Late summer grooves galore!
RCA/Vocalion (UK), 1973.
Three-dimensional magic from the great Jimmy Castor – an artist who'd already conquered the worlds of sweet soul, heavy funk, and Latin by the time of this release! Jimmy draws on all his rich background in the soul underground, and also seems to move with a new sort of sophistication, too ... (Soul)
Blue Erro Soul, 2017.
Eric Roberson's one of the few people who can make us fall in love again with his music from the very first note of a record – as he does here on the opening track, which is an incredibly soulful ode to the greatness of Clarie Huxtable! The set only gets better as it moves on – and ... (Neo Soul)
Soundway (UK), 1977. (reissue)
Rare Nigerian funk and soul from The Jay-U Experience! Rather than following Fela's or any other template for 70s Afro Funk or soul, the group does a pretty incredible job of mixing up styles into a unique hybrid, rooted in the above, touching on reggae and jazz, too, and all the while holding ... (Global Grooves)
Philips/Mr Bongo (UK), 1973.
One of the richest, most expressive albums ever from the great Gal Costa – a set from her immediate post-Tropicalia years, and one that shows that she's got a lot more to offer than just a wild sense of experimentation! Gilberto Gil is the musical director here – with help from Rogerio ... (Brazil)
Columbia/Vocalion (UK), 1974.
A really mindblowing collaboration between two of the most spiritual mainstream musicians of the early 70s – legendary guitarist Carlos Santana and spiritual jazz guru Alice Coltrane! The set came at a time when Santana was reaching for much deeper ideas in both his music and his personal ... (Jazz)
Some of the earliest work ever recorded by Lester Bowie as a leader – and a set that stands in importance right next to the early Delmark AACM sides by Anthony Braxton and Roscoe Mitchell! Plus, the album's almost an early Art Ensemble of Chicago effort, given the lineup – which ... (Jazz)
Transatlantic/Esoteric (UK), Late 60s/Early 70s. 3CD
A very cool look at the freakiest years of the legendary Transatlantic Records label – an important British imprint that was essential to blues and folk in the late 60s, but which also released some much trippier material too! The music here is a frenetic blend of jazz, folk, prog, and some ... (Rock)
State/Big Break (UK), Late 70s.
The classic first album from Delegation – a great male soul trio from the late 70s, and one who sound great on both sweet mellow tunes and more upbeat ones! Delegation have a sound that's quite unique, especially on this album – a groove with slightly tropical traces on some numbers, ... (Soul)
Studio One, 1971.
A legendary meeting of talents in the Studio One studios – the wickedly-grooving Soul Defenders and the heartbreakingly soulful Freddie McKay – both coming together here on an album that was an instant Studio One classic! The Soul Defenders have a slow-stepping groove with a nice ... (Reggae)
Saturn/Cosmic Myth, 1970.
A stone classic – and one of the wilder, more electronic albums from Sun Ra – a set that has him playing on "two moog synthesizers" – which both sound as if they're going at the same time! The rest of the group is quite small – with only John Gilmore, Marshall ... (Jazz)
Finders Keepers (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s.
The title's a pretty bold proclamation from Nahid Akhtar – but the album definitely supports the claim, thanks to a fierce combination of funky modes and Pakistani groove! The tracks here were all recorded for the Lollywood film world in Lahore – Pakistan's answer to Indian cinema at ... (Global Grooves)
Athens Of The North (UK), Late 70s.
An album that definitely lives up to its title – as it's been a well-kept secret for decades, since most of us have only heard the self-titled album by Raw Soul Express from the 70s! Turns out, these southern funk giants also had a whole other record in the can – finally getting a long- ... (Soul)
Agogo (Germany), 2017. 2LP Gatefold
It's hard not to love a band named after the oft-sampled jazz funk masterpiece by Bob James, but Japanese trio Nautilus brings the goods on their own terms! A core trio of bassist Shigeki Umezawa, keyboardist Daisuke Takeuchi and drummer Toshiyuki Sasaki, they put a really great timeless spin on ... (Deep Funk)
Mass Appeal, 2017.
Good stuff from the always inspired, never predictable DJ Shadow! He's creative boundaries here, and also recalling the vibe of his classic era here – all the while inspiring disparate, equally guest collaborators! He gets assists from top notch MCs both legendary and contemporary in Nas and ... (Hip Hop)
Silva Screen, 1970. (reissue)
A very groovy action-based score from composer Piero Piccioni – one of his few non-Italian soundtracks from the time! The music was recorded in swinging London at the end of the 60s – and it's got a mod sound that's very groovy, with Hammond and horns and guitar and electric bass all ... (Soundtracks)
Dub Store (Japan), Late 60s.
Harmony soul from the Jamaican scene of the 60s – served up here in a host of hardcore production from the great Winston Riley! The grooves definitely show the style of Kingston, but the vocals almost echo the best of the indie soul scene in the US – that sophisticated harmony approach ... (Reggae)
Soulmusic.com (UK), 1977/1985. 2CD
A pair of later Motown efforts by the Mack himself – with 1977's Having A House Party, the last album in his original deal with the the legendary label, plus his mid 80s Motown comeback Making A Game Out Of Love – in a 2CD set with bonus tracks! Willie does indeed have nice little funky ... (Soul)
Buked & Scorned, Early 60s.
Fantastic work from Reverend Lonnie Farris – one of the key proponents of "sacred steel" guitar – the use of the mostly-country instrument in the setting of soulful gospel! Farris works the instrument in ways that are sometimes familiar, sometimes almost more like the use of ... (Gospel)
Detroit Gospel Reissue Project, Mid 70s.
Totally wonderful work from this obscure Detroit group – a quintet of very young gospel singers, and one that gets some wicked work on electric guitar as well! The music has a vibe that's every bit what you'd expect from the cover – very raw, and at-home – with that guy on his ... (Gospel)
Preservation (UK), 1980.
Fantastic work from Thelma Houston – material recorded in 1980, but never issued at the time – and maybe even better than most of Thelma's own records from the period! The tracks were recorded at Muscle Shoals, with tight production by Clayton Ivey and Terry Woodford – in a way ... (Soul)
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