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Blues

XOur Chicago roots run deep here, with plenty of postwar Chicago blues -- plus delta blues, folk blues, electric blues, pre-war blues, and more!

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Modern Harmonic (label)

 

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Atlantic/Soulmusic.com (UK), 1960s. 5CD
A fantastic collection of work from the legendary Esther Phillips – one of the most distinct voices in soul music, captured here during some key moments in her career! The box is huge – and begins with a full CD of tracks from Esther's initial years on Lenox Records – a label ... CD
Brownswood (UK), 2020.
A beautiful tribute to the deep roots of the Jamaican homeland of Zara McFarlane – but a set that sounds unlike any Jamaican music we've heard before! This isn't dub or reggae – but sounds that delve much more deeply into past musical traditions of the island – styles collected ... CD
Ace/Kent (UK), Mid 60s.
Raw soul from the 60s – not the polished sounds of Motown, or the smoother grooves of the Philly studios – but instead work by artists who might have recorded R&B during the decade before, and who still work here with a fair bit of grit in their grooves! The shift is a bit like ... CD
International Anthem, 2020. (pic cover)
Angel Bat Dawid is looking at a picture of Sun Ra on the cover – and with a record like this, she seems instantly able to challenge his long musical legacy! "Transition East" has Angel on clarinets, keyboard, and a drum machine – a tune that's spare and snakey, but which also ... 7-inch, Vinyl record
Grapefruit (UK), 1971. 3CD
Short songs, but exploding with a huge range of new musical ideas – not the side-long jams of the progressive rock generation, but instead some singles and album tracks that manage to pack all of the best elements into some mighty catchy tunes! These tracks all benefit from a huge explosion ... CD
Bear Family (Germany), Late 50s/Early 60s.
A wonderful tribute to the role of the telephone in postwar culture – not just as a means of communication, but as a theme for some mighty groovy music as well! You'll recognize a few of these tunes – classics that have a phone call or operator at the center of the lyrics – but ... CD
SAM (France), 1965.
One of the most unusual recordings we've ever heard from legendary drummer Art Blakey – not a Jazz Messengers session, but a rare Parisian performance by a quintet billed as the New Jazz Men! The lineup is fantastic – Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Nathan Davis on tenor, Jaki Byard on ... LP, Vinyl record album
DJM/Isle Of Juara (Netherlands), 1978. (reissue)
A voyage from Brian Bennett – indeed a trip into disco and funk inspired rhythms, as the subtitle lets us know, but also plenty synthy rock, jazz and proggy elements – a Voyage worth taking from the sound library genius Bennett! The synths and keyboards by Francis Monkman is the secret ... LP, Vinyl record album

Sam Rivers/Dave Holland/Barry Altschul

Ricochet – Sam Rivers Archive Project Vol 3
No Business (Lithuania), 1978.
A searing live performance from Sam Rivers – never issued before, and recorded as one non-stop improvisation with a really amazing trio! Rivers plays tenor, soprano, flute, and piano – and the record is a great example of the constantly creative energy that he can bring to the fold ... CD
Atlantic/Run Out Groove, Late 60s/Early 70s.
A killer collection of Barbara Lynn's records for Atlantic – a set that includes many of her 45-only tracks, which weren't on her full album for the label – plus one song that was only first issued in recent years! Lynn's a real standout in 60s soul music – a singer with a style ... LP, Vinyl record album

London Jazz Composers Orchestra

That Time
Not Two (Poland), 1972/1980.
Very rare work from this legendary improvising orchestra – two different recordings from the first decade or so of the group's existence, at a time when they were hardly making any records at all! The first two long tracks are from a 1972 performances in Germany – and feature an early ... CD
Cuss, 2020. 2 x 10 inch Gatefold
A fantastic testament to the ever-growing strengths of Gaslamp Killer – and a record that's not really instrumental hip hop, or just a loose collection of beats – but instead almost moves the producer into the territory of more complex soundtrack or sound library modes, yet still all ... LP, Vinyl record album

Matthew Shipp & Rob Brown

Then & Now
Rogue Art (France), 2020.
Great work from two players who really seem to find each other very quickly here – improvising freely in a way that creates strong resonance between the piano of Matthew Shipp and the alto of Rob Brown – as both musicians have notes cascading forward in this effortless way, often ... CD
Easy Eye Sound/BMG, 2020.
A fantastic new chapter in the career of Cee-Lo Green – reemerging here as an old school southern soul singer, with a vibe that's in the best legacy of Al Green and some of the underground talents of his generation! The set was recorded in Nashville, produced by Dan Auerbach, and has a ... CD
Color Tapes/Lion, Early 80s.
Special sounds from the deep work of underground electronic music that lurked way down below the British charts of the early 80s – music by a host of different groups who still hold strong to the early, darker post-punk styles of Sheffield and Manchester – mostly using analogue ... LP, Vinyl record album
EMI/7T's (UK), Mid 70s. 4CD
Sharp hooks, huge melodies, and 70s guitar pop greatness from Pilot – a genius pop group who only gave the world a handful of records, all of them pretty darn great! From The Album Of The Same Name includes their signature tune, "Magic" – and it's one of those songs everyone ... CD

Jef Gilson with Nathan Davis & Woody Shaw

Jef Gilson A Gaveau (180 gram pressing)
SFP/SAM (France), 1965. (reissue)
A brilliant record from French modernist Jef Gilson – and a set that's filled with amazing performances from a host of key French and American players too! At the core is Gilson – writing, directing, and playing piano in the ensemble – which also features trumpets from Woody Shaw ... LP, Vinyl record album

Bill Frisell

Valentine
Blue Note, 2020. 2LP
Bill Frisell is in a really wonderful trio here – working with Rudy Royston on drums and Thomas Morgan on bass – players who maybe seem to bring out some of Frisell's most inventive sounds in years! Bill plays both acoustic and electric guitar – and the latter instrument often ... LP, Vinyl record album
Warner, 2020.
A short, brilliant blast of creative wordplay from Earl Sweatshirt – who'd been riding a peak for years leading up the Feet Of Clay and shows no signs of coming down – with production by ES himself, Alchemist, Ovrcast and a Mach Hommy, all tasked with providing a moody, headnodding ... LP, Vinyl record album

Freddie Gibbs & Alchemist

Alfredo
ESGN, 2020.
Freddie Gibbs's gradual ascent to the upper echelon of modern hip hop – and his impeccable choice in production partners, this time working from beginning to end with long serving beat king The Alchemist – shows no signs of slowing down! Lyrically, Freddie is riffing on mob lore on ... CD
 



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