "Tia Na Hora" – starting first with vocals from Toco, then ... (New Grooves 12-inch)
Cenacolo/Intervallo (Italy), 1983. (reissue)
Percussion and effects – wrapped up together beautifully in this rare Italian sound library set! The album's got a groove that's exactly what you'd expect from the title – acoustic percussion mixes with electronics that are sometimes spare and stark, sometimes production effects, and ... (Sound Library LP)
Enja/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1977.
A sweetly swinging seventies set from pianist Tommy Flanagan – one of those records that's a perfect balance between the bop-inspired dexterity of his work on the keyboard, and that undeniable warmth he always brought to his best recordings! Tommy's got maybe a bit more bite on the keys, ... (Jazz CD)
Columbia (Japan), 1970. Gatefold (reissue)
A definite head rocker here – a brilliant bit of funky jazz from Japan, and a record that beautifully balances acoustic and electric elements! Jiro Inagaki plays some heavy tenor and soprano sax on the record – working with a combo that includes electric guitar, electric bass, and ... (Jazz LP)
Poncho Sanchez is a genius – one of the leading lights of the west coast Latin scene at the end of the 70s, and a musician who's never failed to give us his best over the decades – so much so, that he may well be one of the few (along with Eddie Palmieri) who've continued to keep the ... (Jazz CD)
Strata East/Pure Pleasure (UK), 1972. 2LP Gatefold (reissue)
A searing live set from trumpeter Charles Tolliver – one of the few talents who could take his instrument into the kind of long-blown, beautifully open territory explored on a double length album like this! Tolliver maybe inherits a late Lee Morgan quality, but also opens up with the Woody ... (Jazz LP)
Ostinato (UK), Late 90s. Gatefold
A really amazing criss-cross of musical modes from the island of Cape Verde – a nation that already gave the world many musical hybrids over the years, but really knocked things out of the park with the electrified funana movement in the 90s! The sounds here are ancient at the core – ... (Global Grooves LP)
Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1975.
A lovely set of 70s jazz vocals – recorded by American singer Ann Young, with backing by a Japanese combo led by pianist Yuji Ohno! The sound is pretty darn soulful – tracks that range from modal groovers to mellow ballads, all sung by Ann with a really rich vocal approach, and backed ... (Vocalists CD)
Gondwana (UK), 2009.
Part of a fantastic legacy in spiritual jazz – music that was almost overlooked at the time, but went on to become the start of both a big wave of new energy on the UK scene of trumpeter Matthew Halsall, and a whole global generation as well! The album is Halsall's second, and follows ... (Jazz CD)
Malaco/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1982.
Sho-Nuff deepens their sound nicely for this second set for Malaco Records – still sticking in the lean club funk sound of their debut for the label – but also reaching a bit more on the lyrics and vocals too! Ballads show up a bit more than before, and almost evoke an old school group ... (Soul CD)
Columbia/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1960.
Hard driving jazz from the Japanese scene of the 50s! The album's one of the best recorded by Nobu Hara and the legendary Sharpes & Flats group – a really swinging set of big band jazz that drives with the power of some of the 60s recordings by the Clarke-Boland Big Band, and which ... (Jazz CD)
Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1969/1971.
A beautiful little CD – especially if you like dreamy French soundtrack work from the 60s! Kayo Ishu sings a variety of tunes from famous 60s soundtracks, but about a quarter of the set is work by the mighty Francis Lai – done in a moody, mellow style that's right in keeping with his ... (Vocalists CD)
Crashing The Party, Late 50s/Early 60s.
Think Rudy Ray Moore was only the king of 70s raunch? Think again – as Rudy has a heck of a long career, one that stretches back to the R&B years of the 50s! This set does a great job of looking back at that under-documented period of Rudy's career – and features a wonderful batch ... (Soul LP)
Union/Le Tres Jazz Club (France), 1978. (reissue)
Warm and wonderful work from pianist Hiromasa Suzuki – a real leading light in the Japanese trio scene of the 70s! The album's got a really wonderful vibe throughout – modes initially informed by a bit of Bill Evans, and maybe some Tommy Flanagan too – recorded with warm tones ... (Jazz LP)
Dusty Groove Gear, 2019.
The music at Dusty Groove goes way way way back, and here's a shirt that does the same – a lovely image that evokes the feel of a vintage phone book ad – simple, elegant, and very much to the point! The lines are lean, but the image is bold and striking – never overdone, with a ... (Clothing)