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Possible matches: 12
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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Al Hudson & The Soul PartnersSpreading Love/Happy Feet ... CD
ABC/Expansion (UK), 1978/1979. New Copy ... $14.99
A pair of ABC Records gems from Al Hudson & The Soul Partners – back to back on a single CD! Spreading Love is excellent early work from Al Hudson – a soulful talent who stood his own in the late 70s, forging an up-tempo funk sound that lived long past disco, and which was sort of a platform for groups of the 80s to build a new dancefloor sound. Hudson relied heavily on bass-y funk to hit his groove, but he also gave strong focus to the good singers who worked with his groups – adding in good ballads that act as a showcase to members like bassist Kevin McCord, who sings some great vocals on this set. The album kicks off with the up-tempo groover "Spread Love", an anthemic dancefloor tune that almost points the way towards soulful house, and it's got some other nice cuts, like the ballads "Lost Inside Of You" and "Love Me Forever", plus the funky numbers "How Do You Do", and "Dance, Get Down". Happy Feet is joyous, bouncy sounds from the legendary Al Hudson – a sweet little set with his Soul Partners group, done in a mode that's right up there with the best music of his One Way combo! The grooves are uptempo, yet are much more rooted in ensemble funk than some of the disco of Al's contemporaries – and if anything, the album really shows a great evolution from the funk bands of the previous generation to a newer, more sophisticated style overall. Hudson's work at the helm is wonderful – and helps steer the group towards some nice mellow moments too – with arrangements from Kevin McCord, Rudy Robinson, and Dave Roberson. Alicia Myers serves up some great early vocals with the group – and titles include "I Don't Want You To Leave Me", "Another Love Song", "You Can Do It", "In The Basement", "Call Me", and "Rock". CD

Possible matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Al Hudson & the Soul PartnersEspecially For You/Cherish (with bonus tracks) ... CD
ABC/Expansion (UK), 1977. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Two fantastic early albums by Al Hudson – working here with his initial group, The Soul Partners! First up is Especially For You – a record that's kind of a first chapter to all the excellent work by One Way to come – even though Al's not using that group name at this time! The record's got this cool, classy vibe – an update of an earlier Detroit soul mode, and one that maybe followed that city's shift a few years later than 70s soul changes in Philly during the decade – and handled with a similar blend of groovers and mellow cuts! The vibe is similar to the great shift The Dramatics were making on ABC Records at the time – and Al and the group work here with production by Al Perkins and arrangements by Jimmy Roach. Titles include "Baby Let Me Love You", "I Got A Notion You Got The Motion", "Real Love", "You're So Wonderful", and "Trying To Prove My Love". Cherish is a funky soul classic from Al Hudson and the Soul Partners – a second full length set, and one that really has Hudson finding his groove! The rhythms are funkier than before – thanks to strong work on bass from Kevin McCord, who also joins Al a bit on vocals – in a mode that still continues the group's strong work on midtempo numbers, but also maybe answers a 70s disco wave with more of a Detroit funk overall! Great work from the group that would later turn into One Way – with titles that include "Tripped, Slipped, Stumbled, & Fell", "If You Get Caught", "If You Feel Like Dancing", and "I Like Everything About You". CD also features bonus tracks – "Feelings (7" version)" and "If You Feel Like Dancin (12" version)". CD

Possible matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Vin GordonAfrican Shores ... CD
Tradition Disc (UK), 2019. New Copy ... $14.99
Fantastic work from Vin Gordon – who may well be one of the greatest reggae trombonists since the legendary Rico – working here in a very classic style that features plenty of contributions from saxophonist Nat Birchall! Nat's very much in the space of his previous collaboration with Gordon – and also plays piano, bass, and percussion – alongside co-producer Al Breadwinner, who handles drums, guitar, organ, and piano too! Tracks are a mix of echoey, dubby numbers that still have straightforward solo work from Gordon – and others that have maybe a tighter tuneful vibe, but which still fit the strong spirit of the entire session. The quartet also features Stally on baritone and David Fullwood on trumpet – stepping out in all-instrumental splendor, on titles that include "Gusum Peck", "Shucumooku", "Sa La Vie", "African Shores", "Gold Coast Dub", "Styler Man", and "Spill Over" CD

Possible matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Gary Puckett & The Union GapWoman Woman/New Gary Puckett & The Union Gap Album/Gary Puckett Album (plus bonus tracks) ... CD
BGO (UK), Late 60s/Early 70s. New Copy 2CD ... $14.99
A trio of albums from Gary Puckett and The Union Gap – one of which just features Gary on his own! First up is Woman Woman – a set that takes the tightness that the group had forged in the Cali clubs of the mid 60s, and boosts it with bigger arrangements from Al Capps – who adds just the right blend of larger elements to give things a nice Sunshine Pop kind of vibe! Titles include the big hit "Woman Woman" – plus "M'Lady", "Believe Me", "Kentucky Woman", "Don't Make Promises", "I Want A New Day", "Paindrops", and "My Son". The New Gary Puckett & The Union Gap Album is a record with a Civil War-era photo on the cover – but a sound that's late 60s pop at its finest – arranged and conducted by Ernie Freeman, with a vibe that adds in swirling strings to the core groove of the group – all at a level that also seems to encourage even more vocal flourishes from mainman Gary Puckett! Gary started out as a bar singer, but is clearly reaching higher here – not exactly like, but similar too the way that Scott Walker was seeing himself more as a solo male singer once the 60s moved – especially on the mellower or more sensitive tunes. Titles include "Hard Tomorrow", "This Girl Is A Woman Now", "Stay Out Of My World", "Lullaby", "His Other Woman", "Simple Man", and "Out In The Cold Again". The Gary Puckett Album is great solo work from the leader of The Union Gap – a record that not only has Gary really maturing as a singer, but also emerging as a strong songwriter too! About half the tracks on the album are written by Puckett with other musical partners – and they really show a different set of themes from the earlier group material – with Gary's vocals really rising with a new sort of majesty that adds a lot to the lyrics! Arrangements are by Roger Kellaway, Jimmie Haskell, and Larry Muhoberac – and titles include "Shimmering Eyes", "Gentle Woman", "Do You Really Have A Heart", "Feeling Bad", "Angelica", "Hello Morning", "To Keep The Customer Satisfied", and "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself". 2CD package features 8 bonus tracks – including "Could I", "Let's Give Adam & Eve Another Chance", "The Beggar", "Life Has Its Little Ups & Downs", "Bless This Child", "Leavin In The Morning", "I Can't Hold On", and "No One Really Knows". CD

Possible matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Quiet EleganceQuiet Elegance – The Hi Records Single Collection ... CD
Hi Records/Solid (Japan), Mid 70s. New Copy ... About December 4, 2019
The complete Hi Records singles of Quiet Elegance – a great 70s soul female trio formed by two former members of The Glories, and one of Martha & The Vandellas – who recorded for Hi with some mighty great production work from Willie Mitchell! The girls have a style that's similar to Willie's work with Al Green on the first batch of tunes – and which then opens into more of an Emotions-like style on later tracks – all the while sticking to a strong female harmony sound that never falls into the cloying style of other girl groups of the time. This is great stuff – the kind of lost soul that needs further discovering – and the package also includes three unreleased recordings and some alternate mixes too. Titles include "I Need Love", "I'm Afraid Of Losing You", "Mama Said", "I Need Love", "You've Got My Mind Messed Up", "Roots Of Love", "After You", "How's Your Love Life?", and "Tired Of Being Alone". CD

Possible matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Riz OrtolaniAndrea Doria 74 (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Quartet (Spain), 1970. New Copy ... $24.99
A sweet 70s soundtrack from Riz Ortolani – done for a shark-themed thriller, and filled with all these cool moments that offer up a mix of watery modes in the music! Some tunes have strong electric harpsichord or organ lines upfront – used by Riz in ways that are sometimes spare, sometimes upbeat – and the larger orchestrations often have this kind of dark current in the back, almost like ripples moving through the deeper parts of the ocean – often with a hint of melancholy that really adds a lot to the music! About half the tunes are catchy, almost jazzy – and titles include "Ci Vediamo Al Bar", "Incontri Sul Ponte", "L'Oceano La Guardava", "Un Onda Nel Ricordo", and "Caccia Al Pescecane". CD features a total of 24 tracks in all – 14 more bonus cuts added to the original 10 track album! CD
(Limited edition of 300!)

Possible matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
VariousMusic City Blues & Rhythm ... CD
Ace (UK), 1950s. New Copy ... Just Sold Out!
Fantastic sounds from the Bay Area scene of the 50s – more than enough to showcase a legacy of R&B as strong as postwar work from LA! The music here is great – tight, lively, and often very witty – with the sharpness of jump blues and pre-soul work from south Cali labels like RPM and Crown – done in a similar blend of class and groove that reflects the big changes on the bluesy side of the spectrum as artists and audiences moved to the west coast! All the tracks were recorded by the Music City studio in Berkeley – better known for later funk and soul – and a fair bit of them make their first appearance here – as 22 of the CD's 28 tracks have never been issued before. As usual with Ace Records, the presentation is stunning – lots of notes, history, and rare photos – for titles that include "Music City Jump" by Alvin Smith, "Here Lies My Love" by Roy Hawkins, "She Moves Me" by Jimmy "T99" Nelson, "Moving Out Baby" by Chick Morris with Al Harris, "Baby Call" by Jimmy Raney, "You Gotta Be Mighty Careful" by The Richmond Boys, "Long About Midnight" by Little Willie Littlefield, "Ease My Mind" by Pee Wee Parham, "Roland's Blues" by Roland Mitchell, "You're The One" by Gene Lee & The Blues Rockers, "Walking Blues" by Johnny George, "Wrong Doing Woman" by Jasper Evans, "Tin Pan Alley" by Sidney Grande, "I Don't Stand No Quittin" by Gloria Jean Pitts, "Your Money Ain't Long Enough" by Que Martyn with Del Graham, and "Who Did It" by an Unknown Male Vocalist. CD

Possible matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Yazz AhmedPolyhymnia ... CD
Ropeadope, 2019. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A spacious second set from British/Bahraini trumpeter Yazz Ahmed – a record that features dedications to feminist inspirations on every single track – but which has a soaring, righteous quality that marks Ahmed as an inspirational force of her own! The songs are long, and the music is rich in textural elements – strong trumpet solos from the leader, but also a globe's worth of contributions from other members of the contemporary London scene in which Ahmed's been making waves for the past few years – with a level of expression that maybe matches some of our favorite recent jazz releases on the Brownswood label! If you know the charms of the London scene in recent years, you'll have plenty to love here – and will find yourself adding Yazz to a list of artists to keep your ears on. And if you don't, this album's a great place to begin your musical discovery – on titles that include "Ruby Bridges", "Barbara", "Lahan Al-Mansour", "One Girl Among Many", and "Deeds Not Words". CD

Possible matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Black PumasBlack Pumas ... CD
ATO, 2019. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Soulful sounds from Black Pumas – a collaboration between singer Eric Burton and the great Adrian Quesada – the latter an instrumentalist and producer that you'll know from a variety of different funky projects over the years! This set might well be Adrian's ticket to the big time – as Burton's a singer with a very strong range, and great crossover potential – echoing Al Green one minute, hitting deeper vibes the next – and working alongside small combo backing that has plenty of laidback guitar lines and warm keyboards, all produced with the usual Quesada touch! Titles include "Oct 33", "Fire", "Colors", "Know You Better", "Stay Gold", "Old Man", "Confines", and "Touch The Sky". CD

Possible matches10
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✨✧ Dexter GordonEspace Cardin 1977 ... CD
Elemental, 1977. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A fantastic late live date from Dexter Gordon – one that's noteworthy not just for his own strong work on tenor, but also for the presence of bop pianist Al Haig – who comes as quite a surprise on the session! Haig and Gordon have never played before on record – although their paths must have crossed in the postwar bop underground – and Al's really tremendous here, and makes for a completely different sort of accompanist than some of the more familiar pianists that Dex would work with! The format is similar to some of Gordon's classic live sets from Europe – familiar tunes, but opened up with really long solos – and augmented here with a few originals that really make things interesting – and the rest of the quartet is equally great, thanks to work from Pierre Michelot on bass and Kenny Clarke on drums. There's also one more great surprise – Gordon plays soprano sax on one modal number – with this snakey tone that's really wonderful! Titles include "Antabus", "Sticky Wicket", "A La Modal", "Body & Soul", and "Oleo" – and the piano trio plays a version of "Round Midnight". CD
(Limited edition!)
Also available Espace Cardin 1977 (180 gram pressing) ... LP 18.99

Possible matches11
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Stanton Davis' Ghetto MysticismIsis Voyage ... CD
Outrageous/Cultures Of Soul, Late 70s. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A great counterpart to the rare Stanton Davis Ghetto Mysticism album – and a set that was recorded right around the same time, with a number of previously unreleased tracks! The spiritual energy of that group has been well-loved by collectors for years – and enjoyed by others thanks to a recent reissue – and this sweet batch of rare cuts really augments that rare musical moment, by offering up a further set of completely cosmic grooves! The style is spacey jazz funk with some deeper elements in the mix – all recorded and arranged with an indie vibe that reminds us a lot of the classic Oneness Of Juju albums on Black Fire, but without as much vocals – just a strong focus on the sweet keyboard lines and soaring horn passages. Some tracks are brand new, others are different versions of themes from the Brighter Days album – and titles include "Delta Six/Brighter Days", "Isis Voyage", "Odwalla", "Things Can Not Stop Forever (Al Kent version)", "High Jazz (reprise – alt mix)", "Things Cannot Stop Forever (inst mix)", and "Funky Fried Tofu (alt inst version)". CD

Possible matches12
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ VariousJack Ashford – Just Productions Vol 2 ... CD
Kent (UK), Late 60s/1970s. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
70s soul from a 60s Detroit legend – producer, arranger, instrumentalist Jack Ashford – the many who lent his talents to both the Motown and Pied Piper production teams, and who's still going strong with all the rare work in this package! After Motown shifted much of its work to California, Ashford and a few key talents were still turning out blockbuster soul in Detroit – as you'll hear in this wonderful assortment of very obscure recordings, which were either issued only on very limited 45s, or which appear here for the first time ever. Ashford's groove is a great update of earlier Motor City modes – with some echoes of the upbeat yet classy style he formed with Pied Piper, but also more 70s modes too – some warmer keyboards, sweetened strings, and maybe an even more sophisticated sense of rhythm that really keeps things interesting! As usual with Ace/Kent, even if you're a huge collector of rare soul, you'll find plenty to discover here – and if you're not, the whole thing's still pitched as a great introduction to this scene. Titles include "Don't Leave Me Baby" by Lorraine Chandler, "Crying Clown" by Eddie Parker, "I Can Fly" by The Magnificents, "After You Give Your All" by Sandra Richardson, "The Story Of My Life" by Billy Sha-Rae, "Let Me Take Care Of Your Heart" by Jack Ashford, "Alone Again" by Brenda Cook, "JC's Grit Gitter" by JC Heard, "Lay A Little Lovin On Me" by Don Gardner & Baby Washington, "Watch Yourself" by Al Gardner, "There Can Be A Better Way" by The Sound Of New Detroit, and "The First Depression" by Ray Gant & Arabian Knights. CD
 
Partial matches: 138
Partial matches13
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Bobby BareAll American Boy (4CD set) ... CD
RCA/Bear Family (Germany), Early 60s. New Copy 4CD ... $92.99 129.99
The great start of the legendary Bobby Bare – a singer who'd move onto rich new territory in the 70s, but who was also pretty darn fantastic in his early years too! Bobby's a hell of a singer – and here, he makes some real magic with songs that run the gamut – in a package that features some very obscure early work for Capitol, Challenge, and Fraternity Records – singles that most folks don't know about at all – before then moving into all the early RCA Records material that really helped put Bobby on the map in the mid 60s! The whole thing's done in the usual strong Bear Family style – and in addition to hits like "500 Miles Away From Home", "Detroit City", and "Miller's Cave" – the package also includes lots of obscure album cuts that are long out of print, and even some unusual German recordings too. CD

Partial matches14
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
B Baker Chocolate CoB Baker Chocolate Co ... CD
LC/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... $16.99
Pure genius from the B Baker Chocolate Company – a set that's equal parts fusion and soul, held together by these rich arrangements that really send the whole thing home! The album's never too slick, yet has a sense of perfection that matches some of the best soulful fusion dates at Blue Note or Fantasy in the mid 70s – a quality that's especially strong on the vocal tracks on the set – one of which features Lew Kirton in the lead! The players are all totally top-shelf – and include Lonnie Smith and Jimmy McGriff on keyboards, John Faddis and Marvin Stamm on trumpets, and Jimmy Ponder on guitar – and the set's got a beautiful balance that few other records like this can match. Lew Kirton sings on "It's Where You're Coming From", and "Dreamer" features Gene Scott – and instrumental tracks include the funky classic "Snow Blower", plus "Carousel" and "Spirit Level". CD
(Part of the Groove Merchant Mo' Groovy Collection!)

Partial matches15
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Jeb Bishop Trio/QuartetAfternoons ... CD
Okka Disk, 2001. New Copy ... $9.99 13.99
One of the boldest statements on record from trombonist Jeb Bishop – and a really great reminder of his key contributions to the Chicago avant scene at the start of the century! Jeb's a master of subtle shape and sound on his instrument, but he can also play with a fiercer frenzy – which is definitely the case here, and he moves between a trio and quartet lineup – alongside Kent Kessler on bass, Tim Mulvenna on drums, and Jeff Parker on guitar! The match of Parker and Bishop happens on four of the album's seven tracks, and has an especially strong resonance – tuneful at times, fuzzier at others – although the trio tracks are pretty darn incredible, and have us really remembering the greatness of Kessler and Mulvenna too. Titles include "Mirror Image", "The Umbrella", "Piggly Wiggly", "Pond", and "Flex Time". CD

Partial matches16
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Black FlowerFuture Flora ... CD
Sdban (Belgium), 2019. New Copy ... $14.99
A very cool little combo – one who play funky jazz, but add in a globe's worth of influences – with an especially strong ear for the exotic reed sounds of Ethiopia in the 70s! The album's got warm keyboards at the core, driven by live drums and percussion – then topped with really beautiful work on cornet, alto, and baritone sax – the last of which has this deep, rich voice that really gives the record some soul – a special sort of quality that really sets these guys apart. There's a few other reed instruments in the mix there somewhere, and titles include "Ankor Wat", "Hora De Aksum", "Early Days Of Space Travel (part 2)", and "Ohm Eye". CD
Also available Future Flora ... CD 8.99

Partial matches17
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Chi-LitesChi-Lites ... CD
Brunswick/Solid (Japan), 1972. New Copy ... About December 4, 2019
One of our favorite albums ever from the legendary Chi-Lites – and a set that's sometimes passed over, because it didn't have a formal title or colorful cover! The self-titled set is a killer all the way through – filled with the kind of sublime harmonies that made the group easily one of the best vocal acts at the start of the 70s – set to some sophisticated grooves that really push the vocals strongly – with lots of unusual twists and turns that go way past the group's previous cuts! Presentation, performance, and production are sublime – the best of the best of the Brunswick Chi-soul years – and titles include the great groover "Go Away Dream", the hits "Marriage License" and "Stoned Out Of My Mind", and lots of other nice ones like "Homely Girl", "I Never Had It So Good", and "I Found Sunshine". CD

Partial matches18
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Comet Is ComingTrust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery ... CD
Impulse, 2019. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
A fantastic blend of spiritual jazz styles and electronic elements – served up here by the trio of drummer Betamax, keyboardist Danalogue, and saxophonist King Shabaka – the last of whom you might recognize as Shabaka Hutchings from a host of other hip projects on the contemporary London scene! Shabaka's work on tenor and bass clarinet really gives the record an earthy, organic core – which seems to let the keyboards really soar off into space, often with the sort of vibe that you'd guess from the group's name and the cover image on the record – in a wide flurry of live and amplified performance elements! At some level, the trio is almost London's answer to some of the jazz-meets-studio work from Chicago's International Anthem label – and like some of the groups who record for that imprint, these guys are all strong jazz musicians at the core – but performing at a level that's very beyond the ordinary. Titles include "Birth Of Creation", "Summon The Fire", "Blood Of The Past", "Astral Flying", "Super Zodiac", "The Universe Wakes Up", and "Timewave Zero". CD

Partial matches19
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Guido & Maurizio De AngelisE Poi Lo Chiamarono Il Magnifico ... CD
Digitmovies (Italy), 1972. New Copy ... $16.99
A really strong little western score for this obscure Terence Hill film from the early 70s – a soundtrack that still works in the conventions of the spaghetti western genre, but which also uses other instrumental twists from time to time – making for a nicely varied set! A few of the tracks have a more solid orchestral approach, others use some acoustic guitar in a very spare setting, and a few others go for an odder, almost folksy sound at times. The theme track features vocals from Gene Roman, and the Nora Orlandi chorus sings on a few more numbers too. Titles include "Don't Lose Control", "Sfida In Paese", "Tema Di Candida", "Arrivo In Treno", "Arrivo In Paese", Tom In Paese", "The Killers" and more. This edition from Digitmovies includes 8 bonus tracks – all previously unreleased! CD

Partial matches20
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Pierre DorgeSoundscapes ... CD
Steeplechase (Denmark), 2018. New Copy ... $15.99 19.99
Guitarist Pierre Dorge has been giving us amazing music for many years – but he sounds especially amazing here in the company of a really great group – the excellent Kirk Knuffke on cornet, plus Stephen Riley on tenor, Conrad Herwig on trombone, Jay Anderson on bass, and Adam Nussbaum on drums – all very dynamic players who seem to make Dorge sound even fresher than ever! There's an especially strong sense of phrasing on the record – no surprise, especially with Knuffke in the mix – and while Pierre can sometimes use his instrument in more abstract ways, that quality is really balanced by all the other members of the lineup. Anderson's bass is great – nicely pointed at the best moments, and a great contrast to Dorge's strings – and all tracks are originals, with titles that include "Lullaby For Sun Ra", "Mingus' Birthday Party", "Afrikaa Mbizo Dyani", "Sim Sim Ba", and "Alligator In Paradise". CD

Partial matches21
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Lesley DuncanLeslie Step Lightly – The GM Recordings Plus – 1974 to 1982 (Everything Changes/Moon Bathing/Maybe It's Lost/bonus tracks) (3CD set) ... CD
GM/RPM (UK), 1970s/Early 80s. New Copy 3CD ... $16.99
The second and final chapter of work from England's Lesley Duncan – a really great singer/songwriter who opened the doors for many others, but often never fully got her due! The tracks here are after Lesley's bigger years on RCA, and especially CBS – three albums recorded for the GM Recordings label in the mid 70s, plus lots of later bonus tracks too – all showing Duncan still very much at the height of her powers, as a strong interpreter of her own lyrics in ways that are free of commercial modes, nor any of the easily, conventional styles that other female singers were using as the 70s moved on. Arrangements are nicely understated, and two of the three albums feature Chris Spedding on guitar – Peter Frampton is on the third – all strongly presented here with huge notes and photos, and 20 bonus tracks too, including live tracks from a 1974 concert. Titles include "My Soul", "Moon Bathing", "Rocking Chair", "Fine Friends", "Jumped Right In The River", "We'll Get By", "Watch The Tears", "Maybe It's Lost", "The Sky's On Fire", "Love Melts Away", "Walking In The Sea", "Falling Like A Leaf", "Sing Children Sing", "Rainbow Games", "Could've Been A Winner", "Another Light Goes Out", and "Masters Of War". CD

Partial matches22
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Automatic ManAutomatic Man ... CD
Lemon (UK), 1976. New Copy ... $12.99
A masterpiece of mid 70s jazz rock – from an obscure combo that features work by fusion legend Todd Cochrane Bayete! Bayete recorded two wonderful albums for Prestige before this set – and although the record has him moving into a much more rock-based style than on his fusion sessions, there's still a really cosmic groove at play here – infused with Bayete's soulful vocals and strong keyboard lines! Titles include "My Pearl", "Comin Through", "One N One", "Geni Geni", "There's A Way", "ITD", "Automatic Man", and "Atlantis Rising Theme". CD
Also available Automatic Man ... CD 8.99

Partial matches23
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Cilla BlackCilla/In My Life (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Parlophone/SFE (UK), 1965/1974. New Copy 2CD ... $15.99
Two key albums from England's legendary Cilla Black – back to back in a single set, and with 26 bonus tracks too! First up is the amazing 1965 debut, Cilla – a record that maybe draws even more heavily on American soul music than some of Dusty Springfield's early work – all given some impeccable handling in the studio by arranger Johnny Scott, with a bit of help from Johnny Spence, and the record's producer, George Martin. Tunes are a great blend of American pop tracks and more off-beat numbers – done in that strangely syncopated mode that always provided a perfect counterpoint for Cilla's vocals – percolating the tracks wonderfully, and keeping things nice and clean, in a way that you don't always find in her later records. Titles include "Baby It's You", "Goin Out Of My Head", "Every Little Bit Hurts", "This Empty Place", "Come To Me", "Dancing In The Street", and "Whatcha Gonna Do Bout It". In My Life is the first set in the second chapter of Cilla Black's years with EMI – and her first record without George Martin at the production helm, too! The styles open up with a lot more contemporary 70s elements than some of Black's previous records – and there's a fair bit of keyboard work to create these warmer currents underneath Cilla's always-strong lead vocals. Titles include "I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song", "Someone", "Daydreamer", "Everything I Own", "Baby We Can't Go Wrong", "Let Him In", "Like A Song", and "I Believed It All". 2CD set features lots of bonus tracks – including "Changes", "From The Inside", "Alfie Darling", "He Was A Writer", "I'll Still Love You", "Little Bit Of Understanding", "Heatwave", "Anything You Might Say", and the full mono mix of the debut album. CD

Partial matches24
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
George BraithExtension ... CD
Blue Note (Japan), 1964. New Copy ... $16.99
A masterpiece from George Braith – one of the most unique sax players of the 60s! The album's a Blue Note classic in the Larry Young vein – with lots of free spiralling modal lines, and heavenly solos on organ, guitar, and reeds – the former of which are played by Billy Gardner and Grant Green. Braith's playing is incredible – slightly exotic, but also quite soulful – in a vein that recalls Yusef Lateef and Roland Kirk, but which also has a strong voice of its own. Braith plays tenor, soprano, and alto sax on the set – and the album is filled with groovy modal tracks like "Nut City", "Sweetville", and "Extension". Very very nice! CD
(Part of the "Blue Note 80 – More 60 Works" series!)

Partial matches25
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Peter Brotzmann Chicago TentetAmerican Landscape 1 ... CD
Okka Disk, 2006. New Copy ... $9.99 13.99
Peter Brotzmann's on clarinet this time around, and working here in an extended studio piece with his Chicago Tentet combo – one of his greatest groups of later years, featuring both Mats Gustafsson and Ken Vandermark on reeds, as well as Joe McPhee on both trumpet and alto sax! The work builds slowly, almost tentatively – the fills in strongly as the piece goes on – with a sound that's almost like the Jazz Composers Orchestra style at the end of the 60s, but not as dynamic overall. The reeds are almost strongest in shaping the tune – although other contributions include trombone from Hannes Bauer, tuba from Per Ake Holmlander, and cello from Fred Lonberg-Holm. CD 1 features the first part of the work – which is quite long, and stands strongly as an album on its own! CD

Partial matches26
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Peter Brotzmann Chicago TentetAmerican Landscape 2 ... CD
Okka Disk, 2006. New Copy ... $9.99 13.99
Peter Brotzmann's on clarinet this time around, and working here in an extended studio piece with his Chicago Tentet combo – one of his greatest groups of later years, featuring both Mats Gustafsson and Ken Vandermark on reeds, as well as Joe McPhee on both trumpet and alto sax! The work builds slowly, almost tentatively – the fills in strongly as the piece goes on – with a sound that's almost like the Jazz Composers Orchestra style at the end of the 60s, but not as dynamic overall. The reeds are almost strongest in shaping the tune – although other contributions include trombone from Hannes Bauer, tuba from Per Ake Holmlander, and cello from Fred Lonberg-Holm. CD 2 features the second half of the work – returned to a tentative beginning, then stepping out more strongly as things move on! CD

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Cliff BrunerCliff Bruner & His Texas Wanderers (5CD set) ... CD
Bear Family (Germany), Late 30s/1940s. New Copy 5CD ... $109.99 149.99
A mindblowing set of work from Cliff Bruner – a western swing pioneer who never gets the same attention as Bob Wills – but who sounds equally great to our ears with the music on this set! The package is a great antidote to some of those cheaply-packaged collections from the 78rpm era of early country – and presents Bruner at his best, with excellent sound, and a hugely detailed set of notes that support 117 tracks from Cliff's years at Decca, Mercury, and AYO – a long legacy of music that really captures the mid-south sound during some key transformative years! The Bruner band may well be jazzier than that of Bob Wills – but also hits strong with great fiddle work from the leader, and a succession of great sidemen who include Moon Mullican, Link Davis, and Bob Dunn. The set's a great testament to the genius of Bear Family – and was the first to really open up our ears to the genius of Cliff Bruner's music! CD

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Steve DavisCorrelations ... CD
Smoke Sessions, 2019. New Copy ... $15.99 17.98
Trombonist Steve Davis blows here with the Correlations Sextet – a group we might be hearing for the first time, and who add just another mighty feather to Steve's already-stuffed cap! Davis has really taken off in the past decade or so – always a strong trombonist, but now and equally-wonderful leader – with a way of shaping sound and moving all the elements of a group that remind us a lot of the moment when JJ Johnson took off and really found a way to make small combos cook – or maybe even a bit like the way that the lesser-known Eje Thelin could spin things out without ever losing his groove! The lineup features Wayne Escoffery on tenor, Joshua Bruneau on trumpet, Xavier Davis on piano, Dezron Douglas on bass, and Jonathan Barber on drums – a number of whom are great leaders on their own – and Davis contributed a number of original titles to the set – including "Embarcadero", "Song For My Love", "Batista's Revenge", "Newbie", "Can't Complain", and "Blues For Owen". CD
Also available Correlations ... CD 11.99

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Bilal AbdurahmanEchoes Of Timbuktu & Beyond In Congo Square ... CD
Folkways, 1979. New Copy Gatefold ... $12.99 16.98
A beautifully poetic take on the transplantation of African sounds in the US scene – played on a variety of different instruments by Bilal Abdurahman! The tracks are mostly short, percussive ones – with the strongest focus on instrumentation, but with occasional vocal refrains from Bilal – usually in wordless or chanted form, although there's a few nice spoken bits too! Instrumentation is quite diverse – and includes balafon, xalam, and even Ugandan harp – on titles that include "Spirits Of Congo Square", "Ancestral Ode", "Fusion", "Congo Square Procession", "Lament", "Blues Is Born", and "Gogi Solo". CD
(Special limited CD – pressed up for us by the Smithsonian Folkways label. Comes with original cover artwork, and the CD also features a PDF file with the original liner notes and other materials from the original record release.)

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Dee AlexanderWild Is The Wind ... CD
Blujazz, 2008. New Copy ... $11.99 15.99
Amazing work from singer Dee Alexander – a wonderfully soulful album of jazz vocals, and one that we'd rank right up there with our favorite records by Carmen Lundy or Dee Dee Bridgewater! Dee's a singer who's worked in Chicago for years, but we've honestly only begun to appreciate her talents of late – possibly because she's really hipped up her sound a lot over the years, picking up a range of spiritual, soulful influences that push her music to a whole new level – as you might have heard on her recent collaboration with IG Culture. The music on the set is wonderful too – work by Chicago players we know, but have never heard this strongly before – grooving in modal and soulful modes behind Dee's great vocals, with a lineup that includes Miguel De La Cerna and Michael Logan on piano, Harrison Bankhead on bass, and Leon Joyce on drums and percussion. Titles include versions of two tunes by AACM member Henry Huff – "Live" and "You & I" – plus the Alexander originals "Long Road Ahead", "Rossingnol", "Butterfly", and "C U On The Other Side". CD

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Herb AlpertHerb Alpert Reimagines The Tijuana Brass Music Vol 3 ... CD
Herb Alpert, 2018. New Copy ... $7.99 13.99
Herb Alpert remakes himself again – taking all the best tunes from his classic years on A&M records, then fitting them to contemporary grooves – all at a level that's a bit like some of the Verve Remixed projects from years back, but even better! These aren't remixes, but new versions – as Herb blows strong trumpet lines over the top of beats, keyboards, and other contemporary elements – all while keeping that Tijuana Brass punch in his horn, on versions of "Whipped Cream", "Spanish Flea/Rise", "The Lonely Bull", "El Presidente", "Spanish Harlem", "Green Peppers", "A Taste Of Honey", and "Bittersweet Samba". CD

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Phil Alvin with Sun Ra & Dirty Dozen Brass BandUnSung Stories ... CD
Warner/Big Beat (UK), 1986. New Copy ... $12.99 18.99
Maybe the strongest solo project ever from Phil Alvin – a late 80s effort dedicated to the romping R&B sounds of the 50s – done with great help from both the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and the Sun Ra Arkestra! A number of cuts are from the glory days of the R&B single – and the approach moves between tracks with Alvin's combo, one with the Dirty Dozen, and three especially nice tracks with the Arkestra! Given the way that Sun Ra's 80s material was often dipping back into earlier generations of jazz, the group make for a very strong fit with Phil's approach – on titles that include "Someone Stole Gabriel's Horn", "Titanic Blues", "Collins Cave", "Death In The Morning", "Next Week Sometime", and "The Old Man Of The Mountain". CD
Also available UnSung Stories ... LP 13.99

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AmericaCapitol Years (Silent Letter/Alibi/View From The Ground/Your Move/Perspective/In Concert) (6CD set) ... CD
Capitol (Czech Republic), Late 70s/Early 80s. New Copy 6CD ... $39.99 49.99
Overlooked later work from America – not the huge AM radio hits from the time when the group was a trio, and produced by George Martin – but instead, material from a point when they'd trimmed down to a duo, and really found a great way to move their music forward! The approach here still has all the harmonic interplay of before, and as the albums move on, older AOR modes get shed for some slightly more contemporary styles – but still with that kind of golden glow that always made the America approach a lot stronger than most of their contemporaries! Songs are nicely understated, as is the production – and if, like us, you're a fan of the group with a love that goes way deeper than the hits, then you'll find plenty to love here. The package features six full albums, each in original album-styled sleeves – with the releases Silent Letter, Alibi, View From The Ground, Your Move, Perspective, and In Concert. CD

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Edwin Astley/Tony CrombieInternational Detective/Man From Interpol ... CD
El (UK), Late 50s/Early 60s. New Copy ... $3.99 13.99
A pair of cool British TV soundtracks – both of which feature an action jazz style to rival the best early work of Henry Mancini for the television screen! First up is lost spy soundtrack work from the British composer Edwin Astley – best known for his work on The Saint and Danger Man, but also sounding pretty darn great on the earlier program International Detective! The feel here is similar to some of Astley's better-known work – a more dramatic take on the crime jazz used on American TV in the late 50s – one that retains much of the instrumental elements of the sound, especially the well-placed use of saxes – but which also uses larger orchestrations to flesh out the music nicely, creating a stronger, more cinematic feel. The set features a total of 21 tracks from this short-lived show – and titles include "International Detective", "Murder Strip", "Theme For Larceny", "Night Patrol", "The Badge", "Manhunt", "Shock Tactics", "Murder Chase", and "Concerto In Law". Next is Man From Interpol – one of the best spy soundtracks we've ever heard – and one of the only scores we've ever seen from Brit jazz drummer Tony Crombie! The work was done a few years before Barry's famous Bond scores – but it's got a very similar feel, with lots of driving themes that make the best use of brazen horns, fast jazz, and beat-styled rhythms that crackle throughout the set. Most titles are pretty short, but really great – and nearly all of them feature some extremely strong jazz musicianship, in the manner of that used on the best American soundtracks by Mancini at the time! Titles include "Panic Station", "Interpol Cha Cha Cha", "Interpol Chase", "Samba De Janeiro", and "Blues Macabre". CD

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Ojo BalingoAfrotunes – Best of Juju Vol 2 – Oba Mimo Olorun Ayo ... CD
Tabansi/BBE (UK), Late 70s. New Copy ... $14.99 18.99
Excellent sounds from Ojo Balingo – a Nigerian juju artist from the same stretch as King Sunny Ade – but one whose music is much more obscure to audiences on this side of the Atlantic! Balingo's group here has the loose, spontaneous vibe that characterizes juju at its best – this real sense of jamming, especially in the criss-crossing of the percussion, which is tremendous throughout – a real driving force of the music, and exploding with all these melodic elements as much as rhythmic ones – so much so, that the talking between the drums speaks volumes, even before the vocals come into the mix. The whole thing's a masterpiece of creative percussion, mixed with other elements that creep in a bit more strongly on side two – and titles include "Oba Mimo Olorun Ayo", "Ayo Igbala Ni Mofe, "Igbe Eiye Oloburo", "Jide Babaloa & Bayo Babalola", and "Ile Aiye Ile Ese Ile Aiye Ogun". CD
Also available Afrotunes – Best of Juju Vol 2 – Oba Mimo Olorun Ayo (180 gram pressing) ... LP 24.99

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Gato Barbieri & Dollar BrandHamba Khale! (aka Confluence) (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
BYG/Muzak (Japan), 1968. New Copy ... About November 11, 2019
Great stuff – a rare meeting between Argentine tenor player Gato Barbieri and South African pianist Dollar Brand – a true global meeting of the jazz minds, and a recording that's stronger than most of the work either player was recording at the time! The format is incredibly spare – just tenor and piano, plus some occasional cello work by Brand – dark and angular, but also filled with small flowers of hope, flowering in the spontaneous presence of these two great minds. Tracks are long, with a free flowing quality that's infused with soul and spirit – and titles include "Hamba Khale", "Wildrose", and "To Elsa". CD

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Bobby BareMe & McDill/Sleeper Wherever I Fall/Bare/Down & Dirty ... CD
Columbia/BGO (UK), Late 70s. New Copy 2CD ... $14.99
Four late 70s albums from Bobby Bare – all brought together in a single set! First up is Me & McGill – a really special sort of album from the great Bobby Bare – a set that's a collaborative effort with songwriter Bob McDill, as you can probably guess from the title! Bob gives Bobby tunes that are nicely different than some of the mid 70s material he was recording for RCA – maybe a bit more down to earth, with less easy attempts at wit – and at a level that show a maturing Bare, in styles that are similar to some of the shifts that Merle Haggard was taking at the time. Titles include "If You Think I'm Crazy Now", "Look Who I'm Cheating On Tonight", "The Woman In Every Man's Life", "Tired Of The Road Joe", "You Made A Believer Out Of Me", and "Till I Get On Feet". Sleeper Wherever I Fall is Bobby Bare's first album for Columbia Records – a bit of a return to straighter material than some of his concept records for RCA from a few years back – material that really helps the maturing singer find a way towards some of the adult territory that some of his contemporaries were handling at the time – but all without ever sounding too commercial or mainstream, maybe a shift towards territory of some of the non-outlaw material of David Allen Coe. Titles include "Hot Afternoon", "Goin Up's Easy Goin Down's Hard", "Sleep Tight Good Night Man", "What Did It Get Me", "The Last Time", and "Rodeo Queen". Bare is a record that reunites Bobby with songwriter Shel Silverstein – the talent who really helped him reignite his music at the start of the 70s! The songs here are maybe a bit less concept, or joke-oriented than some of Silverstein's more famous material – a great reminder that Shel can be a hell of a songwriter in more conventional modes – and a few tracks on the record are by other writers too. Throughout it all, that great Bobby Bare vocal approach really makes the best of the songs – titles that include "This Guitar Is For Sale", "Too Many Nights Alone", "Greasy Grit Gravy", "Sing For The Song", and "Yard Full Of Rusty Cars". Down & Dirty is a strong live set from Bobby Bare – a singer we mostly associate with studio work, but who's clearly at home here in front of a crowd! There's maybe some slightly more rockish phrasing in some of the instrumentation – but the live presentation keeps things from ever sounding commercially overdone – and the songs are a mix of material from the kinds of singers who always bring out the best in Bobby Bare – a fair bit from Shel Silverstein, plus more from Bob McDill, Townes Van Zandt, and Kris Kristofferson. Titles include "Some Days Are Diamonds", "Numbers", "Tequila Sheila", "I Can't Watch The Movie Anymore", "Qualudes Again", "Down To My Last Come & Get Me", and "Good For Nothing Blues". CD

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Nat BirchallStoryteller – A Musical Tribute To Yusef Lateef ... CD
Jazzman (UK), 2019. New Copy (pic cover)... $14.99
A tremendous record from one of our favorite saxophonists of the past decade – the completely sublime, completely wonderful Nat Birchall – a musician who was way ahead of the curve towards spiritual jazz that others have hit in recent years, and one who still does it better than anyone else! The title gives away only part of the story – as Nat's definitely paying tribute to the great Yusef Lateef, particularly the mix of soulful jazz and exoticism in his earlier work – but the overall execution is very much in the best Birchall mode – long-building tracks, really informed by a strong tradition of spiritual energy, and not just in musical form – as the leader blows tenor, soprano, bass clarinet, and handles a range of instruments from around the globe – in the company of Michael Bardon on bass, Andy Hay on drums and percussion, and either Adam Fairhall or John Ellis on piano, depending on the track. A few of the tunes are classics from the vintage Lateef songbook, and Birchall has also seamlessly contributed a few numbers of his own – making for a fantastic double-length set, with titles that include "Tales Of Saba", "Ching Miau", "Salaam Brother Yusef", "Inward Flight", "Brother John", "Not Yet Ornette", "Ringo Oiwake", and "Mashariki" – plus a great version of "Love Theme From Spartacus", a tune that Lateef made his own back in the 60s, with a fantastic reading that's gone on to inspire many. CD
Also available Storyteller – A Musical Tribute To Yusef Lateef (180 gram pressing – with bonus download) ... LP 32.99

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BloChapters & Phases – The Complete Albums 1973 to 1975 (Chapter One/Phase II) ... CD
Rev-Ola (UK), 1973/1975. New Copy ... $4.99 14.99
One of the hippest groups of the Nigerian scene of the 70s – presented here in two classic albums, back to back on a single CD! Chapter One is a landmark set of African grooves – very unusual in both conception and execution – with a feel that's unlike anything we can think of! There's definitely a rock influence in the set, but the music isn't rock at all – it's a very dark, almost dubby groove at points – and a bit more straightforwardly funk at others – almost a post-colonial style that clearly comes from a London influence, given to the group by a previous association with Ginger Baker. Rhythms are quite tight, and the bass is as strong as the drums – mixed up nicely with riffing guitar, and moody vocals that color the whole thing nicely. Titles include "Preacherman", "Time To Face The Sun", "We Are Out Together", "Chant To Mother Earth", "Miss Sagitt", "Beware", and "We Gonna Have A Party". Phase II is a critical next step for the group – music that's even deeper than before, but a bit funkier too! There's clearly some touches here of other African funk of the time – especially in the way the guitar parts groove with the rhythms – although those heavy Blo basslines from before are still nicely in place, as are some of the fuzzier production elements too. Titles include "Whole Lot Of Sh*t", "Atide", "Blo", "It's Gonna Be A Good Day", "Native Doctor", and "Don't Take Her Away From Me". CD

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Ralph BowenStandard Deviation ... CD
Posi tone, 2014. New Copy ... $11.99 17.98
Tenorist Ralph Bowen blows some strong magic here – the kind of tone and timing that really transforms the more familiar numbers chosen for the set – so that older standards are turned inside out and opened up as new vehicles for expression – yet all while still managing to swing! The rhythm trio is tight, but fluid – and features Bill O'Connell on piano, Kenny Davis on bass, and Donald Edwards on drums – yet to our ears, Bowen's the main star on the record – and we've never heard him sounding so powerfully creative! Most tracks have a strong focus from start to finish, but cover a surprising amount of ground – and titles include "Yesterdays", "No Moon At All", "Isn't It Romantic", "Dream Dancing", "By Myself", and "You Stepped Out Of A Dream". CD

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Art Turk BurtonAncestral Spirits ... CD
TNT, 2019. New Copy ... $11.99
A fantastic record from Chicago percussionist Art Turk Burton – a longstanding member of the AACM, but one who's been so busy teaching and helping out on the local scene, he's never gotten the international fame he deserves! Art works here in a large group that mixes contemporary modes and percussion traditions, vocal passages and instrumental lines – all with this sense of knowledge and righteousness that really tie Burton back to previous years in the Chicago scene! The great Ari Brown is in the set on tenor and soprano sax, and Edwin Daugherty is on alto and soprano – and Maggie Brown sings on the set for a bit, too – evoking the spirit of her father Oscar Brown Jr, who would have loved the vibe of the record. The group's also got the great Yosef Ben Israel on bass, keeping a strong groove amidst the other percussion and drums – and Eddie Beard plays piano and organ in the group. The title track "Ancestral Spirits" is a tribute to Phil Cohran and Muhal Richard Abrams – and other titles include great extrapolations on "All Blues", "Listen Here", "Soul Drummer", "Summertime", "Night In Tunisia", and "Killer Joe". CD
Also available Ancestral Spirits ... CD 8.99

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Donald ByrdFancy Free ... CD
Blue Note (Japan), 1969. New Copy ... $19.99
One of the coolest, grooviest 60s albums from trumpeter Donald Byrd – one that has him really reaching out for a hip new sound, but in ways that are different than most of his other material at the time! Key on the date is the placement of electric piano from Duke Pearson – played in this open, flowing style that has all the best hallmarks of Pearson's own work on the instrument for his sessions – yet balanced nicely with the bolder punch of Byrd's trumpet as well. Donald's quite far from any Miles Davis cliches on this one – no too-dark electric modes at all – and instead, the album's got this sense of lyrical soulfulness that we've maybe never heard this strongly again on any of Byrd's other albums. Other players include Frank Foster on tenor, Jerry Dodgion and Lew Tabackin on flute, Julian Priester on trombone, Jimmy Ponder on guitar, and either Idris Muhammad or Joe Chambers on drums. All tracks are nice and long, and very fresh – and include "Weasil", "I Love the Girl", "Fancy Free", and "The Uptowner". CD
(Part of the "Blue Note 80 – The 80 Works" series! Ultimate HQ CD pressing.)

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Donald Byrd & 125th StreetLove Has Come Around – The Elektra Anthology 1978 to 1982 ... CD
Elektra/Big Break (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s. New Copy 2CD ... $15.99
A great chapter in the career of trumpeter Donald Byrd – his post-Blue Note work with the group 125th Street NYC – which is kind of a second chapter to the jazzy fusion style he developed at the start of the 70s! This time around, there's an equal emphasis on soul and jazz – often with some strong vocals in the lead, but also plenty of room for Donald to stretch out and serve up the kind of perfect solos he worked out with the Mizell Brothers in the years before – modes that are continued here with some great guest help from singers and musicians who include Syreeta, Isaac Hayes, Jim Gilstrap, Wah Wah Watson, and Greg Phillinganes! If you like Donald Byrd albums like Places & Spaces or Stepping Into Tomorrow, you'll find that the sound here is a continuation of that mode – taken into the leaner funk territory that would come to play in the 80s. 2CD set features almost all the best tracks from those years, including some single mixes too – and titles include "Thank You For Funking Up My Life (12" disco version)", "Marilyn", "Butterfly", "Gold The Moon White The Sun", "Sexy Dancer", "Love Has Come Around", "Loving You", "Love For Sale", "Star Trippin", "I Love You", "Midnight", "Your Love Is My Ecstasy", "Have You Heard The News", "People Suppose To Be Free", "Morning", "I'm Coming Home", "Sunning In Your Love Shine", "Everyday", "Falling", "So Much In Love", and "Forbidden Love". CD

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Dario Carnovale/Alessandro Turchet/Luca ColussiUntitled (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Albore Jazz (Japan), 2018. New Copy Gatefold ... $9.99
A record without any title, but more than enough energy to brilliantly state itself – thanks to magical interplay from the trio of Dario Carnovale on piano, Alessandro Turchet on bass, and Luca Colussi on drums! And yes, the format is one that you're certainly familiar with – but this is also one of those piano trio records that states itself as unique right from the start – not through any avant inclinations, but just through the freshness of the group and the way they work together – a strength that partly comes from the album's original music by Carnovale! In fact, we might say that these songs are strong enough, they hardly needed to title the album – as great tracks include "Rush", "Interpolation", "Miriam & Sara", "Return", "Malinko", and "Zisa". CD

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Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali)I Am The Greatest (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Columbia, 1963. New Copy ... $3.99
A great little record – and proof that Muhammad Ali was star material, even in his early years! The record is kind of in the spoken word mode – but has added music by Peter Katz – and features Ali delivering some of his famous poetic "zinger" type material, of the sort that would come to prominence even more strongly during the 70s, as Ali's fame and press presence rose. There's a brashness to his presentation that's totally great, and almost a precursor to more righteous male performance in 60s soul – and the titles of the tunes kind of say it all, and include "The Knockout", "I Have Written A Drama He Said Playfully", "Funny You Should Ask", "I Am The Greatest", and "I Am The Double Greatest". Plus, the CD features 3 bonus tracks – including a version of "Stand By Me"! CD

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Comet Is ComingChannel The Spirits (special edition – with bonus tracks) ... CD
Leaf (UK), 2016. New Copy 2CD ... $13.99 14.99
The amazing first full length set of Comet Is Coming – one of the boldest statements from the London jazz scene in recent years – and a brilliant blend of live jazz instrumentation and electronics! Shabaka Hutchings – as King Shabaka – is in the group on tenor, which he blows with this strongly spiritual quality – really reaching out as this organic core amidst some of the spacier, noisier touches – all of which never get too far-out, and which are just balanced enough to effect the cosmic journey that's always been the group's promise! Drums are nice and heavy too, and the whole thing has this fantastic vibe that's as immediately appealing as it is completely unique – which you'll hear on tunes that include "Space Carnival", "The Prophecy", "Channel The Spirits", "Deep Within The Engine Deck", and "Journey Through The Asteroid Belt". As a bonus, the 2CD edition also features their debut Prophecy EP – plus unheard tracks titled Ancient Tapes – "Slammin", "Transmission", and "Closing Credits". CD

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Lou Donaldson & The 3 SoundsLD + 3 ... CD
Blue Note (Japan), 1959. New Copy ... $16.99
A classic meeting between alto giant Lou Donaldson and Blue Note's crack Three Sounds combo – the great piano trio led by the mighty Gene Harris! The formula was one that Blue Note employed on a number of sessions from the time – and it makes a lot of sense, because the Three Sounds are a very tight rhythm group, just waiting for a strong soloist to front their rolling soulful grooves – in ways that really set sessions like this apart from their standard albums for the label. On this one, the Sounds give Lou a nice tight backing, and he repays the favor by laying down some very tight, very in-the-pocket solos with a good soul jazz groove. Tracks include "Jump Up", "Confirmation", "Smooth Groove", and "Blue Moon". CD
(Part of the "Blue Note 80 – More 60 Works" series!)

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Down To The BoneClassic Album Series (From Manhattan To Staten/Urban Grooves/Spread The Word – with bonus tracks) (3CD set) ... CD
Dome (UK), 1996/1998/2001. New Copy 3CD ... $16.99
The first three albums from Down To The Bone – packaged here in a nicely-priced set, with bonus tracks too! First up is From Manhattan To Staten – a record that moves across the boroughs of New York – and which also managed to have a huge impact on the Windy City as well – given that the music of Down To The Bone was perfect for the groove of the Chicago steppers scene in the 90s! The group are a bit jazz, a bit soul, and have this chunky funky rhythm at the bottom that shows their roots in the British scene – maybe a mix of electric jazz modes with inspirations from artists like Soul II Soul or the James Taylor Quartet – taken to a style that's slightly tighter overall. There's a fair bit of programming in the rhythms, mixed with live instrumentation from group members – and titles include the classic "Staten Island Groove", plus "Muesli Brown", "Savour The Flavour", "Brooklyn Heights", "3 Days In Manhattan", "Carlito's Way", "On The Corner Of Darcy Street", and "17 Mile Drive". Urban Grooves is the second album from Down To The Bone – and a set that really continues the vibe of their debut – a mix of programmed funky rhythms and liver jazz instrumentation – all awash in a groove that really helped them cross over big on both sides of the Atlantic! The production is tight, but looser than smooth jazz of the time – and the record's got more than a few strong keyboard and saxophone solos to offset its rhythmic patterns, which often draw heavily from the best styles of the British soul scene in the late 80s and early 90s. Titles include "A Little Touch Of Soul", "Phat City Hustler", "Joy Is A Good Groove", "Bump N Hustle", "To The Bone", "The Zodiac", and "Urban Jazz". Spread The Word is the overlooked third album from Down To The Bone – a set that maybe didn't take the world by storm as much as their first two, but which still has the group very much in fine formation! All the best previous elements are in place here – that strong mix of funky jazz instrumentation with contemporary rhythmic production – almost a blend of some of the funkier club styles of the time with more mainstream fusion, at a level that made these guys both a hit on the dancefloors and for kicking back at the crib! Titles include "The Backburner", "Righteous Reeds", "Sound As A Pound", "Bridgeport Boogie", "The Lowdown", and "Black Choice". 3CD set features all albums in small LP-style jackets – and bonus tracks include "Deja Vu", "Concrete Jungle", "Staten Island Groove (live studio version)", and "Brooklyn Heights (live studio version)". CD

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Nancy DupreeGhetto Reality ... CD
Asch/Folkways, 1970. New Copy Gatefold ... $12.99 16.98
Kind of silly – but also pretty darn hip! Nancy Dupree was one of the most righteous music teachers you could ever have – and here, she's working with some young kids from the rough side of Rochester, in an album of simple tunes that have a surprisingly soulful edge to them. Nancy plays piano, and the kids sing either solo or in ensemble format. The record's got a starkness that's extremely compelling, and it's a lot stronger than we expected, even if it's not like some of the funky stuff on the Folkways label. Includes a song called "James Brown" that has all the kids making grunts and groans ala 60s James, then singing about his shift from a process to an afro! Other titles include "I Want", "What Do I Have?", "Bag Snatchin", and "Docta King". CD
(Special limited CD – pressed up for us by the Smithsonian Folkways label. Comes with original cover artwork, and the CD also features a PDF file with the original liner notes and other materials from the original record release.)

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AirtoFree/Identity/Promises Of The Sun (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Arista/BGO (UK), 1972/1975/1976. New Copy 2 CDs ... $14.99
A trio of albums from percussionist Airto – with bonus tracks too! First up is Free – one of the coolest, grooviest albums you'll ever hear from the legendary percussionist Airto – a set that mixes his own Brazilian roots with the electric genius of 70s CTI – all with stunning results! Airto's in the lead – and blows some beautiful wood flute lines alongside percussion – but the album also features killer contributions from Joe Farrell on soprano sax, Hubert Laws on flute, Keith Jarrett on piano, and Chick Corea on Fender Rhodes – as well as a hip bit of vocals from Flora Purim as well! There's some added horns at parts – but the arrangements are relatively spare and subtle – so that most tracks have a core organic quality, very similar to Airto's work on Buddah/Cobblestone, but given a bit more of a CTI twist. Most tunes are quite long and free-flowing – and titles include "Lucky Southern", "Flora's Song", "Creek (Arroio)", and "Return To Forever". Identity is a soaring set of grooves from one of the world's greatest percussionists – a standout set as a leader from Airto, and a key set in his wonderful run of work from the 70s! The album's still got the loose, free feel of Airto's earliest work, and isn't nearly as crossover-oriented as some of the Flora Purim sets from the time – still strongly in a rootsy, earthy sort of vibe – and produced with a very respectful sound by Herbie Hancock. Herbie plays some Arp on the record, and Wayne Shorter brings in some soprano sax too – but the core elements of the album are Airto's range of percussion instruments, keyboards and piano from Egberto Gismonti, drums from Roberto, trombone from Raul DeSouza, and a bit of vocals from Flora. Titles include "Flora On My Mind", "Cafe", "The Magicians", "Tales From Home", "Identity", and "Encounter". Promises Of The Sun is a record that departs nicely from earlier work, yet still keeps all the best elements intact! Airto's percussion work is firmly at the core of the set – giving it a nice acoustic base to work from, while also adding in touches of electric guitar by Toninho Horta, bass by Novelli, and keyboards from Hugo Fattoruso. The groove is a wonderful blend of the acoustic and electric, organic and synthetic – and is often crafted in a majestic vibe that seems to be inspired by the work of Milton Nascimento from the early 70s. Tracks include "Circo Marimbondo", "Zuei", "Candango", "Ruas Do Recife", "Georgiana", and "La De Casa". CD features bonus tracks "Creek (alt version)", "So Tender", and "Jequie". CD

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Eddy ArnoldComplete RCA Victor Christmas Recordings ... CD
RCA/Real Gone, 1960s. New Copy ... $16.99 18.98
Warm sounds for the Holiday season – a double-length set of Christmas tunes, sung by the great Eddy Arnold! Eddy recorded most of these numbers at a time when he was at the height of his countrypolitan talents – able to croon a tune with a smooth, mellow approach that almost made him the Perry Como of the country world – although set up with more of a Nasvhille vibe, thanks to producer Chet Atkins! The match of Atkins and Arnold is one of the all-time greats in mid-century pop – and the duo seem to push themselves even more strongly on this seasonal material. The CD features the full 1961 Christmas album recorded by Eddie, plus loads more Holiday singles – most of which have never been collected before. 26 titles in all – with tracks that include "Christmas Can't Be Far Away", "White Christmas", "Up On The Housetop", "Will Santa Come To Shanty Town", "Jingle Bell Rock", "Christmas", "I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day", "Silent Night", "Jolly Old Saint Nicholas", "Winter Wonderland", "The Angel & The Stranger", and "New Year's Greeting". CD

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Art Ensemble Of ChicagoEarly Combinations ... CD
Nessa, 1967. New Copy ... $14.99 16.98
An important pre-Art Ensemble Of Chicago moment – one that has most of the group coming together in a pair of rare recordings in the home of Lester Bowie – already sounding amazingly creative as a unit! The sound is almost freer than later work by the group – or certainly at the fierceness they hit right at the start of the 70s – and the lineup here includes both Roscoe Mitchell and Joseph Jarman on a range of reed instruments, Lester Bowie on trumpet and flugelhorn, and Malachi Favors on bass – plus strong input from Thurman Barker on drums, and an appearance on one track from Curtis Clark on bass! The sound is wonderfully raw, and surprisingly clear for a home recording – and the power of the music is undeniable. Both tracks – "A To Ericka" and "Quintet" – were previously part of the Art Ensemble box set on Nessa – but that's been out of print for years, and together these compositions work wonderfully as a full album! CD

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AurraLittle Love (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Salsoul/Octave (Japan), 1982. New Copy ... $22.99
The image on the cover is a great summation of the Aurra magic – a sweet blend of male and female vocals with plenty of soul – woven together in ways that are quite different from more cliched duet modes of earlier years! The grooves are at the center of the record – set out strongly by producer/arranger Stephen Washington, with loads of great basslines at the core! Yet it's the vocals that really make the record sparkle – work by Starleana Young and Curt Jones – both very individual singers who have a way of coming together here with a very fresh feel! Studio magic allows both to provide backup as well as lead vocals – and the album's filled with great groovers that include "It's You", "Make Up Your Mind", "A Little Love", "In My Arms", "Still Free", and "Checking You Out". CD features bonus tracks – "Checking You Out (Shep Pettibone 12" mix)", "Make Up Your Mind (unreleased Tom Moulton mix)", "Make Up Your Mind (orig 12" inst mix)", "A Little Love (orig 12" rmx)", and "A Little Love (original single)". CD

Partial matches54
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✨✧ Back DoorBack Door/8th Street Nites/Another Fine Mess ... CD
Warner/BGO (UK), 1972/1973/1974. New Copy 2CD ... $14.99
Hard-jamming jazz rock from Back Door – 3 prime era Warner albums in a 2CD set! Graced with lots of free solo work on alto and soprano sax by Ron Aspery, and a pretty strong power-trio instrumental format from Tony Hicks on drums and Colin Hodgkinson on bass, the group's early-to-mid 70s triumphs are mighty to this day. The self-titled debut is a jamming affair with genuine strains of funk and pretty great playing – and overall, it almost sounds like a rock take on the ESP sound at times! Titles include "Back Door", "Jive Grind", "Askin The Way", "Vienna Breakdown", "Plantagenet", and the classic Beastie Boys' sample track "Slivadiv". 8th Street Nites more than lives up to its predecessor, with a lots of bass-driven grooves and a couple charged takes on classic Robert Johnson and Leadbelly. Titles include "Linin' Track", "Forget Me Daisy, "Roberta", "Dancin' In The Van", "The Bed Creaks Louder", "Adolphus Beal" and more. Another Fine Mess arrived a couple years later and brings some Fender Rhodes to the mix, with titles including "I'm Gonna Stay A Long, Long Time", another fine jammy jazz rock take on the blues in "TB Blues", plus "Manager's Shirt", "Streamline Guitar", "The Dashing White Sergeant" and more. CD

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Baroque Jazz TrioBaroque Jazz Trio (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Saravah/Souffle Continu (France), 1970. New Copy ... $13.99
Beautiful stuff – and one of the most stunning jazz albums ever recorded – a blinding mix of harpsichord, cello, and Indian percussion – with a sound that's unlike anything else we can think of! The album was the brainchild of the cross-culturally fertile Saravah records at the end of the 60s – home to experimental work by Brigitte Fontaine, Barney Wilen, The Art Ensemble Of Chicago, and others. From the start, the group wanted to work in a boundary-less territory that really pushed the limits of jazz – drawing in inspiration from world music, and working in a style they called "baroque", to emphasize the bizarreness of their project. Given the heavy use of tabla on the set, the album's got a really driving rhythmic component – making for some funky numbers that have been sought-after jazz-dance tracks for years. And the role of the harpsichord is surprisingly strong – played in almost modal lines, but with a hesitating, lilting groove that's quite different to similar use of the piano at the time. Titles include "Delhi Daily", "Chandigardh", "Latin Baroque", "Zoma", and "Cesar Go Back Home". CD also features 2 bonus tracks – "Largo" and "Orientasie". CD
Also available Baroque Jazz Trio ... LP 22.99

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✨✧ Barrino BrothersLivin' High Off The Goodness Of Your Love (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Invictus/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1973. New Copy ... About December 4, 2019
The only album ever by The Barrino Brothers – a stellar early 70s harmony group, and one who could sing with the best of the east coast scene of the time! The whole set's got a feel that's very much in the best mode of groups like The Modulations, Soul Generation, and even The O'Jays – as the group's got a deeper, more solid sound than some of the more fragile outfits of their era. Production is very strong – thanks to the Holland-Dozier-Holland powerhouse sound of the time – and the group's vocals are supported on a full groove that really helps send the whole thing over the top! The title cut "Livin High Off The Goodness Of Your Love" is a stone classic – and other nice tracks include "Rain", "I Had it All", and "It Doesn't Have to Be That Way". Loads of bonus tracks too – including "Trapped In A Love", "I Had It All (single)", "I Shall Not Be Moved", "Livin High Off The Goodness Of Your Love (inst)", "Livin High Off The Goodness Of Your Love (single)", "Born On The Wild (voc)", and "Born On The Wild (inst)". CD
Also available Livin' High Off The Goodness Of Your Love (180 gram pressing) ... LP 28.99

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John BarryJohn Barry – The Mono Years 1957 to 1962 (3CD set) ... CD
El (UK), Late 50s/Early 60s. New Copy 3CD ... $18.99
The great John Barry as a young man – stepping out here on songs that are a lot more rocking than his later fame as a soundtrack composer – served up in a massive 3CD box that collects together singles for Parlophone and Columbia, plus some early rock songs from films! The style here is quite different than the Barry of the James Bond years – as the Parlophone tracks include a number of vocal singles that are clearly trying to challenge the US rock hits of the time, mixed with more instrumentals by the John Barry Seven – and the Columbia years follow with more of the instrumental vibe, often using cool production to bring the most out of the twangy guitars or bright trumpet lines. The set concludes with a CD that features the Beat Girl soundtrack and the Stringbeat instrumental album – both a strong extension of the Columbia years – and the package features 92 tracks in all – with a big booklet of notes – titles that include "Get Lost Jack frost", "Big Fella", "Beat For Beatniks", "Hit & Miss", "Zip Zip", "Little John", "Hideaway", "Farrago", "Big Guitar", "Tit Willow Twist", "Watch Your Step", "The Menace", "Blondie's Strip", "The Challenge", "Moody River", "A Handful Of Songs", "Zapata", and lots lots more. CD

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Richard BeirachElm ... CD
ECM (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... $19.99
A nicely woody little album from pianist Richie Beirach – full of deep tones on his own acoustic piano, and supported strongly by some rich lines from George Mraz on bass! Beirach's got this tuneful, lyrical vibe on the record – maybe similar to his previous Eon set – but he's also still plenty loose and open to new ideas, which often seem to get directed by drummer Jack DeJohnette, whose work is an undeniably key part of the trio here! Richie's got this way of cascading notes along that works perfectly with some of DeJohnette's more driving lines – and titles include "Sea Preistess", "Pendulum", "Ki", "Snow Leopard", and "Elm". CD
(Ultimate HQ CD pressing – part of the ECM 50 series!)
Also available Elm ... LP 14.99

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Maria Bethania & Zeca PagodinhoDe Santo Amaro A Xerem ... CD
Biscoito Fino (Brazil), 2019. New Copy 2CD ... $34.99
A classic-styled Brazilian live collaboration – a set with solo performances by each of the stars in the lead, and some great duet material together! The approach is one that's been used on Brazilian albums from the earliest records by Elis Regina and Jair Rodriguez – and it's still a fantastic way to present two strong singers in their best light – as Maria Bethania seems to hit a whole new level of warmth when singing alongside Zeca Pagodinho! Arrangements for Zeca's tracks are by Paulao De 7 Cordas, and Maria's are by Jaime Alem – and the set begins and ends with a number of duets, and features solo passages in the middle. Titles include "Sono Meu", "Samba Pras Mocas", "Vai Vadiar", "Adalgisa/Falsa Baiana", "Iluminada", "Pano Legal/Safe Socaite", "Reconvexo", "Gente Humilde", "Amaro A Xerem", "Naquela Mesa", "Desde O Samba E Samba", and "Verdade". CD

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Big LLifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous ... CD
Columbia, 1995. New Copy ... $4.99 8.99
The classic first solo album by Big L – with bedrock DITC production by Buckwild, Showbiz and Lord Finesse – perfectly framing the rhymes by Harlem's finest. Big L didn't leave a huge wealth of recordings before he was taking away from the world, but he started out strong, and this benchmark effort makes a pretty solid testament to his legacy. Alongside some of the period QB hip hop, this one is pretty close to the pinnacle of streetwise east coast 90s hip hop. 12 tracks in all: "Put It On", "MVP", "No Endz, No Skinz", "8 Iz Enuff", "All Black", "Danger Zone", "Street Struck", "Da Graveyard", "Lifestylez Ov Da Poor And Dangerous", "I Don't Understand It, "Fed Up Wit The Bullsh#t", and "Let 'Em Have It L". CD

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Cilla BlackSher-oo/Modern Priscilla (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Parlophone/SFE (UK), 1968/1978. New Copy 2CD ... $15.99
A pair of EMI classics from Cilla Black – separated by the space of a decade, and filled in with 21 more bonus tracks too! First up is Sher-oo – fantastic work from Cilla Black – only her third full length album, but a set that already has the singer growing way past some of her British female contemporaries of the 60s! There's still a bit of the uptown soul of Cilla's roots – the dark-stepping groove that always served her so well – but there's also a wider range of song styles and arrangements, with a majestic flow that really does great things with Black's incredible vocal approach. Johnny Harris and Johnny Scott both had a hand in putting the charts together – and the set also features the classic "Step Inside My Love", written for Cilla by Lennon & McCartney. Other tracks include "Yo Yo", "Take Me In Your Arms & Love Me", "Misty Roses", "Something's Gotten A Hold Of My Heart", "Follow The Path Of The Stars", and "What The World Needs Now". Modern Priscilla is a record that takes Cilla Black in an unusual direction – a set that has her moving into more disco modes overall, but still keeping things relatively special, thanks to strong production work from Mike Hurst, and a track selection of unusual material! Given that Black's vocals always had a lot more range than some of the mainstream disco singers of the European scene, she fits right in – and manages to turn out a few gentler tracks amidst all the funkier upbeat numbers. As mentioned, the set features a huge number of bonus tracks – including "This Time I'm In It For Love", "Songs", "Follow", "Silly Boy (Paul Hulme mix)", "From Now On", "Work Is A Four Letter Word (film version)", "Step Inside My Love (almighty 12" definitive mix)", "M'Innamoro", "Step Inside Love (first take)", and "All My Love". CD

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Steve BlackVillage Boogie ... CD
PMG (Austria), 1979. New Copy ... $6.99 16.99
An album that definitely lives up to its title – thanks to a strong embrace of funky boogie styles, but served up here with a sweet Nigerian twist! Some cuts are heavy funk right from the start – clearly inspired by Kool & The Gang and other sharp-edged American groups of the 70s – while others have a slightly looser rhythmic approach, but one that still grooves nicely, too – all given some great energy by the vocals of Steve Black, whose style of singing is nicely playful, and almost as bubbling as the instrumentation! The title track has this really cool mix of electronics and dub – and titles include "Brand New Wayo", "Igholoye", "Precious Tim", "Village Boogie", "When You Know What's Wrong", "Fun In The Street", and "Step Out When You're Down". CD

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Art BlakeyHoliday For Skins Vol 1 ... CD
Blue Note (Japan), 1958. New Copy ... $14.99
The rarest of all of Art Blakey's percussion group projects – and quite possibly the best, too! The session features Blakey at the head of a strong mix of jazz and percussion players – with Art Taylor and Philly Joe Jones on the regular drum kit, Donald Byrd on trumpet and Ray Bryant on piano, and a host of assorted percussion work by the likes of Ray Barretto, Sabu Martinez, Victor Gonzalez, Julio Martinez, and others. The resultant sound is incredible – very full, rich, and earthy – and done in a way that interweaves African and Latin percussion styles with straighter American jazz! A few cuts have chanting by Blakey and Sabu – and titles on this first volume include "The Feast", "Mirage", "Lamento Africano", and "Aghano". CD
(Part of the "Blue Note 80 – More 60 Works" series!)

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Art BlakeyHoliday For Skins Vol 2 ... CD
Blue Note (Japan), 1958. New Copy ... $14.99
The rarest of all of Art Blakey's percussion group projects – and quite possibly the best, too! The session features Blakey at the head of a strong mix of jazz and percussion players – with Art Taylor and Philly Joe Jones on the regular drum kit, Donald Byrd on trumpet and Ray Bryant on piano, and a host of assorted percussion work by the likes of Ray Barretto, Sabu Martinez, Victor Gonzalez, Julio Martinez, and others. The resultant sound is incredible – very full, rich, and earthy – and done in a way that interweaves African and Latin percussion styles with straighter American jazz! A few cuts have chanting by Blakey and Sabu – and titles on this second volume include "Otinde", "Swingin Kilts", "Dinga", and "Reflection". CD
(Part of the "Blue Note 80 – More 60 Works" series!)

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Mary J BligeMary Christmas ... CD
Verve, 2013. New Copy ... $13.99 14.98
A sparkling Christmas set from Mary J Blige – one that takes full advantage of those wonderful vocals, and lets them loose on a whole host of Holiday tunes! The album's on Verve, and has a feel that's a lot more classic than some of Mary's other work – a vibe that's somewhere between contemporary R&B and the older vocal jazz you'd hear on Christmas favorites from years past – an approach that comes through strongly in Mary's choice of tunes. Most of the numbers are favorite standards from the Holiday season, given a special Blige twist – arranged by David Foster, and titles include "Little Drummer Boy", "My Favorite Things", "This Christmas", "The Christmas Song", "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer", "Do You Hear What I Hear", "The First Noel", and "Petit Papa Noel". CD

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Angela BofillAngie/Angel Of The Night ... CD
Vocalion (UK), 1978/1979. New Copy ... $11.99
A pair of soulful gems! Angie is Angela Bofill's sublime first album – a mixture of jazzy soul and soulful jazz, all put together with a sound that's really a cut above most of her contemporaries! As with Jean Carn or Phyllis Hyman, there's a sophistication to Angela's sound here that indicates roots in much hipper territory that were still pulling strongly on her work for this mainstream set – a sound that runs deeper than you might expect for such a commercially successful record, and which has really kept it alive for years. Part of the strength of the set is the jazzy backings given the music – arranged by Dave Grusin, and carried off by himself on keyboards, with other players who include Eric Gale on guitar, Dave Valentin on reeds, Steve Gadd on drums, and Ralph MacDonald on percussion. There's a warmly glowing feel to the record that's neither slick or commercial – and titles include "Children Of The World United", "Summer Days", "Rough Times", "This Time I'll Be Sweeter", and "The Only Thing I Would Wish For". Angel Of The Night is sweet jazzy soul from Angie Bofil – recorded in 1979 with Dave Grusin, who gives the album a smooth edge that really works perfectly with her vocals! The set's a perfect blend of the more soulful elements in the fusion scene of the late 70s, combined with Angie's warm vocal style and some excellent songwriting. Titles include "I Try", "Angel Of The Night", "What I Wouldn't Do", "Rainbow Child", "The Voyage", and a great cover of "People Make The World Go Round". CD
(Hybrid Super Audio CD pressing – also works on standard CD players!)

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Flavio BoltroI Remember Clifford ... CD
Venus (Japan), 2019. New Copy ... $34.99
A beautiful record from trumpeter Flavio Boltro – and one that's way more than the Clifford Brown tribute that you might guess from the title! First off, Flavio's phrasing here is much more earthy than Brownie's – and maybe even more so than some of Boltro's other records too, with less of the sparkle – and even this current of humanity, or fragility, that we don't always hear from the Italian trumpeter. Next, the set also does include a few of the Clifford Brown-related songs from back in the day, but also has some later material too – which rounds things out with a very deep vibe – partly thanks to the strong rhythm support from Massimo Farao on piano, Nicola Barbon on bass, and Ruben Bellavia on drums. Titles include "Ceora", "Nutty", "Con Alma", "Wasabi Blues", "Mamacita", and "Whisper Not". CD
(Hyper Magnum Sound pressing.)

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Booker T & The MGsHip Hug Her/Doin Our Thing (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Stax/Edsel (UK), 1967/1968. New Copy ... $11.99
2 full albums – plus bonus tracks too! On Hip Hug Her, Booker T's definitely getting a bit funky – stepping off with the incredible title cut, a tune which really complicates the groove from the earlier years! The sound is still solid Memphis soul, with a raw instrumental vibe – but the grooves are even better than before, and the set includes loads of great original number written by the group – the kind of cool tunes they most likely cooked up while jamming live in the studio! These gems include the seminal "Hip Hug Her" – plus "Carnaby Street", "Booker's Notion", "Soul Sanction", "Double Or Nothing", and "Slim Jenkins' Place". But the covers are groovy too – and include a version of "Pigmy", plus "Groovin" and "Sunny". Doin Our Thing has Booker T & The MGs moving their instrumental sound into a whole new range than before! The album has a very groovy feel – nice and tight, with especially great organ and guitar lines – often tuned towards 60s hits by other soul artists, but reworked strongly by the group's wonderful rhythms, and turned into a really cooking batch of Memphis soul instrumentals! There's a few key original tunes on the set – like the title track "Doin Our Thing" – and the cuts "I Can Dig It" and "Blue On Green" – but the covers are equally great, and include versions of "Ode To Billie Joe", "You Keep Me Hangin On", "Expressway To Your Heart", and "Let's Go Get Stoned". Features 2 bonus tracks – "Summertime (single edit)" and "Winter Snow". CD

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Chris BowdenTime Capsule ... CD
Soul Jazz (UK), 1996. New Copy ... $18.99 22.99
An underground classic from the London scene – a record that was hugely important to us in the early days of Dusty Groove, and which is still completely tremendous all these many years later! At the time, the album was the sort of ambitious undertaking that nobody else would have done – pre-Cinematic Orchestra, pre-Nostalgia 77, pre-any of those other groups that were inspired by vintage soundtracks, David Axelrod, and all sorts of higher ideas in groovy music! Chris Bowden is a saxophonist at the core – and a jazz-based one too – but he works here with these incredible arrangements of his own creation, folding in both funky and fulfilling elements – heavy drums, percussion, and keyboards – but also some great string passages, and even surprisingly strong use of clarinet at times – creating these snakey elements that offset his own soulful lead. The album was a landmark at the time – even if it was missed by most of the planet – and it's still tremendously powerful throughout – with titles that include "Forbidden Fruit", "Natural Selection", "Deaf Out", "Telescopic Three", "Sane", "Angel Falls", "Solo", "Love Lies Bleeding", "Epsilon", and "Time Capsule". CD

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David BoykinLove Power Magic ... CD
Sonic Healing Ministries, 2014. New Copy ... $6.99
One of the most spiritual albums we've ever heard from reedman David Boykin – a beautiful batch of long, flowing tunes that have tremendous modal energy and a very cohesive feel! We've always loved Boykin, right from the start – but here he's showing an even deeper sense of spirituality and direction – a great evolution after so many years in jazz, with a strong ability to build new ideas over a very long space – and still communicate in this universal style that transcends time and place! The package is lean – just a small cardboard sleeve – but the music is mighty, and feels like some lost underground jazz classic from the 70s. Boykin plays reeds and a bit of percussion – in a quintet with some really tremendous bass from Josh Abrams – plus piano from James Baker, guitar from Alex Wing, and drums from Marcus Evans – on the tracks "Love Power Magic", "Hyperspace", "6/10/13", and "Some Slick 8 Bar Blues". CD

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David Boykin OutetEvidence Of Life On Other Planets Vol 2 ... CD
Box Media/Sonic Healing Ministries, 1999. New Copy ... $6.99
A seminal album from the great reedman David Boykin – a set recorded right at the end of the 90s, with an excellent group full of members who'd all go on to do wonderful things in years to come – Nicole Mitchell on flute, Chad Taylor on drums, and Josh Abrams on bass – plus a bit of vocals from Glenda Zarah Baker as well! The tracks are a great mixture of long and short, quiet and powerful – really marking Boykin as one of the key talents to inherit the mantle of the AACM legacy, and find a way for it to move forward strongly, and proudly, well into the 21st Century. Titles include "Hypnotic", "Portal 7", "Blue Corn Bop", "Affections Of Alienation", "Abductions & Experimentations", and "Astro Lilly". CD

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Charles BradleyBlack Velvet ... CD
Dunham/Daptone, 2018. New Copy ... $12.99 13.99
The great Charles Bradley left this planet all too soon – and although we've got this final album of music to enjoy, it's only a partial consolation for Bradley's early departure! The set's maybe a bit like some of the albums of Otis Redding material that were issued after his passing – in that there's some cuts here that were singles, mixed with unissued songs that really show Bradley on top of his game – working strongly with the Menehan Street Band at a level that really has us wanting more! Some of these tunes have a sharply righteous vibe – maybe even more edge than before from Charles – which makes the whole thing not just a completely essential addition to his catalog, but also a way of pointing towards a future that might have been. Titles include "Can't Fight The Feeling", "Luv Jones", "I Feel A Change", "Black Velvet", "Fly Little Girl", "Victim Of Love (electric version)", "Slip Away", and "Heart Of Gold". CD

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Peter BrendlerOutside The Line ... CD
Posi tone, 2014. New Copy ... $7.99 17.98
Bassist Peter Brendler is at the helm of the set, but we're especially enamored of the trumpet work here – played by Peter Evans on both standard and piccolo trumpet – the latter of which has this wonderfully personal sound! Almost all tunes are originals from Brendler, who turns out to be a pretty great writer – and sets up these strong showcases for Evans' trumpet lines, which seem to leap right out front even before his solos – when he's still sharing the lead with tenorist Rich Perry. Perry's pretty great, too – but there's a freshness to Evans' phrasing that's really great – bold at some minutes, with lots of offbeat twists and turns – and more fragile and honest on the piccolo trumpet tunes. Drummer Vinnie Sperrazza completes the group – and titles include "Blackout Reunion", "Drop The Mittens", "The Darkness", "Blanket Statement", "Lawn Darts", and a surprisingly nice cover of "Walk On The Wild Side". CD

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Gustav Brom/Polish Radio Big Band/Warsaw Stompers/Rita Reys & Pim JacobsJazz Jamboree 64 Vol 2 – Polish Radio Jazz Archives ... CD
Polskie Radio (Poland), 1964. New Copy ... $7.99
A set of swinging large group sounds mixed with vocal jazz numbers – all recorded at Poland's Jazz Jamboree festival in 1964! The real highlight here for us is the music of the Gustav Brom Orchestra – that cool Czech ensemble that later recorded some gems for MPS/Saba, but who here are already moving into some of their more modern conceptions – that strong sense of both color and swing that made Brom such an inventive leader. The group perform the tunes "Sonor", "Get Out Of Town", "African Nights", "Romance Of The Sea", and "Deep Water". The set also features some swinging vocal jazz numbers from the great Rita Reys from the Netherlands – working here with the Pim Jacobs Trio, who always provided her with the best sort of sounds – on titles that include "Bluesette", "Willow Weep For Me", "Moonglow", "Speak Low", and "I Get A Kick Out Of You". Andrzej Kurylewicz leads the Polish Radio Jazz Orchestra on titles that include "Cute", "Guma", and "Ballad For Anna" – and the set also features a few trad numbers from the Warsaw Stompers – including "Bat", "Panama", and "March Of The Charcoal Grays". CD

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✨✧ Brother TheodoreFate Conspires With Destiny To Do Me Dirt – 1959 to 1972 ... CD
Omni (Australia), 1960s/Early 70s. New Copy ... $16.99 19.99
Completely bizarre work from Brother Theodore – a strange postwar cultural figure who'd arrived in the US from a rescue of the holocaust hellhole of Dachau, then reinvented himself as an offbeat actor and monologist! Theodore's got a very strange voice, one that's partly inflected by his accent, but which mostly comes from the pointed way he presents his word – often with rolling consonants, and this sense of acting, even when speaking – which is what he mostly does on the record, save for some added musical effects and very slight production twists. Theodore briefly worked with Orson Welles, and there's almost a Welles-like sense of creativity and pomposity on these recordings – which were just part of the Brother's calling card, as he spent years doing his act in New York clubs, and also spent some time on the west coast too – a surprisingly strong underground figure. This release brings together the 1959 Coral Records album Theodore In Stereo, plus two tracks recorded for the PIP label in 1972, and one unreleased track – with titles that include "The Willow Landscape", "Quadrupedism", "The Curse Of The Toad", "Lisolatta Bindfel", and "I'm Just Plain Folks". CD

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James BrownPopcorn ... CD
King/Universal (Japan), 1969. New Copy ... $13.99
A tremendous turning point in the career of James Brown – and an album that points the way strongly to the even deeper funk of the 70s! The album's a hard-wailing batch of instrumental tracks played by the legendary James Brown Band of the late 60s – the pre-JBs ensemble that's gone onto have possibly even more funky influence than the Godfather's combo in the 70s! James plays organ on the set – and supposedly a bit of guitar and drums (according to the notes) – but one of the main stars here is Pee Wee Ellis, whose alto lines really cook up some of the best tracks strongly. Yet possibly even more amazing is the overall rhythmic conception – tight, focused, and always on the money – snapping with a sharpness that's mindblowing even all these many years later – a whole new dimension in funky expression, hardly ever matched since! Titles include "Soul Pride (parts 1 & 2)", "The Chicken", "Sudsy", "The Popcorn", "In The Middle (parts 1 & 2)", "The Chase", and "A New Shift". CD
(Part of the JB & Funk 1000 Best Collection!)

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Marion BrownFive Improvisations ... CD
Be! (Germany), 1977. New Copy ... $16.99
Fantastic work from reedman Marion Brown – an unissued live set from the mid 70s, and one that features a whole new side of his talents! The music is definitely the improvisations promised in the title – but never in a free jazz sort of way, as Brown is working with a group, who have a nice sort of swing on all the tracks – and almost put Marion into hardbop territory that he hardly ever touched at this time! The whole performance is a unique glimpse at that much richer life that Brown was living overseas in the 70s – a time when he was connecting strongly with the jazz scene in Europe, in ways that were not always that well-documented on record – and also working on the American underground, but in ways that were different from some of his better-known material. This set is certainly one of those sides of his career – a beautifully swinging, soulful set that also features work from Brandon Ross on guitar, Jack Gregg on bass, and Steve McGreven on drums. Titles include "First Improvisation", "Second Improvisation", "Third Improvisation", and so on. CD

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✨✧ BT ExpressFunction At The Junction (with bonus track) ... CD
Columbia/Octave (Japan), 1977. New Copy ... About December 18, 2019
Heavy funk and super-tight horns – all wrapped up in the kind of a groove that made BT Express one of the hottest club acts of the 70s! The group are at the height of their powers here – working with excellent arrangements from Carlos Ward – a jazzman at heart, and a talent who gives the group all these complicated touches that make them way more than just another soul group with horns – even while the tracks are still moving strongly forward, and stepping strong to a killer clubby groove! Titles include "Funky Music", "Sunshine", "Star Gazer", "How Big Can You Dream", "Eyes", and "Scratch My Itch". CD features a bonus track – "Funky Music (original single version)". CD

Partial matches79
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Sidiku BuariFeelings In Africa/Sidiku Buari & His Jam Busters ... CD
Precious/BBE (UK), Early 80s. New Copy ... $13.99 16.99
A pair of rare records by Sidiku Buari – issued back to back on a single CD! Feelings is a record that was issued on the tiny Precious label – home to only two Buari albums in its tiny catalog – and the set follows strongly on the work that Sidiku recorded in New York during the 70s, records that were initially issued just under his last name! The groove on some tracks is full of early 80s NYC touches – sweet electro keyboards that provide some great middle-ground shocks to the tunes – while beats crackle crispy at the bottom, and Buari sings these slinky soul vocals that are a lot more American than you'd guess from the Ghanaian recording of the album. But other numbers have more of a West Africa vibe – that updating of older modes that was taking place in Nigeria too. Titles include "Music", "Feelings", "Anowar", and "Yayo Papa". Sidiku Buari & His Jam Busters has a groove that definitely lives up to its name – a sweet 80s crackle with lots of tunes that jam in an old school funk style – keyboards, basslines, and rhythms right on the money – in a great Transatlantic bridge between Ghana and New York City! The set begins with the super-funky "Let's Go To Funky Town" – a tune with a break on the intro to rival some of the best funky club work of the time – and the vibe continues strongly through the rest of the set, on titles that include "Sophisticated Jammer", "Power To My People", "Rhythm Of Africa", "Minsumobo", and "Karambani". CD
Also available Feelings In Africa/Sidiku Buari & His Jam Busters ... LP 24.99

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Ronnie BurnsThis Is Ronnie Burns ... CD
Spin/RPM (UK), Mid 60s. New Copy ... $12.99
Lost 60s gems from Australia's Ronnie Burns – a hell of a great talent, and one whose sense of a song is a perfect bridge between the early Beatles and Bee Gees! The former were a huge influence on Ronnie's sound, and he sung a fair bit of songs by the latter – but he also often works with this nice edge, a sense of darkness, and maybe even some occasional garagey grit next to his well-produced vocals – which are given this fantastic spacious style in the studio, which really lends to the appeal of the tunes! Most work was issued on the Aussie Spin label in the mid 60s, but the quality resonates more strongly with the hipper currents over at EMI/Parlophone – especially in the Hollies side of the spectrum. Titles include "Coalman", "In The Morning", "All The King's Horses", "We Had A Good Thing Goin", "Easy Rider", "Age Of Consent", "So Good Together", "One Bad Thing", "Colaman", "Exit Stage Right", and "Doin The Mod". CD

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Jerry ButlerIce Man Cometh ... CD
Mercury/Intermusic (Spain), 1968. New Copy ... $14.99
Amazing soul from one of the greats of the 60s! This album was one of the first that Jerry cut for Mercury – where he'd begun working with the young team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff to completely rework the earlier sound he'd forged at Vee Jay Records. The album's still got Jerry singing in his wonderfully rich deep voice – hence the "iceman" in the title – but the songs have a bit more of a groove to them, with a soaring soul style that really lifts Jerry up, and pushes him onto a whole new generation of soul fans. The best proof of this are the hits "Hey Western Union Man" and "Never Give You Up" – but the whole album's great, and like most of Jerry's LPs, it's got many wonderful tunes hiding underneath the hits. Titles include "How Can I Get In Touch With You", "Can't Forget About You Baby", "Are You Happy", and "Go Away Find Yourself" – as well as other hits like "Lost" and "Only The Strong Survive". CD
(Limited edition.)

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✨✧ Glen CampbellGlen Travis Campbell/I Knew Jesus/I Remember Hank Williams ... CD
Capitol/BGO (UK), 1972/1973. New Copy 2CD ... $8.99 16.99
A trio of early 70s albums from Glen Campbell – all of them a lot more obscure than his hits! Glen Travis Campbell has a cover proclaiming that the set is "a new musical path" – and producer Jimmy Bowen works with bigger backings from Larry Muhuberac to use soaring strings next to the acoustic core, in ways that push Glen into some of the more soulful expressions he had to offer. The approach is a bit hard to describe, but it's different both from country roots, and from Jimmy Webb territory – that majestic Glen Campbell sound rising up nicely – on tunes that include "One Last Time", "I Will Never Pass This Way Again", "Sweet Fantasy", "Running Scared", "Just For What I Am", and "The Last Thing On My Mind". I Knew Jesus is a record that continues the further exploration of Glen Campbell's vocal range – with some mellow fluid moments that are awash in deeper trills, mixed with more upfront tunes that do a great job of unlocking more of the country currents in Glen's talents – a great shift, and one that would come on even more strongly in his mid 70s return to fame. The set includes a great version of the Kinky Friedman song "Sold American" – one we maybe like even better than Kinky's – plus "I Take It On Home", "I Want To Be With You Always", "Give Me Back That Old Familiar Feeling", "You're The One", and "On This Road". On the final album, Glen Campbell takes on the music of Hank Williams – but in a way that often has the sort of dreamy haze that goes with the "I Remember" in the title! The songs are all Hank's, but the presentation isn't gritty honky tonk – and instead uses fuller backings with Glen's lead vocals, almost as if the whole thing were done in the mid 60s by Chet Atkins at RCA! Jimmy Bowen's at the helm, but there's backup singers and fuller strings than before – which really changes up the Campbell takes on tunes that include "Cold Cold Heart", "Half As Much", "Your Cheatin Heart", "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry", and "You Win Again". CD

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✨✧ Philip Catherine with Marc MoulinStream (Japanese paper sleeve edition – with bonus tracks) ... CD
Warner/KTI (Japan), 1972. New Copy ... $24.99
One of the coolest records ever from guitarist Philip Catherine, and one of the funkiest too – thanks to a really sharp edge that you won't find on some of his other albums, and lots of Fender Rhodes from the legendary Marc Moulin too! Some of Catherine's other records of the 70s were a bit laidback or noodly – but this set's got a strong, soulful drive all the way through – a nice focus that may well come from the production of Sacha Distel, himself a onetime guitarist! But the group's just got things right on the money, right from the start – with some very strong funky drums from Freddy Rotheir, plus trombone from Jiggs Wigham and both bass and flute from Freddy Deronde. Titles include "Bassline", "Let's Put It Like This", "Stream", "Foire", "Face", "Jeux Interdits", and "Memphis Talk". CD features three bonus tracks too – the unreleased "Next Time" and "Enfin Bref" – and an extended version of "Bassline". CD

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Nana CaymmiCanta Tito Madi ... CD
Biscoito Fino (Brazil), 2019. New Copy ... $24.99
One classic Brazilian talent works in the house of another – as Nana Caymmi takes on the songs of Tito Madi, in a way that really brings them into the present – thanks to the personal, intimate phrasing that Caymmi uses on the set! There's a very strong current of jazz on the record – maybe more so than some of Nana's other albums in recent years – and arrangements are by Cristovao Bastos and Dori Caymmi – both of whom play on the record, often in a stripped-down small group mode that furthers the spirit of Nana's vocals. Dori makes a guest vocal appearance on "Balanco Zona Sul" – and titles include "Carinho E Amor", "Chove La Fora", "Cansei De Ilusoes", "Nao Diga Nao", "E A Chuva Parou", and "Cancao Dos Olhos Tristes". CD

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✨✧ CeliaCelia (1970) ... CD
Continental/Mr Bongo (UK), 1970. New Copy (reissue)... $10.99 11.98
Wickedly cool work from this overlooked Brazilian singer – a record that's got a strong sense of soul in the grooves, and a great sense of imagination in the choice of songs! Celia sings early work by Joyce, Lo Borges, Nelson Angelo, and others – with these shifting arrangements from the likes of Arthur Verocai, Rogerio Duprant, and Jose Briamonte – all in a mish-mash of modes that sometimes echoes the funky styles on EMI/Odeon of the period, sometimes even hits at Tropicalia touches – especially when guitarist Elody is given full run in the music to do his thing! Titles include "Abrace Paul McCartney", "Fotograma", "Adeus Batucada", "To Be", "David", "Durango Kid", "Zozoio Como E Que E", and "Lennon McCartney". CD
Also available Celia (1970) ... LP 18.99

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Eugene ChadbourneLost Eddie Chatterbox Sessions ... CD
No Prestige/Corbett vs. Dempsey, 1977. New Copy ... $12.99
Magnificent early work from Eugene Chadbourne – a set that was recorded on Christmas Day, 1977 – and only issued a decade later on cassette – but sounds that are every bit as mindblowing as the material on Chadbourne's first few albums! The music here is heavy on compositions from Thelonious Monk – and the set also features Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, and Ornette Coleman tunes too – all reworked by Chadbourne with this incredible acoustic guitar style – very freewheeling, but still tied to the roots of jazz through a sense of melody – in ways that are maybe even more illustrative of his role in the scene than some of his other work. At one level, there's an acoustic guitar craft here that stretches back to the early blues recordings, but through a strong sense of avant freedom – ala Captain Beefheart – but Eugene's care with the tunes, mixed with his expressive phrasing, also put him in a space that's somewhere between the world of Derek Bailey and Fred Frith, and that of jazzman Barney Kessel, whose name he's holding in the poster on the cover. Titles include "5th Of Beethoven", "Reflections", "Off Minor", "San Francisco", "Hackensack", "Dewey Square", "Central Park West", "Brilliant Corners", and "Light Blue". Also includes a number of Chadbourne originals – and unissued tracks as well! CD

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Erik Charlston Jazz BrasilHermeto – Voice & Wind ... CD
Sunnyside, 2019. New Copy ... $15.99 16.99
This isn't the first time that vibist Erik Charlston has paid tribute to the music of Hermeto Pascoal – but the set's definitely a cooker that lives up to the strong legacy of Brazilian music and jazz that we've always loved in Hermeto's creations! Songs are mostly by Pascoal, but the set also includes tunes by Egberto Gismonti and Lenine too – all transformed in the fresh, original arrangements by Erik – who plays vibes and marimba, and even sings a bit on one track – in a group that includes Ted Nash on saxes and flute, Mark Soskin on piano, Jay Anderson on bass, and Rogerio Boccato on drums and percussion. Titles include "Voz E Vento", "Loro", "Nem Um Talvez", "Alegria Do Vaquerio", "A Gandaia Das Ondas/Pedra E Areia", "Aquela Coisa", and "A Fala Da Paixao". CD

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Ed CherrySoul Tree ... CD
Posi tone, 2016. New Copy ... $11.99 17.98
A killer guitar and Hammond session with a really sublime sort of sound – a groove that's wonderfully free of cliche – and which has an open, spacious quality that few artists can match! Given the instrumentation, the album's steeped in tradition, but never tries to just rehash an older Prestige Records vibe – and instead guitarist Ed Cherry and organist Kyle Koehler find a way of soaring out in their own spirits – opening up strongly in a bass-less trio that only features the drums of Anwar Marshall to keep things snapping along. The pairing is perfect – on the level of Grant Green with Larry Young, or Pat Martino with Don Patterson – yet very much with its own spirit, too. Cherry's arrangements are great, too – providing very fresh takes on familiar tunes, alongside his own compositions. Titles include "Central Park West", "A New Blue", "Rachel's Step", "Ode To Angela", "Little Sunflower", "Little Girl Big Girl", and "Peace". CD

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✨✧ Chi-Lites(For God's Sake) Give More Power To The People (with bonus track) ... CD
Brunswick/Solid (Japan), 1970. New Copy ... About December 4, 2019
Seminal work from one of the 70s greatest groups! The band had always been great at love songs and uptempo numbers – but this record has them moving into more righteous area, picking up on some of the more socially conscious soul of their generation that had been working its way up the charts. The album features excellent production by Chi-Lite Eugene Record, who also wrote a lot of the material – plus arrangements by Tom Tom and Sonny Sanders. Great stuff all around, with the righteous social tunes "(For God's Sake) Give More Power to The People", "Trouble's A Comin", and "We Are Neighbors" – plus classic love songs "Have You Seen Her" and "Love Uprising", which are still kind of the band's strongest point. Loads more great stuff on this one, the album that helped the second wave of Chicago soul break out into the international market! CD features the bonus single version of "I Want To Pay You Back For Loving Me". CD
Also available (For God's Sake) Give More Power To The People ... LP 3.99

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Chic/Sister SledgeChic Organization 1977 to 1979 (Chic/C'Est Chic/Risque/We Are Family/mixes) (5CD set) ... CD
Warner, Late 70s. New Copy 5CD ... $24.99 54.98
The full spectrum of Chic magic from back in the 70s – all the group's early albums, rare singles and mixes, and even the Sister Sledge album handled by Nile Rodgers too! First up is the group's self-titled album – classic work from Chic, and a great batch of choppy funky dancefloor tunes! By the end of the 70s, Chic were so ubiquitous it was hard to remember the early power of this set – but from the perspective of 30 years later, the album's a real gem – set up with a simple focus on the rhythms that's made even better by the choppy guitar of Nile Rodgers, and his superbly soulful work on production alongside Bernard Edwards. Vocals are by Luther Vandross, Norma Jean, and Edwards – and titles include "Dance Dance Dance", "Strike Up The Band", "You Can Get By", and "Sao Paolo". Next is C'Est Chic – a massive set from the legendary Chic – and a set that has the dancefloor combo coming down perfectly throughout! Riffing Nile Rodgers guitars really make the tunes cook – as does the superb production – and although the record played plenty in discos and radios of the mainstream, it's still got a raw funky power that holds up brilliantly over the years! The set features the legendary "Le Freak" – a classic cutting track from the old school – plus "I Want Your Love", "Sometimes You Win", "Savoir Faire", "Happy Man", and "(Funny) Bone". Risque is a massive classic from Chic – a record that's worth it alone for the classic cut "Good Times" – a buoyant groover that was instantly timeless upon release, and went on to transform the sound of disco, hip hop, and many other styles to come! The whole thing's great, though – full of that perfect Nile Rodgers studio genius – with just the right sort of bass, beats, and riffing guitars – all peppered with vocals that really do a heck of a lot with just a little. In addition to "Good Times", other cuts include "A Warm Summer Night", "My Forbidden Lover", "What About Me", "My Feet Keep Dancing", and "Can't Stand To Love You". Next is the album We Are Family – possibly the greatest moment ever from Sister Sledge – a set that has the Philly quartet teaming with the Chic team of Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards! Rodgers' guitar brings in a hell of a groove to the record – that choppy, skittish sound that made Chic such a favorite at the time – which makes for a surprisingly great combination with the sweeter vocals of the group. There's a definite sense of groove going on here – heard most famously in the huge hits "We Are Family" and "He's The Greatest Dancer" – and continuing strongly through other numbers like "Thinking Of You", "Easier To Love", "One More Time", and "Lost In Music". The set also features a full extra CD – with bonus cuts that include "Everybody Dance (12" mix)", "Dance Dance Dance (7" edit)", "You Can Get By (7" edit)", "My Forbidden Lover (12" mix)", "My Feel Keep Dancing (7" edit)", "Le Freak (7" edit)", "Good Times (7" edit)", and "I Want Your Love (7" edit)". All CDs newly remastered – and comes with a 40 page booklet too! CD

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CJ & CoAin't It Amazing – The Unreleased Westbound Masters ... CD
Westbound/Ace (UK), Late 70s. New Copy ... $12.99 18.99
The lost third album from CJ & Co – that totally groovy, totally tight group who were one of the best things going on Westbound Records in the late 70s! CJ & Co had a groove that was just right for the new club world of the time – but they also had a sharp instrumental approach that was much more tied to the Detroit funk of early 70s Westbound – and their sound was given a fantastic push and polish by the production team of Mike Theodore and Dennis Coffey, who really keep things sounding strong throughout! These aren't leftover cuts, or the kind of material that was rejected at the time – and instead, the whole package has a quality level that really matches the classic Devil's Gun record by the group – a funky disco spectacular all the way through. Titles include "Is Your Love Life Better", "Ain't It Amazing", "Rainbow Music", "Brassband", "Get Lucky", "Rainmaker", "The Golden Touch", "Can't Believe You'd Break Your Promise", "Let Them Talk", "Boogie Love", and a rare "original mix" of "Devil's Gun". All tracks previously unreleased! CD

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Benis CletinJungle Magic ... CD
Decca/PMG (Austria), 1978. New Copy ... $6.99 16.99
A set that definitely lives up to the promise of its title – as it offers up this magical blend of earthy elements and Afro Funk – all served up in a style that's quite unique! Benis Cletin has a massive bassist on the set – who creates these pulsating lines that are strongly funky at the start of most tracks – which really locks things in, while Benis stretches out on his vocals, and sometimes adds in these weird moogy keyboards – almost with a William Onyeabor sort of vibe! There's also other organ and keyboard lines that intertwine with the grooves – all in ways that are never too slick, or trying for any sort of crossover Afro Disco styles – even though a number of cuts here would be perfect for a funky dancefloor. Titles include "Fireman", "Mr Teacher", "Jungle Magic", "Beautiful Continent", and "Rain Sun & Love". CD
Also available Jungle Magic ... LP 19.99

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Jimmy CobbThis I Dig Of You ... CD
Smoke Sessions, 2019. New Copy ... $15.99 17.98
Drummer Jimmy Cobb has been in many great groups over the decade – and here, he's leading one of his own – a rock-solid quartet that features piano from Harold Mabern, bass from John Webber, and some especially nice guitar from Peter Bernstein! Bernstein's voice is right out front on most tracks – taking the lead, and getting some great solo space too – with a strong tone that really rings out, and which is matched by always-great work from Harold Mabern – a player who's been around as long as Cobb, and who just keeps knocking us out with excellent music over the years. Titles include Mabern's original "Edward Lee", the Bernstein tune "Blood Wolf Mon Blues", and versions of "Full House", "Yesterdays", "This I Dig Of You", "My Old Flame", and "Cheese Cake". CD

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✨✧ CoffeeSlippin' & Dippin/Second Cup (with bonus track) ... CD
De-Lite/Solid (Japan), 1980/1982. New Copy ... About December 4, 2019
Two great albums from Coffee – back to back, and with a bonus track too! First up is Slippin & Dippin – work by a wonderful female soul trio from the Chicago scene of the 70s – and one we'd stand strongly next to the best gal groups from the Philly or New York scenes! In fact, Coffee were a bit unique in the city – which mostly had male groups getting the record contracts during the decade – and they're given strong soul focus here by Clarence Johnson, the indie soul producer who'd given the city so much other great music over the years! The album's definitely got a disco vibe, but these gals can sing a lot deeper than the usual club trio, too – vocals that are much more trained in an older school mode, ala The Emotions – and which come across nicely on some of the mellower cuts too. Titles include great reworkings of two earlier Chicago soul gems – the Lovelites' classic "How Can I Tell My Mom & Dad", redone as "Mom & Dad 1980", and a fresh new take on Ruby Andrews "Casanova". Other titles include "Slip & Dip", "A Promise", "I Wanna Be With You", and "Can You Get To This". Second Cup is the well-titled and much more obscure second album from Coffee – and a great one too! The girls actually have a pretty soulful sound, and with Tony Valor mixing and producing, the record's got a sound that mixes smooth soul with uptempo rhythms in a nice way. Titles include "My Turn To Burn", "Take Me Back", "Love's Alive", "If This World", and "Fantasy". CD features the bonus track "Say It's Good To You (orig 12 version)". CD

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Julie CokerLife In The Limelight – Lagos Disco & Itsekiri Highlife 1976 to 1981 ... CD
Kalita, Late 70s/Early 80s. New Copy ... $13.99
Classic tracks from the short-but-strong music career of Julie Coker – a huge figure in Nigerian culture, both for her work onscreen and off! Coker recorded a handful of records at the end of the 70s – right at the height of her career – and the tracks here are from two of the three from the time – the albums Tomorrow and Ere Yon. Ere Yon is a very compelling take on more traditional modes of the time – a bit highlife, but often nicely stripped-down, and with these occasional keyboard parts that give a cool spacey sound to the whole thing – a mode that works perfectly with Coker's strong vocal range. The music on Tomorrow is from a few years later, and has a warmer, clubbier vibe – a bit more of the Lagos disco promised in the title, but again handled in a way that's still very unique. Titles include "Iyo Re", "Elelemi", "Ere Yon", "Re Hese", "It's All For You", "Sogio", and "Gossiper Scandal Monger". CD
Also available Life In The Limelight – Lagos Disco & Itsekiri Highlife 1976 to 1981 ... LP 25.99

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Nat King ColeHittin The Ramp – The Early Years 1936 to 1943 (7CD set) ... CD
Resonance, Late 30s/Early 40s. New Copy 7CD ... Just Sold Out!
A mindblowing look at the early years of Nat King Cole – a set that stretches in a mighty wide space before Nat's big fame at Capitol Records – and which also greatly expands our understanding of the material he recorded during his Decca years too! The music takes Nat back to a time long before most folks know his music – with roots in the bluesier side of the Chicago scene, moving through jazzier modes of the swing generation, to the tight trio work that helped Cole shape the sound of a generation – and all before he even got a chance to record more as a singer, and with bigger backings too! There's definitely some early Decca Records material from the 78rpm years, but there's also lots of alternate takes, small label material for Philo, Excelsior, and other labels – then a stunning amount of transcription recordings that were done for radio and broadcast – plus a few live tracks too. Not all the work here was recorded under Nat's name, either – as there's tracks in which Cole features strongly in other combos – although most tracks are trio numbers, and guitar great Oscar Moore is in the lineup right from the start. The 7CD set features over 180 tracks in all, remastered with really great sound – plus a 56 page booklet that's filled with notes, photos, and lots more musical history! CD
Also available Hittin The Ramp – The Early Years 1936 to 1943 (180 gram pressing – 10LP set) ... LP 199.99

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CommodoresMidnight Magic ... CD
Motown (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... $13.99
Lots of Midnight Magic from The Commdores – still nice and funky at the start of the evening, but also chilling out in the wee hours too – really finding a great way to follow the trajectory of the night with the tracks in this set! The album sparkles with strong arrangements and production from James Carmichael – who furthers the vibe perfected on Natural High, yet continues to avoid most of the cliches that would slow down the group in later years. Lionel Richie's given room to step forth on the ballads "Still" and "Sail On" – but the group feel is still nicely maintained on the rest of the record – which also features the tracks "Getting It", "You're Special", "Wonderland", "Sexy Lady", and "Might Magic". CD
(Part of the Motown Did It First Series!)
Also available Midnight Magic ... LP 4.99

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Ivan Mamao ContiPoison Fruit ... CD
Far Out (UK), 2019. New Copy ... $12.99
Really mindblowing work from legendary drummer Ivan "Mamao" Conti – a key part of Azymuth through that group's many years – and still going strong here as a solo artist on his own! The album's almost a 21st Century realization of the sound that Azymuth was going for back in the day – cascading percussion with plenty of influences from Brazilian music and jazz, often given some electric elements along the way – but always in a style that's warmly organic, and right on the groove! Conti gets help from younger Azymuth and Incognito generations – as Alex Malherios plays bass on the record and Daniel Maunick handles keyboards, more percussion, and production – all at a level that never stomps on Ivan's vision at all – and which instead makes the whole thing as rewarding as any Azymuth session we've heard over the past few decades. Most tracks are instrumental, save for some airy wordless vocals – but Thiago Martins sings lead on "Que Legal", and other titles include "Aroeira", "Bacurau", "Poison Fruit", "Jemburi", "Ecos Da Mata", "Encontro", and "Tempestades". CD features bonus mixes – "Ilha Da Luz (Tenderlonius rmx)", "Encontro (Glenn Astro rmx)", "Que Legal (Reginald Omas Mamode IV rmx)", "Encontro (Max Graef rmx)", and "Poison Fruit (Dokta Venom's digital dub rmx)". CD

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✨✧ Ruth CopelandI Am What I Am (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Invictus/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1971. New Copy ... About December 18, 2019
A second sublime set from Ruth Copeland – a funky female singer from the Detroit scene of the early 70s, with key ties to the P-Funk universe, and a unique groove that mixes singer/songwriter modes with the fuzzier funkier elements of artists like Betty Davis or Yvonne Fair! There's a bit more emphasis on soul here than the funk of Copeland's previous efforts – but in a way that makes for an even more impressive record overall, especially when you realize that Ruth arranged and produced the whole thing. George Clinton and Eddie Hazel both had a hand in co-writing songs with Copeland – and instrumentation features Hazel on guitar, plus Bernie Worrell on piano – so there's still a key P-Funk link. Titles include the breakbeat track "Suburban Family Lament", the fuzzy stoner funk number "Don't You Wish You Had", and covers of the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter" and "Play With Fire" – plus "Crying Has Made Me Stronger", "Hare Krishna", and "The Medal". CD features bonus single versions of "Hare Krishna" and "Gimme Shelter". CD
Also available I Am What I Am (180 gram pressing) ... LP 22.99

Partial matches100
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Chick Corea & Gary BurtonIn Concert, Zurich – October 28 1979 ... CD
ECM (Japan), 1979. New Copy ... $19.99
One of the best ECM teams of the 70s – working here together in a wonderful live set! Chick Corea's got this wonderful flow on his piano – almost a quality that's more like the most unbridled Keith Jarrett work for ECM – bursting out with light and color at each new turn, but in a way that makes it feel like Chick's just discovering each sound as it comes to his fingertips! This quality really seems to bring out a freshness in Burton's vibes, too – an ebullience that's even stronger than usual – and not as concerned with deeper-down sounds as some of his other ECM recordings. The whole thing's great – with lots of original tunes by Chick – and titles include "Song To Gayle", "Mirror Mirror", "Crystal Silence", "Bud Powell", and "Senor Mouse". CD
(Ultimate HQ CD pressing – part of the ECM 50 series!)
 
 
 



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