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Close matches: 18
Close matches1
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Maynard FergusonBallad Style Of Maynard Ferguson/Alive & Well In London ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), 1972. New Copy ... $10.99
A pair of Columbia classics from trumpeter Maynard Ferguson – back to back on a single CD! First up is an album titled Ballad Style, but there's no sleepy ballads here – thanks to hip backings from British arranger Keith Mansfield – who also worked with Maynard Ferguson on some of his MF Horn sessions! As with other work of the time, Mansfield manages to keep things moving along nicely, even when mellow – and he mixes his own arrangements with orchestrations conducted by Alan Moorehouse that have some of the groovier touches of late 60s Brit Easy – even a very slight hint of a groove at the bottom of some tunes. The music is definitely in a ballad mode, but never as sleepy as you might think – and titles include "Girl Talk", "Born Free", "You Only Live Twice", "Sound Of Silence", "As Long As He Needs Me", and "The Impossible Dream". Alive & Well is equally groovy – funky big band material at its best – with hard-grooving arrangements from Brit talents who include John Cameron, Kenny Wheeler, and Keith Mansfield – all of whom mix together key elements of sound library funk with enough pure jazz to make Maynard sound great throughout. Tunes include some great groovy covers – "Move Over", "Aquarius", "My Sweet Lord", "Your Song", and "Living In The Past" – plus Mansfield's own "The Serpent". CD

Close matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Eric GaleBlue Horizon/Island Breeze ... CD
Elektra/BGO (UK), 1982/1983. New Copy ... $15.99
Smooth fusion from guitarist Eric Gale – 2 80s albums for Elektra, back to back on one CD! Island Breeze has a sound that lives up to its name – one with slight tropical touches in the rhythms and the instrumentation, and a way of recording Gale's guitar that brings out a bit more brightness in the tone. Arrangements are by Bob James and Jimmy Kachulis – and titles include "Boardwalk", "We'll Make It", "Island Breeze", "Dark Romance", and "I Know That's Right". Blue Horizon is a bit more focused – a record with a style that's still relatively smooth, yet a bit more in the mode that we like on Gale's 70s work. The core group features some nice keyboards from Peter Schott and drums from Freddie Waits – and Hugh Masekela guests on flugelhorn on a bit of the album. Tracks have a solidly fusion-based approach, yet are relaxedly soulful, never with too much jamming – and titles include "When Tokyo", "Clock A Pa", "Call Me At The Same Number", "97th & Columbus", "Wait Until The City Sleeps", "Blue Horizon", and "Mako D'Amour". CD

Close matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Steve KhanEyewitness/Modern Times/Casa Loco ... CD
Antilles/BGO (UK), 1981/1982/1983. New Copy 2 CDs ... $16.99
A trio of early 80s albums from fusion giant Steve Khan – all lined up in a single collection! First up is Eyewitness – an early 80s effort from guitarist Steve Khan – a set recorded after some big records for Columbia, and one that follows very strongly in their legacy! Khan's super-deft here, but also able to create these washes of sound as much as some bold lines on his instrument – moving between the modes freely in the company of a tight quartet – with Anthony Jackson on bass, Steve Jordan on drums, and Manolo Badrena on percussion – all much more in the loose, open style of fusion from the mid 70s than you might guess from the date of the record. Titles include "Where's Mumphrey", "Dr Slump", "Guy Lafleur", and "Auxilary Police". Modern Times has Steve Khan stretching out even more htan before – working on a set of three long tracks that really expand his ideas strongly – almost pushing his guitar sense of tone and color into some of the territory Pat Metheny was exploring at the time! The group is Khan's great quartet with Anthony Jackson on bass, Steve Jordan on drums, and Manolo Badrena on percussoin – and titles include "Blades", "The Blue Shadow", "Modern Times", and "Penguin Village". Casa Loco is a record that's maybe a bit more electric on the rhythms than some of Steve Khan's previous sets – thanks to use of Simmons drums by drummer Steve Jordan – but a record that's still got Steve himself playing very strongly in the lead! Khan's as deft as ever here, working out these swirling chords that brew together in waves of sound – that special place a few fusion artists found themselves after the rock-jamming years of the 70s. The album features a bit of vocals from percussionist Manolo Badrena – which come across surprisingly well – and titles include "The Suitcase", "Uncle Roy", "Some Sharks", "Breakaway", and "Casa Loco". CD

Close matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Steve KhanTightrope/Blue Man/Arrows ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), Late 70s. New Copy 2CD ... $16.99
A trio of classics from Steve Khan – all brought together in a single package! First up is Tightrope – beautiful fusion from guitarist Steve Khan – one of those great 70s players who could play things tight, yet still keep an edge! The album's got a well-produced groove – the same sort of soulful undercurrent you'd get in other Columbia fusion sets of the period – yet Khan's guitar has a bit more rasp than most, less of the sanded-down, clean-toned notes that you'd get from some of his contemporaries. Bob James produced, and you can certainly hear his ear on some of the keyboard parts – especially the sweet Fender Rhodes, handled by both James and Don Grolnick. Titles include "Some Punk Funk", "Darlin Darlin Baby", "The Big Ones", "Star Chamber", "Tightrope", and "Soft Summer Breeze". Next up is Blue Man – a sweet 70s fusion set from guitarist Steve Khan! The set's got that best Columbia Records groove from the time – a sound that could easily cross over to fusion fans on both sides of the tracks – those who dig soulful undercurrents, thanks to the album's keyboards from Don Grolnick – and those who might like a bit more rockish-lines, thanks to Khan's raspy edge on his guitar. Things never get too jamming, and there's a nice sense of space that definitely helps keep the soul of the record intact – on tracks that include "Some Downtime", "Daily Bulls", "Daily Valley", and "The Little Ones". Arrows is the last in a classic trilogy of late 70s fusion albums that Steve Khan cut for Columbia records – and a set that really has him bringing his sound together in a wonderful way! Khan was working with Steely Dan on the Gaucho album at the time of the recordings – testified by Donald Fagan's notes to the record – and he really seems to have picked up their large overall musical vision, that way of making things perfect, but never in a slick style – working here with other fusion giants who include Don Grolnick on Fender Rhodes, Michael Brecker on tenor and soprano sax, and Randy Brecker on trumpet – plus lots of great drums from Steve Gadd. Titles include the extended "City Suite", plus "Candles", "Daily Village", "Calling", and "Some Arrows". CD

Close matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Earl KlughSoda Fountain Shuffle/Life Stories/Solo Guitar ... CD
Warner/BGO (UK), Late 80s. New Copy 2CD ... $9.99
Three albums from the late 80s – all of which show Earl Klugh still going strong, and very much at the top of his game! Soda Fountain Shuffle is a set that's got plenty of electric elements in the rhythms, mixed with lots of acoustic interplay from Earl over the top! Klugh's touch on the strings has only gotten better over the years, and he dances magically amidst some light rhythms and keyboard lines – warming things up a lot more than on similar fusion albums by some of his contemporaries, with that classic Klugh touch that's made him a lasting favorite over the decades! Titles include "Baby Cakes", "Incognito", "One Night", "April Love", "Close To Your Heart"," Just Pretend", and "Rainbow Man". Life Stories is a huge one from the mighty Earl Klugh – and the kind of record that reminded the world that he was still one of the most unique fusion talents around! Earl's got this perfect way of blending acoustic and electric elements with effortless ease – his own soft string solos and warmer R&B charts – all laid out with this sound that's beyond compare, and which may even work better here than on some of Klugh's records from a few years before. Most tracks are originals – although the album does include a great cover of the Isleys' "For The Love Of You" – alongside titles that include "Return Of The Rainmaker", "The Traveler", "Just For Your Love", "Second Chances", "Debra Anne", and "Santiago Sunset". Solo Guitar is beautiful work from the great Earl Klugh, and a set that's exactly what's promised in the title – a solo guitar outing that shows an entirely new side of Earl's many talents! Klugh's acoustic playing on other albums was always great – but here, it really comes to the forefront, with a sound that's rich enough to sum up so many different modes of guitar expression at once – from gypsy swing phrasing, to Spanish flourishes, to some straighter jazz swing – but always with that warmth that's made Earl way more than just another fusion artist on his instrument. Most tracks are standards, done in nicely personal versions – and titles include "Emily", "Once Upon A Summertime", "It's Only A Paper Moon", "So Many Stars", "Love Is Here To Stay", and "The Way You Look Tonight". CD

Close matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Stu Martin & John SurmanLive At Woodstock Town Hall ... CD
BGO/Castle (UK), 1975. Used ... $9.99
Pretty incredible work from the team of Stu Martin and John Surman – sounding a lot fuller than you'd expect from a two-musician set of duets like this! Martin's not only playing drums, but also some EMS synthesizers – creating wild effects on the best tracks, matched nicely with Surman's work on sax. And although the set's live, it's got an up-close intensity that's really great – and really feels a bit more like a studio album than you'd think. Titles include "Harry Lovett – Man Without A Country", "Are You Positive You're Negative", "Wrested In Mustard", "Master Of Disaster", and "Professor Goodly's Implosion Machine". CD
(Out of print.)

Close matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Tom ScottApple Juice ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), 1981. New Copy ... $9.99
Tom Scott gets his apple juiced in this sweet live set – a concert performance from the early 80s, and a record that's got a sharper edge than some of Scott's studio work of the time! The group's nice and tight, with funky energy that really brings out the most soulful tones of Tom's sax solos – those qualities that always made him a great session player and sideman on 70s soul sessions – and which still ring out with that very familiar tone here! Other players include Eric Gale and Hugh McCracken on guitars, Richard Tee on keyboards, and Marcus Miller on bass – a great lineup that really helps keep things moving throughout. Titles include "Instant Relief", "So White & So Funky", "Apple Juice", "Gonna Do It Right", and "In My Dreams". CD

Close matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
John Stevens AwayJohn Stevens Away/Somewhere In Between/Mazin Ennit (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Vertigo/BGO (UK), 1976/1977. New Copy 2CD ... $16.99
A trio of albums from John Stevens' Away – all packaged together in a single CD set! First up is the initial outing from the group – a surprising little set from drummer John Stevens – quite different work than his more outside, freewheeling material in the Spontaneous Music Ensemble! This group hits that second chapter of British jazz rock that the Vertigo label did so well – a style that's much more mature than most American variants of the mode – neither stock rock fusion, nor smooth soul – and instead this approach that's still quite complicated and challenging at times, even though the music can have a nicely tight focus! The group features some excellent alto from Trevor Watts – who brings in lots of sharp edges – and the set also features Peter Cowling on bass and Steve Hayton on guitar. Titles include "Tumble", "It Will Never Be The Same", and "Anni". On Somewhere In Between, drummer John Stevens hits a lot of bases on a great second album with his Away group – almost funky at points, almost outside at others, and always working with the group in a searing, searching mode that's a cut above the usual fusion of the time! There's a bit more electricity on the set this time – electric bass from Nick Stephens and guitar from David Cole – but the energy of the set is still very spontaneous, and driven by Stevens' creative work on drums – and given plenty of bite from the soprano and tenor sax of Robert Calvert. The set's got a plenty fresh vibe – very much like labelmates Nucleus at this point, with lots of sharp edges and complicated patterns – but a sound that's still very down to earth. Titles include "Spirit Of Peace", "Chick Boom", "Can't Explain", and "Now". Mazin Ennit is definitely as amazing as the title proclaims – a bit leaner than before, with this wonderful use of two basses alongside the drums of John Stevens – all in a groove that refines older Brit jazz rock modes, but without losing any sort of edge! There's a complexity here that still lives up to Stevens' rich legacy in music – and the group features lots of sweet reedwork from Robert Calvert, who blows both soprano and tenor. Titles include "Away", "Sunshine Sunshine", "Whoops A Daisy", "Light Relief", and "Temple Music". CD features bonus tracks – "Anni (parts 1 & 2)" featuring John Martyn, and "Can't Explain (parts 1 & 2)" featuringt Terri Quaye. CD

Close matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Ramsey LewisHang On Ramsey/Wade In The Water ... CD
BGO/Cadet (UK), 1965/1966. Used ... Just Sold Out!
Ramsey Lewis grooving in 2 of his best modes of the 60s – live, and with funky studio backings from Richard Evans! Hang On Sloopy is easily one of Ramsey Lewis' most successful records – done in the hit soul jazz style that he forged with the Young/Holt rhythm combo, honed to perfection before a live crowd at The Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach. The record's a key part of Ramsey's live recorded output – showing the trio in pyrotechnic form before the kind of packed-house audiences they were playing to nightly at the time. Includes swinging versions of "Hard Day's Night", "High Heel Sneakers", and "Hang On Sloopy" – plus the original cut "Movin Easy". On the album Wade In The Water, Ramsey's funky piano is backed by some soulful arrangements handled by Richard Evans – in a really tight style that includes great percussion, electric bass, and an all-out kicking style that makes even the mellowest tunes groove! Evans really adds a lot to the set – expanding the core groove of the Lewis trio with a proud and righteous Chicago approach – really bringing some "soul" to the soul jazz sound of the group, with incredible results! Titles include "Money In the Pocket", "Wade In the Water", "Ain't That Peculiar", "Up Tight", and "Hold It Right There". CD

Close matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Gary BurtonSomething's Coming/Groovy Sound Of Music/Time Machine ... CD
RCA/BGO (UK), 1964/1965/1966. New Copy 2 CDs ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A trio of excellent Gary Burton albums from the 60s – collected together in a single set! Something's Coming is the launch of vibist Gary Burton as a leader – a force in jazz that would continue strongly for decades to come! At the time of the record, Burton had already been making waves as a session player on the Nashville scene – where RCA had some especially strong ears – but he's launched here in a mode that's quite far from those roots, and already filled with those modern, chromatic modes that would have Burton pushing the sound of the vibes forward strongly throughout his career – even on an early record like this! The group is very like-minded, and well-chosen – players who are spacious and modern, but never too much so – a quartet with Jim Hall on guitar, Chuck Israels on bass, and Larry Bunker on drums. Titles include "Melanie", "Careful", "Six Improvisatory Sketches", "Something's Coming", and "Little Girl Blue". Next up is a very cool take on the music of Sound Of Music – handled with some help from arranger Gary McFarland, in a way that really unlocks the modal potentials of the tunes! As you might expect from the revolutionary vibist Gary Burton, the approach here is quite different than the usual jazz album of Broadway material – and instead, both Burton and McFarland do a heck of a lot to open up the coolest potential of the songs – as they bring in other hip players who include Bob Brookmeyer on trombone, Phil Woods on alto, Joe Puma on guitar, and Steve Swallow on bass. Titles include "An Ordinary Couple", "Sixteen Going On Seventeen", "Do Re Mi", "Edelweiss", and a great take on "My Favorite Things". Time Machine is filled with beautiful sounds from Gary Burton – a seminal 60s session that really has the vibist coming into his own, and finding that new path towards musical expression that would flower even more strongly in the 70s! The album has Burton really strengthening up his sense of chrome – matching the boldness of other important 60s vibes players on the rise – like Karel Velebny or Bobby Hutcherson – but also working this really special magic in the way he lets each note resonate in the air – often with a much longer decay on the sound than the actual moment of its creation! Burton also plays a bit of piano on the record, overdubbed with his vibes – but in a way that's quite different than the vibes/piano combo of earlier acts – like the MJQ, or George Shearing Quintet – thanks to work from Steve Swallow on bass and Larry Bunker on percussion. Tracks include "Six Nix Quix Flix", "The Sunset Bell", "Deluge", "Chega De Saudade", and "Falling Grace". CD

Close matches11
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Ian Carr & Don RendellShades Of Blue/Dusk Fire ... CD
BGO (UK), 1964/1966. Used 2 CDs ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Some of the greatest British jazz of the 60s – two early albums by the groundbreaking Ian Carr/Don Rendell quintet! Carr was a trumpeter and Rendell was a saxophonist – and together, the pair led a group that had an amazing flair for tones, colors, and interesting rhythmic progressions – picking up on the modal and exotic influences that were bubbling under in the British scene of the time, especially in work of players like Joe Harriott and Michael Garrick – but putting things together with a groove that was a bit more straight ahead, and inflected by the soulful lyricism of Blue Note artists like Horace Silver and Art Blakey! Both albums are tremendous – rich and under-discovered jazz territory, and overflowing with incredible original compositions that will make the set one of the freshest jazz CDs you purchase this year! Titles include "Latin Blue", "Just Blue", "Garrison 64", "Tan Samfu", "Jubal", "Dusk Fire", "Spooks", and "Ruth". CD

Close matches12
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Arthur BlytheLenox Avenue Breakdown/In The Tradition/Illusions/Blythe Spirit ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s. New Copy 2CD ... Out Of Stock
Four great albums from reedman Arthur Blythe – all together in one collection! First up is Lenox Avenue Breakdown – a stunning Columbia Records debut from Blythe! At the time of the date, Blythe had already spent years working in the jazz undergrounds on both coasts – developing a searing sound on alto sax that's perfect for the focused structure of this album – almost a tone poem of sorts, offering up a portrait of the Harlem scene that was a key part of Arthur's life at the time. The sounds are sharp, but also have a sense of energy that really holds them together – guiding the players through long readings of well-penned tunes by Blythe that are filled with loads of energy and life! Players include James Newton on flute, James Blood Ulmer on guitar, Bob Stewart on tuba, Cecil McBee on bass, Jack DeJohnette on drums, and Guillermo Franco on percussion – and titles include "Odessa", "Slidin Through", "Down San Diego Way", and "Lenox Avenue Breakdown". In The Tradition is a gem – as the set represents the modern musician taking on a host of older jazz currents, while carving things out with his own special sort of soul! Half the tunes are familiar favorites, the other half originals – and Blythe moves far past his avant roots, to showcase his deep understanding of so many different shades of jazz – blowing alto beautifully throughout, in a very hip quartet that features Stanley Cowell on piano, Fred Hopkins on bass, and Steve McCall on drums! Titles include great takes on "Naima", "Jitterbug Waltz", "Caravan", and "In A Sentimental Mood" – plus the originals "Break Tune" and "Hip Dipper". Illusions is maybe the boldest of Arthur Blythe's albums for Columbia Records – as the set bristles with newly creative energy right from the start, and provides a great showcase for some of the criss-crossings of styles and rhythms that were taking place on the New York scene at the time! The lineup alone announces something special – a cool combination of James Blood Ulmer on guitar, John Hicks on piano, Fred Hopkins on bass, Abdul Wadud on cello, Bob Stewart on tuba, and Steve McCall on drums – working together in some slight variations at times, often with these angular edges that are perfectly sharpened by Arthur's amazing work on alto sax. The music's never too free, but quite outside for a major label at the time – balanced out so that it's never overindulgent at all. Titles include "Bush Baby", "Miss Nancy", "My Son Ra", and "Carespin With Mamie". Blythe Spirit is a set that showcases the never-ending growth and imagination of reedman Arthur Blythe during this fruitful period of his career – and his ability to effortlessly blend together different elements in his music – especially sides of the New York loft jazz scene, and the Chicago-based AACM! The tunes are beautiful – mostly originals, and showing a richer spirituality than even a year before – while still working in that compellingly rhythmic mode that Arthur was hitting during these years – in a lineup that features Blythe on alto, Abdul Wadud on cello, Kelvyn Bell on guitar, Steve McCall and Bobby Battle on drums, John Hicks on piano, Amina Claudine Myers on organ, and Fred Hopkins on bass. The mix of electric and acoustic elements is fantastic – very fresh, even all these many years later – and titles include "Misty", "Spirits In The Field", "Just A Closer Walk With Thee", "Reverence", and "Contemplation". CD

Close matches13
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Alphonso JohnsonMoonshadows/Yesterday's Dreams/Spellbound ... CD
Epic/BGO (UK), 1976/1977. New Copy 2 CDs ... Out Of Stock
A great run of records from Alphonso Johnson – the best of his career, wrapped up here in one sweet set! First up is Moonshadows – one of the earliest of bassist Alphonso Johnson's funky fusion albums for Epic! Moonshadows is a nice little set of choppy grooves that recalls the best Herbie Hancock moments of the early 70s, plus some of the side projects of the Headhunters. Warmly funky, but with a nice edge – with a more jazz funk rooted sound than the later, slightly heavier Spellbound! The great group of players includes Patrice Rushen is on keyboards, Benny Maupin on reeds, Lee Ritenour on guitars, Airto Moriera on percussion, Gary Bartz on sax, plus Narada Michael Walden and Ndugu Chancler on drums. Tracks include "Stump", "Cosmoba Place", "Involuntary Bliss", "On The Case", "Amarteifio", "Pandora's Box" and the breezy "Up From The Cellar", which features vocals by Flora Purim! Yesterday's Dreams is a killer all-star session of funky fusion tracks – with a nice tight sound produced by Skip Drinkwater! Yesterday's Dreams differs a little from Alphonso's other strong mid 70s efforts in that it's not as spacey as a whole – but the rubbery, cleanly funky grooves are just as strong – and the record as a whole makes for more of a showcase for his excellent group of players! Bassist Johnson leads the session, but there's a huge amount of guests, such as Grover Washington, Patrice Rushen, Mike Clark, and Sheila Escovedo. Plus, Jon Lucien, Diane Reeves, Flora Purim, and Phillip Bailey all sing on the record! Titles include "One To One", "As Little As You", "Scapegoat", "Show Us The Way", "Tales Of Barcelona", and the future soul classic "Love's The Way I Feel 'Bout Cha". Spellbound is a soulfully spacey fusion set from Alphonso Johnson – with a really catchy sound! The maestro is working in an eclectic mode that's part Earth, Wind, & Fire, part Return To Forever, and part Alphonze Mouzon/Tommy Bolin jamming. The best moments on the record are the more straight ahead ones – which really flirt with chunky rock sounds on the other side of the rubbery fusion funkiness! Mouzon's working on all kinds of electric sounds on this one – a bunch of custom bass effects, steel drums and more – with Clyde Criner working with a long list of keys and synthesizers, Kevin Shireve on guitar and David Igelfeld on drums and percussion. Titles include "Face Blaster", "Summer Solstice", "Bahama Mama", "Nomads", and Moonlight Conversation" "Feelings Are. . .The Hardest Words To Say" and "Earthtales Suite". CD

Close matches14
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ DeodatoWhirlwinds/Artistry ... CD
MCA/BGO (UK), 1974. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Two post-CTI gems from Deodato – back to back on a single CD! Whirlwinds is sweet keyboard soul from Deodato – a set that steps off nicely from the strengths of his big hits on CTI, hitting a similarly flowing groove that's really great! The instrumentation here is a bit more expanded than before, but never in a way that buries the keyboards – and Deodato's right out front on a range of electric keys that get some great support from John Tropea's finely-honed work on guitar! Titles include "Havana Strut", "Whirlwinds", "West 42nd Street", and a nice cover of Steely Dan's "Do It Again". And heck, even the album's version of Glen Miller's "Moonlight Serenade" manages to come off like a funk tune! Artistry is a live set from Deodato – but one that's very much in the mode of his best CTI studio sessions – with soaring, over the top keyboard work that's totally great – backed by some tightly compressed guitar, bass, and drums, with just enough funk in the mix to keep things interesting! As with other Deodato records from the time, there's a mix of moods here that comes together nicely – a range that goes past his easy hits, and shows Deodato to be one of the hippest, most soulful keyboard talents of his generation. Titles include a great version of "Super Strut" that grooves for over 8 minutes, and which has some firey guitar that really competes with Deodato's work on the keys – and other tracks include "Farewell To A Friend", "Pavane For A Dead Princess", "Rio Sangre", and "Jivin". CD

Close matches15
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Maynard FergusonChameleon/Conquistador/Hot ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), 1974/1977/1979. New Copy 2 CDs ... Out Of Stock
A trio of Maynard Ferguson 70s gems – wrapped up together in a single package! First up is Chameleon – funky Maynard Ferguson – and one of his sweetest albums of the 70s! The set features a wonderful remake of Herbie Hancock's "Chameleon" – done here as a big band version that countless other groups would copy during the 70s – in a way that almost showed that Maynard had a more farther-reaching influence at the time than Herbie! Other tracks are equally great – and mix in funky rhythms with some mellower moments – all topped by great solo work from players who include trombonist Randy Purcell, baritone saxophonist Bruce Johnstone, and keyboardist Alan Zavod. Apart from "Chameleon", other titles include great covers of Wings' "Jet" and Stevie Wonders' "Livin For the City" – plus "La Fiesta", "Superbone Meets The Bad Man", and "Gospel John". Conquistador is a jazz funk masterpiece, and it's proof that Maynard Ferguson always had a good head on his shoulders, and were waiting for a record like this to really come into his own! The arrangements shine with a smooth electric sparkle that reminds us of the best albums on Kudu or CTI – and even his normally "too hot" solos fit in perfectly with the band's smooth funky grooving. Our favorite tune is the spacey sample cut "Mister Mellow", but the whole album's pretty darn nice, including "Soar Like An Eagle", "The Fly", "Conquistador". Heck, we even like the funky version of "Theme From Star Trek"! Hot is full on disco grooving from Maynard – a fact that's apparent from the album's first cut – "Rocky II Disco"! The track takes off from Bill Conti's original Rocky theme with a nice kind of funky soundtrack approach – leaving room for a tenor sax solo, and featuring some great spoken bits and punching bag work from Sly Stallone himself! Other tracks are equally slick, but mix it up nicely – and highlights include the Indian-styled "Om Sai Ram", a take on "Naima", and the cuts "Topa Topa Woman", "Dayride", and "Theme From Star Trek". And heck, Maynard even plays a bit of the "superbone" – a combination valve and slide trombone, invented by himself! CD

Close matches16
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✨✧ Maynard FergusonIt's My Time/Hollywood ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), 1980/1982. New Copy 2 CDs ... Out Of Stock
Two later Columbia sessions from Maynard Ferguson – back to back in a single set! On It's My Time, Maynard kicks off the 80s with another in his run of successful albums for Columbia – blending together funky fusion and disco in a very sweet groove! He's actually got some soulful help on the session – working with Tom Tom 84 on some of the record's best tracks, which come across with a bit less schmaltz than you'd expect – and Nick Lane also brings some nice moments to a few of the album's mellower tracks too. Titles include "An Offering Of Love (part 1)", "It's My Time", "Dance To Your Heart", "Everybody Loves The Blues", "Red Creek", and "You Can Have Me Anytime". For Hollywood, Maynard's got some great help on the session – stripping things down and working with a group of west coast fusion players led by Stanley Clarke! The date's a bit later than some of Maynard's classic funk, but the groove's back on track – thanks to Stan's production and arrangements – and players that include Lee Ritenour, George Duke, Ndugu Chancler, and Tod Cochrane. The vibe is surprisingly soulful on most numbers – and titles include "Deja Vu", "Portuguese Love", "Here Today", "Touch & Go", "For Your Eyes Only", "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough", and "Hollywood". CD

Close matches17
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✨✧ Buddy RichSwingin' New Big Band/Keep The Customer Satisfied ... CD
BGO (UK), 1966/1970. Used ... Out Of Stock
Two hard and heavy sides from Buddy, and true to his reputation, he comes out swinging on both! The first side in the set, Swinging New Big Band features a top notch mid 60s group, and from the sound of the numbers on this set, ol' Buddy did need to hand out any of his famous lectures on the bus afterwards, with some crisp soloing and great ensemble playing. Numbers include "Basically Blues", "The Critics Choice", "My Man's Gone Now", "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" and "Sister Sadie". The blowing keeps on going on the second side featured here, with another tight batch of tracks, this time captured live in concert at the Tropicana in Vegas a few years down the line, with numbers that include the title track "Keep The Customer Satisfied", "Groovin Hard" and "The Juicer Is Wild". 15 tracks in all. CD
(Out of print.)

Close matches18
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✨✧ Tom ScottDesire/Target ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), 1982/1983. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Sweet sax from the great Tom Scott – two early 80s Columbia albums in a single package! Desire is proof that Scott could still make an electric jazz album sound more soulful than most of his mainstream contemporaries! There's a really great sense of balance here – production that's certainly polished, but instrumentation that's never sleepy at all – those always-sharp reeds we love from Tom, especially on alto and soprano sax – plus some great keyboard work from Victor Feldman, who has a similar sense of space and timing ot match Scott's groove! The set's got a feel that's a bit like some of the few really great albums from Dave Grusin – and some cuts have vocals, although mostly of the backup type. Titles include "Desire", "Sure Enough", "The Only One", "Stride", "Chunk O Funk", and "Meet Somebody". Target features a wide range of styles from saxophonist Tom Scott – some tracks that are in the funkier fusion he scored with in the 70s, but others that have some soul and pop touches as well! Scott's horn is still nice and sharp when he gets to step out in the solo spotlight – more so on the instrumental tracks, but a bit less so on the vocal ones – which feature singers who include Maria Muldaur, Kenny James, and Lee Ving. Other players include Harvey Mason on drums, Ernie Watts on tenor and alto, Victor Feldman on keyboards, and Paul Jackson on guitar – and titles include "Burundi Bump", "The Biggest Part Of Me", "He's Too Young", "Aerobia", "Target", and "Come Back To Me". CD
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Dave DouglasBrazen Heart ... CD
Greenleaf, 2015. New Copy ... $9.99 14.98
A wonderful title for this killer from trumpeter Dave Douglas – as the record's one of the boldest, most on-target sets he's had in years – a record that takes us back to his roots, as Douglas works with a quintet of well-chosen younger players. The lineup features Jon Irabgon on tenor, Linda Oh on bass, Rudy Royston on drums, and Matt Mitchell on piano – players who move soulfully with Dave's trumpet in an almost effortless way – embracing his sense of soundshaping and rhythmic progressions, but also finding plenty of space for their own individual contributions too. Most tunes are Douglas originals, and brilliantly written – and titles include "Brazen Heart", "Hawaiian Punch", "Inure Phase", "Lone Wolf", "Ocean Spray", and "Pyrrhic Apology". CD

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✨✧ Barry Altschul3Dom Factor ... CD
Tum (Finland), 2013. Used ... Out Of Stock
Blistering work from drummer Barry Altschul – working here in the company of bold young tenorist Jon Irabgon, and matching his youthful energy at every step! The set's easily one of the most driven we've heard from Altschul in many years – a trio date that also features the bass of Joe Fonda, but which really draws most of its magic from Irabgon's horn, and the way that Barry reaches out strongly to provide just the right vibe. Tunes are almost all originals from Altschul – and titles include "Natal Chart", "A Drummer's Song", "Papa's Funkish Dance", "Be Out S'Cool", "Oops", and "Just A Simple Song". CD

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