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Larry CarltonStrikes Twice/Sleepwalk/Friends ... CD
Warner/BGO (UK), 1980/1982/1983. New Copy 2 CDs ... $16.99
A trio of guitar classics from Larry Carlton – all brought together in a single package! On Strikes Twice, Larry Carlton looks a little cheesy on the cover, but the album's a classic set of mainstream fusion from the start of the 80s – exactly the kind of record that made Carlton one of the standouts of the time! Larry actually sings a bit on the set, but the main focus is on his guitar work – often as sharp-edged as the lightning lines on the cover image – but with a warmer, soulful undercurrent too – one that bubbles along nicely, thanks to keyboards from Greg Mathieson and Don Freeman, and cool percussion from the great Paulinho Da Costa. The best tunes here have that warmly melodic feel you'd find in some of Pat Metheny's work, although with a bit more soul overall – and titles include "Springville", "Strikes Twice", "Ain't Nothin For A Heartache", "For Love Alone", "Mulberry Street", and "In My Blood". Sleepwalk is a real gem from guitarist Larry Carlton – a set that's very jazzy, but which also shows the strong focus he'd developed on his rock session work in the 70s – including some famous recordings with Steely Dan! There's a sharpness to Carlton's guitar that cuts through some of the sleepier modes of fusion players of the time – a style that's right out front, able to solo with a great sense of voice, but also no cheesier sounds as well – very appealing to fans of 70s guitar fusion, and Carlton's great blend of soulful undercurrents as well. Titles include "Sleepwalk", "Last Night", "Blues Bird", "Upper Kern", "10:00pm", and "You Gotta Get It While You Can". On Friends, Larry Carlton's got plenty of great friends on board for this sweet session – including Michael Brecker on tenor, Joe Sample and Terry Trotter on Fender Rhodes, Paulinho Da Costa on percussion, and even BB King on guitar for one track! Yet the overall vibe is still very much Larry's own – that sharp approach to fusion that Carlton helped spearhead with his work in the 70s, a bit more keyboard-centric than before, but still with plenty of room for the leader to spin out warmly chromatic solos on guitar. Titles include "South Town", "Breaking Ground", "Song In The 5th Grade", "LA NY", and "Friends". CD

Close matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
DeodatoWhirlwinds/Artistry ... CD
MCA/BGO (UK), 1974. New Copy ... $15.99 20.98
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 matches3
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Freddie HubbardBundle Of Joy/Super Blue/Love Connection ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), 1977/1978/1979. New Copy 2 CDs ... $16.99
A triple-header from Freddie Hubbard – three late 70s albums together in a single set! Bundle Of Joy is a bundle of soul from Freddie Hubbard – one that has him blowing beautifully over full arrangements from Bert DeCoteux – the 70s super-soul maestro who really brings a new sound to Hubbard's music! The style's a bit smoother than other Freddie albums of the time, but still really great – a wonderful plenty of his well-timed, well-punctuated work on trumpet with warm grooves supplied by Bert – filled with instrumentation that includes David T Walker on guitar, Ernie Watts on sax and flute, Azar Lawrence on tenor, David Garfield on keyboards, and even Dorothy Ashby on flute. Titles include "Portrait Of Jenny", "Rainy Day Song", "Bundle Of Joy", "From Now On", "From Behind", and "Rahsaan". Super Blue is a sweet late 70s set from Freddie Hubbard – a slight move away from some of his highly-electric sides of the CTI years, yet one that still has some of the most soulful qualities of that work! Freddie's trumpet has a nicely spacious quality throughout – one that's flowing, and almost glowing at time – cascading along with qualities you might be more likely to hear from Art Farmer on some of the gentler numbers, yet really bursting out with that old Hubbard dynamism on the rest. Other players include Joe Henderson on tenor, Hubert Laws on flute, Kenny Barron on piano and keyboards, Ron Carter on bass, and Jack DeJohnette on drums – and George Benson also guests on guitar on one number too. A good number of the titles are originals, and tracks include "Super Blue", "To Her Ladyship", "Take It To The Ozone", "The Gospel Truth", and "Theme For Kareem". Love Connection has Freddie Hubbard working with arranger Claus Ogerman on some expansive tracks that go beyond his earlier work in the decade – sometimes blowing mellow notes over larger orchestrations, other times working in a surprisingly lean groove that has some really soulful touches! The approach shifts from track to track, but all titles are long, and the overall effect is really great. Al Jarreau guests on a sweet vocal version of "Little Sunflower", and other players on the set include Joe Farrell and Tom Scott on reeds, and Chick Corea, who plays most of the keys on the set. Titles include "Lazy Afternoon", "This Dream", "Brigitte", and "The Love Connection". CD

Close matches4
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Earl KlughSoda Fountain Shuffle/Life Stories/Solo Guitar ... CD
Warner/BGO (UK), Late 80s. New Copy 2CD ... $16.99
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 matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Mahavishnu OrchestraBetween Nothingness & Eternity/Visions Of The Emerald Beyond ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), 1973/1975. New Copy 2 CDs ... $11.99
A pair of 70s classics from this mighty fusion ensemble – back to back in a single collection! First up is Between Nothingness & Eternity – and although there's a pretty big space between nothingness & eternity – but Mahavishnu Orchestra manage to fill most of it up with their hard-jamming approach! The style here is a bit different than the group's initial albums – as the record's a live one, and features some very long tracks that stretch out with possibly a bit more spiritual influence than before – still rockish at times, but also with freer floating energy as well. Billy Cobham's drums are worth the price of admission alone – and other group members include the mighty John McLaughlin on guitar and Jan Hammer on electric piano, synth, and moog. Titles include the "Thrilogy" suite, plus "Sister Andrea" and "Dreams". Visions Of The Emerald Beyond is very spacey work from Mahavishnu Orchestra – a set that continues the change in sound explored by the second incarnation of the group – one that's much more spacious than the first! The group here is somewhat large, but often comes off with a good sense of leanness at times – less of the notes-on-notes jams of rockish fusion, and more stretched-out spiritual modes, mixed with a slight dose of funk at just the right moments! John McLaughlin's in the lead on guitar, and other players include Gayle Moran on keyboards, Jean-Luc Ponty on electric violin, and Narada Michael Waldon on drums, percussion, clavinet, and vocals. Titles include "Eternity's Breath", "Lile's Dance", "Can't Stand Your Funk", "Earth Ship", "Be Happy", "Opus 1", and "Pegasus". CD

Close matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
John McLaughlin & John SurmanWhere Fortune Smiles ... CD
Dawn/BGO (UK), 1971. Used ... $24.99
Rare early album by jazz/rock saxophone genius John Surman! The album features Surman playing with John McLaughlin, Stu Martin, and other British players on a set that's pretty out, with a groovy progressive approach. Titles include "Glancing Backwards", "Earth Bound Hearts", and "Where Fortune Smiles". CD
(Out of print.)

Close matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Lee RitenourCaptain's Journey/Feel The Night/Rio ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), 1978/1979. New Copy 2 CDs ... $16.99
Sweet fusion from the great Lee Ritenour – three classic albums on two CDs! First up is Captain's Journey – a masterful fusion set from guitarist Lee Ritenour – one that expands his sound a bit more than usual by adding in vocals on a number of tracks – but in a way that really gets at the mainstream soul influences that bubble through his jazz work! The set features key vocal appearances from Patti Austin, Tom Baylor, and Bill Champlin – all singers who really know how to respect the instrumental side of a tune, too – which is great, given that the record also features keyboards from Dave Grusin and Patrice Rushen too. Titles include "That's Enough For Me", "Sugarloaf Express", "What Do You Want", "Matchmakers", "Morning Glory", and "The Storm". Feel The Night is a key album from a time when Lee was still very much at the top of his game! Although tight overall, the album's never too commercial to be cloying – and Lee's approach here is a great example of the way that mainstream 70s fusion managed to balance all its best elements nicely – from soulful rhythms on the bottom, to sharp-edged solos on the top, to some of the smoother studio glue that holds the whole thing together in the middle! Ritenour plays a range of different guitars – and other players include Don and Dave Grusin on keyboards, plus keys from David Foster as well – plus saxes from Ernie Watts, piano from Joe Sample, and drums from Steve Gadd. Patti Austin sings a bit on the set, but the album's a mostly-instrumental affair overall – and titles include "Feel The Night", "Market Place", "Wicked Wine", "French Roast", and "Midnight Lady". Rio is smooth jazzy fusion from Lee Ritenour – a classic set that was originally only released in Japan, part of the underground Japanese Fusion movement of the late 70s, famous for groove hounds for that added level of soul that often wasn't showing up in American releases at the time! The album was recorded in both Rio and LA – with work by a mixture of Brazilian and American fusion players, including Chico Batera, Oscar Castro Neves, Alex Acuna, Don Grusin, Dave Grusin, Steve Forman, and Marcus Miller. Includes the smooth funk classic "A Little Bit Of This & A Little Bit Of That", plus the cuts "Simplicidad", "Rainbow", "Rio Funk", "San Juan Sunset", and "Ipanema Sol". CD

Close matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Tom ScottDesire/Target ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), 1982/1983. New Copy ... $15.99
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

Close matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Grover Washington JrAll My Tomorrows/Soulful Strut/Breath Of Heaven (3CD set) ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), 1994/1996/1997. Used 3CD ... $6.99
A trio of 90s albums from Grover Washington! All My Tomorrows is an overlooked gem from reedman Grover – recorded in his later years, but a set that's actually got more of an acoustic style overall – one that goes back to the roots farther than any of Grover's fusion records! Washington's a great straight player in this setting – filled with soul on tenor and soprano sax – and working with top-shelf small group players like Eddie Henderson on trumpet, Hank Jones on piano, Bobby Watson on alto, and Robin Eubanks on trombone. Guitarist Romero Lumbambo arranged one great Brazilian-tinged number – and other arrangements are by Grover, Larry Willis, Slide Hampton, and Freddy Cole – who sings on two tracks too. Titles include "E Preciso Perdoar", "Happenstance", "All My Tomorrows", "Nature Boy", "Flamingo", and "Estate". Soulful Strut is bouncy soul from Grover Washington – a set that returns to his earlier roots in a space between soulful fusion and R&B! The slinky Washington soprano sax gets plenty of space in this set – blown with those seductive notes that always made Grover one of the most distinctive players on the instrument – and the backings often have this gentle R&B groove that's even stronger on the few cuts here with vocals. Titles include "Soulful Strut", "Bordertown", "Village Groove", "I Can Count The Times", "Headman's Hunt", and "Can You Stop The Rain". Breath Of Heaven is a holiday record from Grover Washington – but one that's got a fair bit more to offer than just the usual Christmas tunes! The set mixes older favorites and lesser-known numbers – all done in that soulful fusion style that Washington brought to his records from other seasons of the years – set up here with the leader on alto, tenor, and soprano sax – amidst arrangements from vibist Joe Lock, and keyboardist Donald Robinson, and guitarist Hiram Bullock – all of whom play on the record. Lisa Fischer sings on one number, but most of the record is instrumental – and titles include "Breath Of Heaven", "The Magi's Song/A Child Is Born", "I Wonder As I Wonder", "Christmas Time Is Here", "The Love In His Infant Eyes", and "Christmas Day Chant". CD

Close matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Grover Washington JrStrawberry Moon/Then & Now/Time Out Of Mind ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), 1987/1988/1989. Used 2CD ... Just Sold Out!
Grover Washington Jr's first few albums for Columbia – Strawberry Moon, Then & Now and Time Out Of Mind – together in a 2CD set! Strawberry Moon has a number of laidback groovers, with some solid Washington originals such as the title track and some sweet covers. BB King plays and sings on "Caught A Touch Of Your Love", with Jean Carne guesting on "The Look Of Love". Grover's sax is soulful and sweet throughout, and the titles include "Strawberry Moon", "Summer Nights", "Keep In Touch", and "Maddie's Blues". Then And Now is a nice one that has Grover working in a straighter jazz mode for the most part, taking a break from the soul and R&B groover –- the most timeless of the 3 albums compiled here! Players include Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Grady Tate and Darryl Washington. Titles include "Just Enough", "French Connections", "Stolen Moments", "Stella By Starlight" and more. Time Out Of Mind's title track is a cover of the Steely Dan classic, circa Gaucho – and this album finds Grover embracing the 80s a lot more than his previous album for Columbia. A mix of moods, with some electric funky flourishes and fusiony keys and synths. Titles include "Jamaica", "Sacred Kind Of Love", "Fly Away", the title track and more. This trio of albums represents a wide stylistic range covered by Grover in just a 3 year period! CD
(Includes original slipcase.)

Close matches11
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Maynard FergusonChameleon/Conquistador/Hot ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), 1974/1977/1979. New Copy 2LP ... Temporarily 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 matches12
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✨✧ Steve KhanTightrope/Blue Man/Arrows ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), Late 70s. New Copy 2CD ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
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 matches13
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Lee RitenourFirst Course ... CD
Epic/BGO (UK), 1976. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Excellent early work by Lee Ritenour – tight and soulful, but not as slick or commercial as later records! The album's an all-star, all-soul fusion effort – with work by Harvey Mason on drums, Dave Grusin and Patrice Rushen on keyboards, and Tom Scott on reeds – and the whole thing's produced by Skip Drinkwater, who handles the set with that easy funky groove that he brought to his excellent work with Eddie Henderson and Bobby Humphrey! There's loads of nice electric funk tracks on the album – including a great version of Grusin's "Theme From 3 Days Of The Condor", Jerry Peters' "Canticle For The Universe", and the cuts "A Little Bit Of this & A Little Bit Of That", "Wild Rice", and "Sweet Syncopation". CD

Close matches14
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Lee RitenourFirst Course ... CD
Epic/BGO (UK), 1976. Used ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Excellent early work by Lee Ritenour – tight and soulful, but not as slick or commercial as later records! The album's an all-star, all-soul fusion effort – with work by Harvey Mason on drums, Dave Grusin and Patrice Rushen on keyboards, and Tom Scott on reeds – and the whole thing's produced by Skip Drinkwater, who handles the set with that easy funky groove that he brought to his excellent work with Eddie Henderson and Bobby Humphrey! There's loads of nice electric funk tracks on the album – including a great version of Grusin's "Theme From 3 Days Of The Condor", Jerry Peters' "Canticle For The Universe", and the cuts "A Little Bit Of this & A Little Bit Of That", "Wild Rice", and "Sweet Syncopation". CD

Close matches15
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 ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
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

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✨✧ Gary BurtonDuster/Country Roads & Other Places ... CD
RCA/BGO (UK), 1967/1969. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Classic work from the great Gary Burton – two sessions that forever established his place at the forefront of jazz! Duster is a really incredible record from the great Gary Burton – a key 60s set that definitely has him finding a musical voice that's all his own – a way of using the vibes that nobody else had ever attempted before! The instrument is a flurry of chromatic beauty – tones and light exploding at each new twist and turn – mixed here with superb work from a quartet that includes Larry Coryell on guitar, Steve Swallow on bass, and Roy Haynes on drums! The names of the players alone might be enough to give you a picture of the sound – but let us go onto say that the overall approach is amazing – angular, jagged, and more rhythmic than melodic – but equally swinging, in sort of a modal way. Tracks include "Ballet", "One Two 1234", "Liturgy", "Response", "General Mojo's Well Laid Plan", and "Sweet Rain". Country Roads & Other Places has a title that might be a reference to Burton's Nashville roots, and the music does have a slightly pastoral vibe – but the overall execution is extremely modern, and filled with the kind of bold tones and sharp turns that always made Burton so wonderful at the start! The group includes Jerry Hahn on guitar, Steve Swallow on bass, and Roy Haynes on drums – all very freewheeling, open players – with an equal balance between rhythm and melody. Burton, Swallow, and Hahn composed a good many of the tracks – and titles include "A Singing Song", "Wichita Breakdown", "Country Roads", "The Green Mountains", "True Or False", and "Gone But Forgotten". CD

Close matches17
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✨✧ Maynard FergusonPrimal Scream/New Vintage/Carnival ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), 1976/1977/1978. New Copy 2CD ... Out Of Stock
A trio of heavy-hitters from hornman Maynard Ferguson – all served up in one sweet set! Primal Scream is one of the funkiest records ever from Ferguson – the climax of a great run of bigger group grooves in the 70s! The record's a tight batch of groovers, with production and keyboards by Bob James – and the whole thing's a mixture of big band funk and electronics that's simply out of this world! Side one kicks off with two massive numbers – the Arp-heavy "Cheshire Cat Walk", and the Kool & The Gang-ish "Primal Scream" – and both cuts are quite long, with loads of cool instrumental effects. Side two is a bit softer, but it does include a long keyboard groover called "Swamp". On New Vintage, Maynard really grooves it – playing with a group that's even larger than some of his early 70s funk sessions, in a style that's got traces of disco and R&B-styled fusion! The set was arranged, conducted, and produced by Jay Chataway – who's going for a nice smooth mode on most of the cuts, almost in the slick manner of some late 70s cop show soundtrack. Tracks are a bit longer than usual, with more room for the groove, and titles include the originals "Oasis" and "El Vuelvo", a surprisingly nice disco take on "Maria", and the cuts "Airegin" and "Star Wars". Carnival is a cool cooker from Maynard Ferguson – and a set that has all the upbeat tones you'd expect from the title, but lots of funky currents underneath! The set really sparkles right from the start – and has that sweet vibe that Maynard was really getting perfect on these late 70s records for Columbia – jazzy fusion that's tight, but never too uptight – with lots of room for sweet solos from the leader himself, plus Bill Hannon on moog, John Qdini on guitar, Eric Traub on tenor, and Mike Migliore on alto. Titles include a famous working of Earth Wind & Fier's "Fantasy" – plus "Battlestar Galactica", "MF Carnival", "Baker Street", "Birdland", "How Ya Doin Baby", and "Stella By Starlight". CD
Partial matches: 1
Partial matches18
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Dave DouglasTime Travel ... CD
Greenleaf, 2013. Used ... Just Sold Out!
One of the best albums we've heard in years from trumpeter Dave Douglas – a really in the pocket session that's filled with rhythmic intensity, and some of the boldest music we've heard from Dave in years! There's plenty of edges to the set – especially the trumpet of Douglas and tenor of Jon Irabgon – but there's also a groove to many numbers too – a kind of forward-rolling energy that really takes the whole thing to great points throughout the set, and which makes a great progression from the somber tone of Dave's last album – almost a musical rebirth of sorts! Crack rhythms flow from the trio of Matt Mitchell on piano, Linda Oh on bass, and Rudy Royston on drums – and titles include "Time Travel", "Beware Of Doug", "Little Feet", "Garden State", and "Bridge To Nowhere". CD

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