Soundway (UK), 1983. (reissue)
Odion Iruoje is billed as the "Sound President" on the cover – a title he definitely deserves, given the amazing sound of this set – which mixes early 80s Nigerian electro sounds with a bit of influence from hip hop too! Iruoje's completely comfortable in both mides – ... (Global Grooves)
Blue Note, 2016.
Derrick Hodge blows our mind yet again – and reminds us with this set that he's way more than just a bassist who's known for his earlier work with Robert Glasper! Instead, Hodge takes on a whole host of different instruments – and often provides most of the music on most of the tracks, ... (Jazz)
Tucxone (Spain), 2016.
An action-packed Afro Jazz and psych funk trip from Outer Space – a Catalan group who'd only been traveling the spaceways for a couple years leading up to this stellar set, but has the instinctive grooves and masterful interplay of a veteran act – all the more impressive given that the ... (Global Grooves)
Fantastic work from reedman Charles McPherson – a player who was really coming back to basics in the mid 70s, but also finding a way to stretch out with a sound that was different than his initial albums of a decade before! Charles has moved way past the straight bop that first got him ... (Jazz)
AOI, 2016. 2LP
A major later career creative win for De La Soul – a mind-bogglingly diverse, frequently brilliant record that manages to rival their best early work in stylistic breadth! This one's an epic – a 17 track, nearly 70 minute opus that finds De La working with an eclectic group of ... (Hip Hop)
Wax Poetics, 2016.
Wax Poetics goes deep into the legacies of hugely important heroes with dual cover features – with the increasingly legendary (and deservedly so) A Tribe Called Quest on the front and David Bowie on the back! The Tribe feature takes a thorough look at their debut People's Instinctive Travels ... (Magazines)
A hell of a great jazz guitarist – working here in a really wonderful setting – a live date that both lets Jimmy Raney hit some beautifully intimate moments out front, but also lets him swing a bit too – thanks to help from Sam Jones on bass and Leroy Williams on drums! Raney ... (Jazz)
Smoke Sessions, 2016.
A great little small group session from trombonist Steve Turre – one that has the leader working with a quartet on the core numbers, then getting some great guest help from tenorist Javon Jackson on some other titles too! The quartet numbers alone are wonderful – laidback, soulful, and ... (Jazz)
Heavenly Sweetness (Netherlands), 1970s. Gatefold
The fourth fantastic volume in this wonderful series – and maybe the best so far, as the Beach Diggin groove has extended past its familiar boundaries – to pick up rare soulful sounds from points all over the globe! The approach is wonderful – with a focus on slinky cuts that ... (Funky Compilations)
A great live set from pianist Barry Harris – material recorded on the same date that gave us the excellent Live In Tokyo album from reedman Charles McPherson – but done in a very different way that shows that Barry's clearly the leader on these tracks! The rhythm duo is wonderful ... (Jazz)
Dagored (Italy), 1966. (reissue)
A pretty obscure spaghetti western soundtrack from Nico Fidenco – a composer who's best known for his sleazier work in the 70s, but who's right at home here in the west! The style is perhaps a bit more serious scoring than some of Fidenco's later material – not much in the way of ... (Soundtracks)
Heavenly Sweetness (France), 2016.
Anthony Joseph just keeps on getting better and better, and even more interesting with each new record – to a point where the already-hip singer is really blowing our mind with music like this! The songs are longer, richer, and more deeply put together than some of Joseph's earlier work ... (New Grooves)
Polydor/Expansion (UK), 1978/1979.
A pair of overlooked female soul gems – back to back on a single CD! The first album is It Must Be Love – sweet late 70s modern soul from Alton McClain & Destiny – a great little female vocal trio with a sound that ranges from lightly funky with jazzy flourishes, to soaringly ... (Soul)
Steeplechase (Denmark), 2016.
A fantastic record from Italian pianist Federico Bonifazi – one that comes out of time recently spent in New York city, where he developed a fast friendship with bassist John Webber – whose work on the set really sounds tremendous! At some level, the record might be thought of as one ... (Jazz)
Expansion (UK), 2016.
A really wonderful title for this excellent little collection – as the package is overflowing with tremendous work from artists who've really held onto their soulful strengths over the years! Some of the artists are older ones, others are part of the Neo Soul underground of the past decade ... (Funky Compilations)
Pierre Dorge & New Jungle Orchestra
Steeplechase (Denmark), 2016.
Beautiful sounds from guitarist Pierre Dorge and his legendary Jungle Orchestra – a set that somehow has the group working at a level that's even more sensitive than before, while still hitting those offbeat rhythms and angular patterns that they do so well! Kirk Knuffke's in the group on ... (Jazz)
RCA/Schema (Italy), 1969. (reissue)
A journey into space with a wonderful sound – served up here as a set of cosmic instrumentals from Luciano Michelini, most of which have a pretty groovy vibe! The mix of 60s instrumentation, spacey touches, and light electric moments reminds us of Peter Thomas or Johnny Harris at their best ... (Sound Library)
Fantastic work from reedman Jim Snidero – wrapped up tight here in the frontline with trumpeter Alex Sipiagin, a pair who come off with a hell of a lot of focus and power right from the very first note! Sipiagin's horn provides this farther reach for Snidero's ideas – really pushing ... (Jazz)
Trojan (UK), 1969. (reissue)
A landmark album from Desmond Dekker – and a seminal slide of Jamaican music that really broke big on the global scene in the years before reggae! The set's a bit ska, a bit rocksteady, and completely sold all the way through – thanks to near-perfect production from Leslie Kong, who ... (Reggae)
Modern Harmonic, Late 60s/Early 70s. 2LP Gatefold
Really wonderful work from Margo Guryan – an artist who was probably known more as a songwriter than a singer – especially for her groovy late 60s pop tunes! This package is heavy on those gems – presented in these great demo takes that are nice and stripped-down – often ... (Rock)
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