Not a live album – as you might think from the title – but a tight batch of tunes that shows the full funk and soul talents of the legendary Esther Phillips! The album's got a nicely dark undercurrent at times – a sound that's not as smooth as some of Esther's other Kudu albums ... (Soul, Vocalists)read moreCD
(Part of the CTI 50th Anniversary Special Collection!)
The great Gregory Porter in a very different setting than usual – working here with larger backings from an entire orchestra, as part of the album's tribute to Nat King Cole during his glory days at Capitol Records! The style here isn't the King Cole Trio vibe of the mid 40s, but instead ... read moreCD
A great set of mellow soul from the start of the 80s – not the Positive Force of "We Got The Funk" fame, but a different groove that has a nicely smooth groove! The style here is halfway between soul and AOR, but handled with an indie charm that really keeps things compelling ... (Soul, Vocalists)read moreCD
Chico's our kinda singer – a small combo jazz pianist who also vocalizes while playing – in a style that reminds us a bit of Matt Dennis at the time! Chico's got a warm, honest voice – no Sinatra on the pipes, but an easygoing style that we really love – especially as it ... read moreCD
Lou Rawls —
Soulin' ... CD Capitol/Elemental (France), 1966. New Copy Gatefold ...
One of the best albums that Lou Rawls cut with the team of HB Barnum and David Axelrod – that incredible duo who made some of his 60s Capitol albums so great! The style here is wonderful – upbeat grooves from Barnum – who brings more soul into Lou's music than before – ... (Soul, Vocalists)read moreCD
An album of sophisticated ballads from the young Della Reese – of the sort that show why the singer was such a standout right from the start! Della's got phrasing here that's sophisticated, but never in a way that trips up the sense of feeling she brings to the tunes – and, without the ... read moreCD
Jimmy Ricks —
Vibrations ... CD Mainstream/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1965. New Copy ...
A fantastic solo showcase for the voice of Jimmy Ricks – a singer who's perhaps known best for the deep tones he brought to The Ravens vocal group – but who sounds pretty great here on his own! The album's more jazz than soul – with Don Sebesky conducting, and using some nice ... (Soul, Vocalists)read moreCD
(Part of the Mainstream Records Master Collection!)
Jamison Ross is a drummer at heart, but he's also turning into a hell of a singer who seems ready to help the music of New Orleans find a great new space of its own – as he works here in a sweet small combo set that mixes his voice with grooves that draw together strong currents of classic ... read moreCD
The last album ever recorded by the legendary Jimmy Scott – the jazz singer who first recorded in the 50s, then spent decades in obscurity – only to be revived to great fame in the last 20 years of his life! This album's a wonderful tribute to Jimmy – as it features the singer's ... read moreCD
Gil Scott-Heron —
1980 ... CD Arista/Soul Brother (UK), 1980. New Copy ...
A great one from Gil Scott-Heron – and another wonderful collaboration with Brian Jackson – who handled all the arrangements on this set, and gave the record that sweet jazzy sound that makes Gil's work from this time some of his best ever! There's loads of excellent electric piano ... (Soul, Vocalists)read moreCD
A 70s soul classic – and the closest that Gil Scott-Heron ever came to having a hit! The album's best known for its anthemic classic "Johannesburg" – one of the first popular tunes to really push the cause of a free South Africa – but the whole album's a winner, filled ... (Soul, Vocalists)read moreCD
Our favorite-ever album from Gil Scott-Heron – and a set that we'd easily rank as one of our favorite soul records of the 70s! The mix of modes is mindblowing right from the start – as Gil's poetry comes into play with his growing talents as a singer, and his warm sensibility for jazz ... (Soul, Vocalists)read moreCD
Gil Scott-Heron —
Real Eyes ... CD Arista/Soul Brother (UK), 1980. New Copy ...
One of Gil Scott-Heron's best albums from later years! The record's got some wonderful mellow cuts – the kind that send chills up our spine, and which remind us of Gil's stripped-down jazzy work on the album Winter In America. And in fact, Gil does an excellent remake of the classic track ... (Soul, Vocalists)read moreCD
A set that wasn't initially conceived as a full album by Gil Scott-Heron – but one that's come to be an essential part of his catalog, thanks to the always-relevant title theme! The album's actually a classic collection of work from the early years of Gil Scott-Heron at the Flying Dutchman ... (Soul, Vocalists)read moreCD
A fantastic collection of early work from the legendary Nina Simone – singles that were originally issued by the Colpix label at the start of the 60s – a company who really let Nina find her own space in music! The sounds here really show the important transition Nina took over her ... read moreCD
An unusual look at the earliest work of singer Nina Simone – as the set presents all her original Bethlehem Records 45s – all in their rare mono mixes! The tracks here were all issued as singles, but almost all of them came from the sessions for the album Jazz As Played In An Exclusive ... read moreCD
Nina sings Ellington – but as always, she makes whatever she sings all her own! The album's a bit straighter than later efforts – with large backings by Stu Phillips that also feature vocals by the Malcolm Dodds Singers – but Nina also conceived the whole thing herself, as an ... read moreCD
Only Nina could make us love a "strings" setting so much – moving past the sleepiness that usually graces such vocal albums, and using the backings to give her work an added level of majesty and power that we really really love! The feel is a bit like some of Nina's later Philips ... read moreCD
A very rare evening indeed – a sweet little live set recorded by Nina Simone during her soulful height at RCA – but issued years after that time, and only briefly on a small indie label! The setting here is wonderful – a small combo in the background with the great Weldon Irvine ... read moreCD
A long-overdue full length album from Ranny Sinclair – a very cool 60s singer who recorded for Columbia Records with a very groovy style – including a few obscure tracks done with piano legend Dave Brubeck! The sound here is beautiful – breathy at times, with some bossa currents ... read moreCD
Singers Unlimited & Art Van Damme —
Invitation ... CD MPS/Edel (Germany), 1973. New Copy ...
One of the coolest albums ever cut by the Singers Unlimited – thanks to great instrumentation from the mighty Art Van Damme! Art plays accordion – in a way that works perfectly with the banks of sound and sweetness we love from the group – an instrument whose own breathy tones ... read moreCD
Stanislaw Sojka —
Blublula ... CD Polskie Nagrania (Poland), 1981. New Copy ...
Wicked stuff – and a vocalist we'd love to know more about! Stan's a hip Polish singer with a really wonderful sound – an open-ended 70s approach that draws on influences from Leon Thomas and Mark Murphy, yet which also has a gutsy quality that's all its own – personal and ... read moreCD
Dusty Springfield continues her exploration of American soul begun with the Dusty In Memphis album – but this time around, she's headed for Philly, where she gets to work with the Gamble & Huff production team! In a way, we like this work even better than Dusty's better-known Memphis ... read moreCD
A jazz vocalist with a great blend of classic roots and contemporary soul – working here in a mix of her own original tunes and some well-chosen standards! Laurin's sense of lyric is very personal – spun out with a richness that's immediately apparent, and underscored by some warm ... read moreCD
Molly Tentarelli is quite a soulful singer – one who definitely lives up to her placement on the Atlanta label – as she reminds us of some of the great recent soul talents we've heard from that city! There's a nicely organic quality to the instrumentation here – a real band, with ... (Neo Soul, Vocalists)read moreCD
A wonderful live performance by vocalist Leon Thomas – and a set that seems to link together both his own excellent solo material of the time, and his key Impulse recordings with Pharoah Sanders! The group here is a small one – with the wonderful Oliver Nelson on alto sax, showing off ... read moreCD
(Part of the Flying Dutchman 1000 Master Collection!)
One of Mel Torme's hippest albums of the 60s – and a strong shift towards more swinging material after some of his mellower work for other labels! There's a bit of electric piano in the mix, and plenty of that Atlantic records pop/soul jazz approach – a take on soul jazz that's similar ... read moreCD
A very cool collection of female bossa nova records – one that really goes way past the usual! First up is Bossa Classica by Caterina Valente – a German singer by birth, but one who was really open to new styles from around the world – including lots of jazz, Latin, and Brazilian ... (Brazil, Vocalists)read moreCD
One of the grooviest Verve albums of all time – a rare American session from Brazilian legend Marcos Valle – and his only US album to feature vocals! The album's even dreamier than Valle's early bossa sides from Brazil – and the setting has some nice Verve-like touches from ... (Brazil, Vocalists)read moreCD
Sarah Vaughan —
Feelin Good ... CD Mainstream/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1972. New Copy ...
Sarah Vaughn hit a very groovy new style on her handful of records for the Mainstream label in the early 70s – a new approach that offered her amazing voice a way to stretch out with some of the new sophistication of the time! The arrangements are still jazz, but they've taken a direction ... read moreCD
A 70s set from Sarah Vaughan, but one that's recorded in a classic small combo mode – acoustic overall, and a bit of a change from her other sessions for Mainstream Records! The date's a live one, and the tracks are taken at a looser level than some of Vaughan's studio work – a bit ... read moreCD
(Part of the Mainstream Records Master Collection!)
Fantastic Roulette Records material from Sarah Vaughan – and exactly the kind of set that demonstrates the new level of maturity she hit at the label! The cover and title might make you expect a Wee Small Hours sort of record, but the approach is more varied, and really shows off all of ... read moreCD
The title's no lie – as Sarah Vaughan sings here in some very soulful company – thanks to arrangements from Gerald Wilson, which make this record one of the standout from her years on Roulette Records! The other players aren't listed, but they're clearly the kind of top-shelf bunch ... read moreCD
A fantastic 70s album from the great Sarah Vaughan – maybe one of her best small combo sessions of the decade – and a set that also makes room for some great instrumental contributions too! As you'd guess from the title, the group features the great Jimmy Rowles on piano – having ... read moreCD
Groovy sounds from the Vernons Girls – a larger choir who were originally created in support of a Liverpool football team – but who shrunk to a trio by the early 60s, when they recorded some very rocking material! That latter sound of the group is our favorite here – and the set ... (Rock, Vocalists)read moreCD
Ellen Andrea Wang —
Blank Out ... CD Jazzland (Norway), 2017. New Copy ...
Compelling vocal work from Ellen Andrea Wang – a singer who also plays acoustic bass alongside her lyrics, which seems to unlock a jazzy current in the music! Wang's a new addition to the Jazzland label – and like some of the imprint's other work, there's a real genre-bending style ... (Rock, Vocalists)read moreCD
Kenny Washington —
Moanin ... CD Storyville (Denmark), 2017. New Copy ...
Not the jazz drummer Kenny Washington, but a singer with the same name – really stretching out nicely here in a live set recorded in Copenhagen! Kenny's got a warm glow to his style, which gets a nice edge on the long performances here – recorded with an overseas trio that features ... read moreCD
A later set from the great Jimmy Webb – the crucial late 60s songwriter who created so many hits for other people before finally stepping out on his own! Jimmy's got a sound here that's a bit like his late 70s albums on Atlantic – well-produced, with maybe an undercurrent of soul ... (Rock, Vocalists)read moreCD
Andy Williams like you've never heard him before – singing jazz, and doing a hell of a job of it, too! Sure, Andy was known as a mainstream singer from his TV show of the 60s – but he could also work well in a jazz mode, too – especially with great small combo backing like this! ... read moreCD
Joe Williams & Harry Sweets Edison —
Together ... CD Roulette/Warner (Japan), 1961. New Copy ...
A gem of a record from this pair of Basie-ites – one that allows Joe Williams to hit some different modes than on his fuller records with the Count – set up here in a nicely relaxed groove with trumpeter Harry Sweets Edison! Arrangements are by Ernie Wilkins, but are more laidback than ... read moreCD
A soundtrack for a very silly movie – and one of the oddest albums ever recorded by the great Paul Williams – who both sings and stars in the movie as the phantom in the title! The tunes have a surprisingly heartfelt quality that really comes out when you hear them away from the movie ... read moreCD
Five full Blue Note albums from singer Cassandra Wilson – all packaged here in tiny LP-styled sleeves! First up is Blue Light Til Dawn – a beautiful early album from Cassandra Wilson – a singer who already had a really deep sound, right at the start – and definitely hit her ... read moreCD
Norma Winstone won us on this album right away – with a leadoff take on Michel Legrand's "His Eyes Her Eyes" – which is then followed by a range of well-selected songs from film soundtracks! In keeping with Winstone's long legacy in music, the choices and presentation are ... read moreCD
One of the greatest albums ever from vocalist Norma Winstone – a set that really helps bring her talents into sharp focus! Like Karin Krog, Annette Peacock, Sheila Jordan, and other female jazz singers of her generation, Winstone was always pushing the boundaries of her craft – taking ... read moreCD
Diane Witherspoon —
Live ... CD Life Force Jazz, 2016. New Copy ...
A very hip singer, and one of the most righteous jazz vocal albums we've heard in while! Diane Witherspoon has family ties to Jimmy Witherspoon, but her style here is completely different – in that mode of jazz singing that's way past torch, way past standards, and in much hipper territory ... read moreCD
Early work from Jimmy Witherspoon – but the kind of sides that show that Jim had something different to offer, even from the start! The music's partly in the hip R&B mode of LA in the postwar years, but there's also a deeper sort of sound too – a bit of jazz swinging amidst the ... (Blues, Vocalists)read moreCD
Lizz Wright —
Grace ... CD Concord, 2017. New Copy ...
Lizz Wright teams up with producer Joe Henry on a tribute to the grace of the American south – on a record that may well be her strongest to date! The set's got a warm core that really suits Wright's vocals – and the strength of her presentation here is so rich, she hardly needs any ... (Neo Soul, Vocalists)read moreCD
Very unusual work from Polish jazz singer Marianna Wroblewska – who works here in two nicely different modes! Marianna sings in English throughout – and side one mostly has her working through American standards, but which come across in a very unusual way, given her accent – ... read moreCD
Emily Yancy —
Yancy ... CD Mainstream/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1965. New Copy ...
A great set from a cool, classy jazz singer who should have had much more success – at least given the strength of this rare album from the 60s! Emily Yancy works in a mixture of uptown poise and downtown swing – stepping out front of arrangements by Don Sebesky, who's very much up for ... read moreCD
(Part of the Mainstream Records Master Collection!)
A really cool set that looks at the rise of late 50s beatnik culture from a variety of different styles – not just the jazz and poetry that marked that scene's biggest contribution to music – but also the wealth of modes that inspired those years too! The 3CD package features a ... read moreCD
Harry Nilsson may be best-remembered for a hit that he sang penned by Fred Neill – but the man himself was a hell of a songwriter in the 60s – with an incredible approach to a tune that was unlike any of his contemporaries! Nilsson could be both sweet and nostalgic and slightly wry at ... (Rock, Vocalists)read moreCD
Raw, raunchy sounds – all pulled together from a time before soul and rock even existed! Most of the work here is from the classic catalog of King Records – a killer imprint in the postwar R&B market, and a company who wasn't afraid to do what it took to make a knockout record! In ... (Soul, Vocalists)read moreCD
The sexy sound of Soho at the start of the 60s – served up here in a host of mostly British singles that have been lost for years! The selection is one of the grooviest in this line of cool compilations from St Etienne – filled with obscure vocal and instrumental tunes that mix ... read moreCD
The fab sound of London in the postwar years – a set of cooking cuts from the Soho scene, served up from a time when the city was finally getting back its steam! The music here is a really hip array of modes – a bit of jazz, Latin, rock instrumental, and more – used in tunes that ... read moreCD