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Reggae

XClassic sounds from Kingston and beyond -- roots, rocksteady, dub, dancehall, ska, and more!

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Featured items ...

Billy Brooks

Windows Of The Mind
Crossover/We Want Sounds (UK), 1974.
Funky trumpet galore – and one of the few albums ever cut by trumpeter Billy Brooks as a leader! At the time of this 1974 LP, Billy Brooks was an overlooked LA trumpeter working in the Ray Charles band – and although this record didn't bring him instant fame when it was released, it's ... CD
Westbound/Tidal Waves, 1976.
A never-issued album by funky guitar legend Melvin Sparks – recorded right after his final record for the Westbound label, and appearing here for the first time ever! Sparks first rose to fame via funky work with Lonnie Smith and Lou Donaldson in the late 60s, the cut some killer albums of ... LP, Vinyl record album

Horace Tapscott & Michael Session

Live in Avignon, France – 1989
Village, 1989.
A beautiful lost performance from pianist Horace Tapscott – a set of duets with saxophonist Michael Session, recorded in France at the end of the 80s – and based around three long tracks, one penned by Tapscott himself – the other two by LA/Nimbus contemporaries Jesse Sharps and ... LP, Vinyl record album
SFP/Mo' Record (France), 1965.
One of the first true moments of genius from saxophonist Nathan Davis – a mid 60s European session cut for the tiny SFP label – and a record that's even rarer than his early classics for MPS! The sound here is similar to the MPS sides – a mixture of soul jazz and modal jazz ... CD
Blue Note, 1963. (reissue)
Classic Herbie Hancock from the early years – and a great mix of soul jazz and modernist inspiration! The record include a nice groovy "hit" – Herbie's "Blind Man Blind Man" – an obvious follow-up to "Watermelon Man", but still a standout track with ... LP, Vinyl record album
Now Again, Mid 70s.
Rare singles and unreleased tracks from one of the funkiest artists on the 70s scene in Ethiopia – the amazing Ayalew Mesfin – a fantastic talent with a groove that's dying to be heard! Mesfin's music has maybe even more of James Brown groove than some of his funky contemporaries ... CD
Impulse/Jazzman (UK), 1960s/Early 70s. 2 CDs
An essential look at the spiritual jazz legacy of Impulse Records – a set that's maybe a bit overdue in this series, given that Impulse first opened the door to these modes with their recordings of John Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders in the 60s! For some reason, Impulse had a perfect ear for ... CD

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

Tony Allen & Afrika 70

Progress
Comet (France), 1977. (reissue)
An Afro Funk classic – killer solo work from Tony Allen – originally known as the drummer for Fela during his key years – stepping out here on his own with the Afrika 70 band! The album's a monster all the way through – every bit as great as any of Fela's 70s classics, but ... LP, Vinyl record album
Metal Face, 1994. 2LP (reissue)
A legendary record from KMD – one that languished unreleased for far too long! Black Bastards has few tracks the maintain the jazzier sound of the first album, but they're mostly coming a little bit rawer, perfectly balancing their earlier style that gritty early 90s hip hop vibe. As solid as ... LP, Vinyl record album
Atco/Get On Down, 1973. (reissue)
One of the coolest, funkiest records we've ever heard from Dr John – thanks to lots of guest help from The Meters! The vibe here is a bit tighter than some of Mac's previous records – not as trippy as his first few for Atco – but the sound is still nice and sharp, and Allen ... LP, Vinyl record album
Atlantic, 1959. 2CD
A true giant step for John Coltrane – and one of the first albums to really showcase his talent as a writer – and his amazing ability for penning some of the most soulful, spiritual themes in jazz! Apart from the well-known title cut, the record's filled with other Coltrane classics ... CD

Takuya Kuroda

Fly Moon Die Soon
First Word (UK), 2020.
A fantastic chapter in the continuing evolution of trumpeter Takuya Kuroda – a great musician who's got equal parts jazz and soul in his makeup, and who serves up sounds with a nicely cosmic vibe! The set's funky at times, soaringly soulful at others – almost as if Takuya's trying to ... LP, Vinyl record album
Blue Note (Japan), Mid 70s. 2 CDs
A great look at the way that the Blue Note record label renewed its commitment to jazz guitar in the 70s – finding some of the best new talents of the decade, and recording the instrument in a variety of different ways! The Blue Note jazz funk sides of the time are very well-known, but the ... CD
JCR/Bible & Tire, Early 70s.
A treasure trove of rare and unusual gospel recordings from the Memphis scene – work done for the tiny JCR imprint of the also-tiny D-Vine Records label – a real wellspring of under-discovered talent from the south! JCR was kind of the bush league for D-Vine – a custom label that ... CD
Staubgold (Germany), 2020. 2LP
A great assortment of funky jazzy cuts from recent years – a stunning package that shows just how much the love of jazz on the dancefloor has exploded in the contemporary underground – in ways that are so different than the modes of decades back! Yes, there was a time when "jazz&qu ... LP, Vinyl record album
Third Man, 1930s/1940s/Early 50s.
A really beautiful collection of rare work pulled from a variety of different 78rpm singles – Indian classical music from the generation before Ravi Shankar and a few other artists gave it global exposure – with an especially strong focus on the use of the violin next to sitars and ... CD
Not Two (Poland), 5CD
A fantastic tribute to the ongoing contributions of the Not Two label – an important Polish imprint that's done plenty for improvised music over the past 20 years – with a wealth of studio releases, and live events such as the festival recordings presented in this beautiful set! The ... CD
Reprise/Omnivore, 1970.
A mindblowing set from Little Richard – a stunning comeback session from the start of the 70s – recorded at Muscle Shoals with a heavy funk component in the mix! Richard arranged and produced the record himself – and it's a beautiful illustration of his genius – hardly ... CD

Christian Scott Atunde Adjuah

Axiom – Live At The Blue Note
Ropeadope, 2020.
A fantastic chapter in the continuing evolution of trumpeter Christian Scott Atunde Adjuah – a set recorded at the Blue Note in New York, just days before the city had to shut down in 2020 – and a record that maybe carries with it some of the urgency of that moment! Scott's studio ... CD
 



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