Amazing work from the early, legendary years of Billy Eckstine – that time when he was fronting one of the hippest backing groups a vocalist could hope to have! Eckstine's voice was already becoming the stuff of legend by the time of these recordings – but thanks to contributions from a host of famous boppers, his band was getting equal fame, too – a really legendary lineup that includes such greats as Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie,Kenny Dorham, and Fats Navarro on trumpets; Wardell Gray, Dexter Gordon, and Gene Ammons on tenor; Leo Parker on baritone; Art Blakey on drums; and many other huge names too! The band was virtually a school for a whole generation of jazzmen to come – allowing them to play together, get to know each other, and spin off in important small groups – much in the way the Kenton group a few years later allowed so much development on the west coast. And amidst all this great music, Billy's vocals have never sounded better – much bolder and hard-swinging than in later years! LP, Vinyl record album
Holy cow! Although some of Leonard Nimoy's albums were attempts to "get past" his Spock career, this one is a full-on Star Trek experience! Nimoy's on the cover, holding a replica of The Enterprise in front of some weird spider web design. On the wax, he's laying down great space stuff, like "Alien", "Twinkle Twinkle Little Earth", and "Visit to a Sad Planet". LP, Vinyl record album
A tasty compilation of Leon Thomas' work for the Flying Dutchman label – work that's clearly his best over the years, and which retains the original style of spiritual soul jazz that he pioneered with Pharoah Sanders. The groove here runs from open-ended soul jazz to some tighter numbers that have Leon singing in a hip soul style – and titles include his great reworking of "Song For My Father", plus "China Doll", "The Creator Has A Master Plan", "Boom Boom Boom", and "Let The Rain Fall On Me". LP, Vinyl record album
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 his more spiritual side here in ways that didn't always happen on other records of the period – in a quintet lineup that also features piano, bass, drums, and some nice extra conga work! Some material has Thomas really stretching out and getting spiritual – as on the remakes of the Sanders numbers "The Creator Has A Master Plan" and "Pharaoh's Tune (The Journey)" – and then he even gets a bit more avant and outside on the track "Umbo Weti", then moves to straighter bebop vocalese on a sweet take on "Straight No Chaser". A great record – and one that really sums up his genius! LP, Vinyl record album
(White label promo. Cover has a promo stamp, light wear, and a date in pencil.)
Roland makes a nod towards tradition – as he seemed to be doing often in the later years of his life – and he welcomes the great Al Hibbler into the studio for a true "meeting of the times". Hibbler's one of our favorite vocalists from the early 50s, but mixing him with Kirk is a strange approach. Oddly, though, the set works – thanks mostly to Hibbler's insistence on keeping things straight. Titles include "Something About Believing", "Daybreak", and "Carney & Begarnd Place". Plus, the album also features one track – "Dream" – which has Leon Thomas on vocals instead of Hibbler. (Jazz, Vocalists)LP, Vinyl record album
Stanislaw Sojka —
Blublula ... LP Polskie Nagrania (Poland), 1981. New Copy (reissue)...
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 spontaneous, in a way that almost makes you feel that Stan's making the tunes up on the spot. The album's a quartet session led by pianist Wojciech Karolak, and doesn't look like much at first, but the way Stan puts the songs over is incredible – gently grooving and bluesing with the backings, not really scatting, but really working the tones in a way that we've never heard from another singer. One of the highlights of the set is a great version of Gary Bartz's "I've Known Rivers", and other tunes include versions of "Blue Monk", "Doxy", "Naima", and "All Blues". LP, Vinyl record album
Dwight Trible with Matthew Halsall —
Inspirations ... LP Gondwana (UK), 2017. New Copy 2LP ...
A fantastic setting for the voice of Dwight Trible – one of the few contemporary jazz singers who inherited the style of spiritual jazz greats like Leon Thomas or Joe Lee Wilson! Trible's singing here with backing from a group that includes trumpeter Matthew Halsall, recording on Halsall's own label too – a wonderful imprint that's also one of the few to really get the spiritual vibe just right – that sort of long-flowing, always-soulful mode that grew out of the post-Coltrane generation! Tracks are all open and modal – just the right vibe for Trible to hit his heights – and they also leave plenty of space for Halsall to take some great solos, too – in a combo that also includes piano, bass, drums, and even a bit of harp. Most titles are remakes of older numbers, but given a completely different spin by Trible – and titles include "Tryin Times", "What The World Needs Now Is Love", "Black Is The Color Of My True Love's Hair", "Heaven & Hell", "Feelin Good", and "Dear Lord". LP, Vinyl record album
A gem of a record from Nancy Wilson – and further proof that some of her best moments come from her late 70s years at Capitol Records! This set's done in close collaboration with Larry Farrow – who wrote, arranged, and produced most of the set – in the same warm modern vibe that Nancy hit with her seminal Life, Love, & Harmony album – a mode that draws on all her roots in jazz, but which pushes things with this new sort of flow that really works magic with the vocals! The tunes are mature, but grooving – at a level that goes past any easy cliches for the clubs, and which firmly place Wilson at that special level she belongs. Titles include the sublime originals "Take My Love" and "Let's Hold On To Love" – and a version of Leon Ware's "I Loved You All The Time" – plus "Someone Else", "Welcome Home", "Bows", and "I'm Coming Home". LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has a cutout hole & light wear.)
Maria Monti with Steve Lacy & Alvin Curran —
Il Bestiario ... LP Ri Fi/Unseen Worlds, 1974. New Copy ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
Other-worldly sounds from Italian singer Maria Monti – working here with lots of help from avant genius Alvin Curran and jazz legend Steve Lacy! Curran handled the arrangements, and comes up with these moody electronic backdrops on a few pieces that remind us a bit of Terry Riley – while Lacy brings in a warmer sound on his soprano saxophone lines, balancing things out with more soulful elements! Maria herself has a very striking style – maybe somewhere between Nico and Lotte Lenya, depending on the tune – and the instrumentation also includes guitar from Luca Balbo and Tony Ackerman, and baritone sax from Roberto Laneri. Titles include "Il Pavone", "Dove", "No No No No", "Lo Zoo", "Il Letargo", "I Camaleonti", and "Aria Terra Acqua E Fuoco". LP, Vinyl record album