Hampshire & Foat —
Honeybear ... LP Athens Of The North (UK), 2018. New Copy ...
The team of Warren Hampshire and Greg Foat have already given us some amazing music on record – but this strangely-titled set may well be their crowning achievement so far! The set's got kind of a creepy look and feel – and a layout that replicates some of the more sophisticated UK jazz titles on the Argo Records label at the end of the 60s. And the style here is very much in keeping with that spirit – this straight mixture of light and darkness, delivered by the duo in a way that's more subtle than before – yet even more powerful too! Hampshire plays guitars, organ, and other keyboards – and Foat adds in more keyboards and bass, while both handle some other effects and sounds – but the real difference here is the album's use of larger string arrangements – not full orchestrations, but just the right kind of light colors and shadings that you might have heard on a record by Nick Drake, Colin Blunstone, or some of the other hipper British singers at the start of the 70s. The approach is more holistic than their previous jazz efforts – not entirely in that side of the spectrum – and more a beautiful record of rich yet melancholy instrumentals. Titles include "Crows Feet", "The Hive", "The Elderflower", "Honey Dreams", "Rain Clouds", "Winter Bound", and "The Fly & I". LP, Vinyl record album
Throttle Elevator Music feat Kamasi Washington —
Retrorespective ... LP Wide Hive, 2017. New Copy ...
Not a retrospective of the music of Throttle Elevator Music – as you might mistake from the title – but instead a fresh new album that features the group working tremendously with the mighty Kamasai Washington! Washington isn't just a guest, but a key member of the group – and he really helps to push forward that deepening sound they've developed since their first release – a huge evolution that only gets better when Kamasai's on board. Washington plays tenor on the record, and contributes songs and arrangements – and some of the vibe of the set is maybe a small combo take on territory he explored on The Epic album – proud and righteous, with a very uplifting spirit. Other group members include Erik Jekabson on flugelhorn and trumpet, Ava Mendoza on guitar, Matt Mongtomery on bass and piano, and Thomas McCree on drums – and producer Gregory Howe also contributes songs and arrangements. Titles include "Flux & Solder", "Liminality", "Playing The Alleyway", "February Drift", "Subtract Limited", and "Rapid Rotation". LP, Vinyl record album
City Life ... LP Fantasy, 1975. New Copy (reissue)...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
A fantastic album from this legendary jazz funk combo – a bit smoother than their first, but that's the great thing about it! The record has the band getting even tighter than before – coming up with an amazing jazz-inflected funk groove that still leaves us breathless after all these years – and which is the perfect fusion of jazz and soul that was going down with the best groups in the mid 70s. The best example of this sound can be heard on the massive cut "Rock Creek Park" – which begins with a wonderful bass on the intro, a killer moogy keyboard bit, and a super-catchy chorus that goes "doin' it in the park," which you should recognize in about 30 seconds! The rest of the album is great too – and titles include the classic sample track "Love So Fine" – plus "Happy Music", "Hash and Eggs", "Thankful Bout Yourself", and "All I Ask". (Soul, Jazz)LP, Vinyl record album
No room for squares with grooves this great – a classic Hank Mobley session from the mid 60s, and one that really shows the growth in his style at the time! The work's still strongly in a hardbop style, but modal elements are definitely creeping into the mix – a bolder sense of rhythm that really transforms the music from before – and lets Mobley reach out in a whole different way with his solos! The album features material from two different sessions – each of which have Mobley's tenor coming into play with other inventive artists on Blue Note at the time. One date features Lee Morgan on trumpet, Andrew Hill on piano, John Ore on bass, and Philly Joe Jones on drums – and the other features Donald Byrd on trumpet, Herbie Hancock on piano, Butch Warren on bass, and Jones again on drums. Titles include "Up A Step", "Me N You", "Three Way Split", "Carolyn", and the classic "No Room For Squares". LP, Vinyl record album
John Coltrane —
Lush Life ... LP Prestige/OJC, 1957/1958. New Copy (reissue)...
Out Of Stock
Strong work from John Coltrane's early years as a leader – even if the album is sort of a collection of tracks that Trane recorded for Prestige, instead of a discreetly separate session! Side one features Coltrane's tenor in a spare setting with Earl May on bass and Art Taylor on drums – playing mellow tunes like "I Love You" and "Like Someone In Love", as well as the original "Trane's Slow Blues". Side two features a blowing session mode – with Donald Byrd, Red Garland, Paul Chambers, and Louis Hayes – on the cuts "Lush Life" and "I Hear A Rhapsody". LP, Vinyl record album
Henry Franklin —
Skipper ... LP Black Jazz/Real Gone, 1972. New Copy (reissue)...
Out Of Stock
One of the greatest moments ever from west coast bassman Henry Franklin – a set of soaring, spiritual power – and a key demonstration of his rich energy as a leader! Franklin heads a wicked lineup here – playing both Fender and acoustic bass amidst other players who include Bill Henderson on electric piano, Charles Owens on tenor and soprano sax, Oscar Brashear on trumpet, Kenny Climax on guitar, and Michael Carvin on drums – all coming together with a mix of spiritual vibes and soulful undercurrents, in ways that almost give the record a Strata East sort of vibe! The whole thing is certainly one of the most memorable sessions on the Black Jazz label – and titles include "Outbreak", "Little Miss Laurie", "Theme For Jojo", and "Plastic Creek Stomp". LP, Vinyl record album